As part of the Royal Albert Hall’s Films in Concert, two showings of Star Trek were shown over the weekend, in conjunction with the Hall’s Festival of Science.
On Saturday the 2009 JJ Abrams Star Trek movie was performed and on Sunday it was Star Trek Beyond.
We attended the Sunday concert and despite having attended a few Star Trek themed concerts at this venue, it always feels as if we are experiencing it for the first time when we go to the Royal Albert Hall.
So why watch a movie that we have seen many times before at the Royal Albert Hall? Because this time we’re not just watching it, the priority is to listen. We all love the effect music has on motion pictures but hearing it performed live by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir is a whole different experience.
Confession time, we’re not classic music aficionadas, we can’t tell Beethoven from Bach. But we are capable of appreciating the talent in both the Orchestra performing and Michael Giacchino’s ability to capture the mood of the script and amplify that emotion through music. What works beautifully with the Kelvin Universe movies is that the classical music style is in keeping with the Star Trek scores that came before it. It connects you to the past but is also timeless.
The Royal Albert hall is a concert venue unlike any other. Quite simply, it is beautiful and we felt special the moment we were in transporter range.
The Star Trek Beyond Concert was a matinee so we booked a table in the Laurent Perrier Champagne bar in the hall to eat and indulge in the bars namesake before hand. The staff were incredibly lovely joining in on our Trek banter which mostly revolved around the Pine brothers.
They even held the table for us again during the intermission and had drinks waiting so we waisted no time queuing. Everywhere should do this!
If you haven’t been to a Film in Concert, it takes a bit of getting used to for the first 10 minutes. We found our focus shifting between the orchestra and the screen. Not because one was distracting, but because the music drew us back into the story. Then we’d almost forget their was an orchestra until the music hit a crescendo and we were back in awe of this collective of humans creating this incredible sound in front of us.
So much EXTRA
The Royal Albert hall don’t just put on a film and perform the music. They go extra! On Saturday the film was preceded with talk from astrophysicist Roberto Trotta and a Science Quiz after the concert.
On Sunday we were blown away to discover that Simon Pegg (Actor Scotty and co-writer of Star Trek Beyond) was introducing the concert.
He spoke from the heart saying that this film is special to him as he not only co-wrote it but it was the last movie Anton Yelchin worked on before he tragically died. He dedicated the Concert to Anton and his Parents.
Then he took this incredible photo from the stage (and we took one right back at him!)
The Royal Albert Hall was filled with Star Trek fans today as Simon introduced Beyond with a live orchestra to an ecstatic crowd. The London Philharmonic Concert orchestra were flawless. The performance was dedicated to Anton Yelchin and his parents, Irina and Viktor. ❤️?? pic.twitter.com/UMBQGwFnlq
— Pegg News (@simonpegg) June 3, 2018
Scotty Actor and co-writer of #StarTrekBeyond @simonpegg introduces the film and dedicates it to Anton Yelchin and his parents. @m_giacchino Score will be performed by the London philharmonic choir. pic.twitter.com/T3RVsALkqs
— Trekkie Girls (@TrekkieGirls) June 3, 2018
After we returned from the intermission (and another bottle of bubbly!) I made some off-the-cuff remark about how wonderful it is to have this escapism. To come to this fabulous place and indulge in our Star Trek hobby. And that’s when the announcer said there would be a minute silence to remember those who lost their lives in the London Bridge terror attacks exactly one year ago.
That was the reality I needed. Star Trek isn’t just escapism, it’s a blueprint to the future, a reminder that we can live in a utopia and be moments away from losing it to fear. The rest of the film seemed more poignant from that moment. When Uhura says “There is strength in unity” it is as relevant today as it was a year ago, or next year.
In that concert hall there was the same unity as there was amongst the crew of the Enterprise on the screen.
The harmony of the orchestra, the unity of trekkies and strength of London.
Would like to have heard: We were kinda hoping the Orchestra and Choir would do some beats and shouting with their own rendition of the Beastie Boys Sabotage. It wasn’t to be but we like that the sound crew cranked up the audio for that part!
Highlight: The end credits, especially the Original Series score which the Choir and Orchestra nailed. Anyone who didn’t cry is dead inside.