Beauty and the Beast to be Accompanied by Live Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall
Going to the cinema can be a magical experience and London already has some great events that make watching a film even more special. For example, here on my blog you can read about the experience of going to a secret cinema to watch a classic cold war film (we won’t say which!). The secrecy around the film, as well as dressing for the occasion (in military getup), made it less a trip to the cinema and more a fully immersive event.
Another film event trend that is equally immersive are film screenings where the score is performed live by an orchestra. Film scores are an important part of any film, and some film fans love them as much as the characters and story. One famous example of this is the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast.
On December 9, Beauty and the Beast fans will get the treat of a lifetime as the live-action adaptation of this beloved Disney classic will be screened for the very first time with a full orchestra—the Philharmonic Orchestra—providing the live musical score.
Renowned film score composer Alan Menken, who scored both the animated and live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast will be back for December’s in-concert extravaganza at Royal Albert Hall. He will provide the score for the live orchestra, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken himself and the late playwright-lyricist Howard Ashman, and the three new songs written for the live action film.
The live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast was a huge success. The film, which featured an ensemble cast led by Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke, Evans, and Ewan McGregor, topped $1 billion in gross earnings worldwide according to Forbes. This made the Bill Condon-helmed film the second highest-grossing movie of 2017 and one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
Beauty and the Beast has continued to remain one of Disney’s most popular films. The success of the live-action film and the demand for a live-orchestra screening demonstrates how fans still connect and cherish the tale. The story is universally known and The Hollywood Reporter revealed that it has been adapted many times, both on the big screen and small. Such is the power and recognition of the classic that it has even reached audiences in unexpected places. Slingo have a Beauty and the Beast slot game that incorporates famous elements from the original 1740 story. Like the Disney version, the game takes the story and adds its own unique take. It is this level of adoration from fans that will ensure that story will be cherished by future generations.
Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon, in an interview with The Telegraph, considers the film’s original score, which won two Oscars for Mr. Menken, as “magical,” and something that “draws people in” even 25 years later.
A Royale Release
Just last month, the Royal Albert Hall screened with a live orchestra the Daniel Craig starrer Casino Royale—to rave reviews. As the Express recounted in its review of the show, fans of the James Bond series flocked to the Royal Albert Hall, with most dressed in black ties and evening gowns.
The show, of course, did not disappoint. It was “impressive” and “immensely enjoyable,” according to the Express review, with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra receiving a much-deserved standing ovation at the end.
For the past several months now, the Royal Albert Hall in London has been the home of this one-of-a-kind movie viewing experience.
Some of the other films given the live orchestra treatment this year, include Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in April, Star Trek and Star Trek Beyond in June, and Titanic in March.
Last year, a string of hits were shown at the Hall as well, notably Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Independence Day, Jurassic Park, Aliens, and ET.
For any film fan, if you love action, sci-fi, romance, or Disney, the chance to see a film with a live performance of the score should not be missed.