Proms go down a storm
TRADITIONAL Prom favourites such as Rule Britannia enthralled the crowds – but Handel's Water Music would have been more appropriate!But rain failed to dampen the spirits of the die-hard music fans at Christchurch Park and the Action Proms concert.
By LYNN ANDREWS
TRADITIONAL Prom favourites such as Rule Britannia enthralled the crowds – but Handel's Water Music would have been more appropriate!
But rain failed to dampen the spirits of the die-hard music fans at Christchurch Park and the Action Proms concert.
The concert bowl was a spectacular sight of brightly coloured umbrellas shielding more than 600 people determined to make the best of the increasingly soggy conditions.
Picnic tables with lavish spreads were enjoyed just as much as if the sun were still shining down and at least they were protected from the elements by gazebos, small tents and make-shift polythene shelters.
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As champagne corks popped, brollies bobbed about to the beat of the music, flags waved and the good old British stiff upper lip prevailed.
The Magnets, a six-piece a capella band which included former Ipswich School pupil Steve Trowell would have raised the roof – if there had been one – with a good hour-long performance.
After the show, Steve said he was delighted to be back in his home town again and told how had been some blip with their own sound system.
"It was some sort of radio feedback through our ear-pieces that prevented some of us from knowing who was singing what. It was by luck – or perhaps skill – that we all ended the songs at the right time," he said.
The Magnets were "brilliant" said Frances May from Elmswell who had come with friends Vivienne and David Cowdell and Elizabeth and Norman Freeman from Thornham Magna and Pakenham.
Frances said this was a return trip to the "proms" in Christchurch Park and the weather was not putting them off.
"We women got the food together and the men provided the champagne so we're all set under our brollies. Rain, what rain? The atmosphere is the same," she added.
The superb Royal Festival Gala Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Suffolk man Leslie Olive played tree-to-tree classics which included the brollie-bouncing Can Can, the William Tell Overture, Overture to Orpheus in the Underworld and the theme from The Big Country.
During a well-earned interval it was time for James Dylan's Stuntworld motorcycle display team.
They brought gasps and applause from the audience as riders leapt over the equivalent of five cars; rode through fire and even landed on a coffin-shaped box that burst into flames.
And no proms night would be complete without Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and the 1812 Overture, or indeed by Christchurch Park traditions, sparkling fireworks.