Review: Movie music comes to life at RPO gala at Ipswich Regent

Star Wars music was brought to life by the RPO at Ipswich Regent .

Star Wars music was brought to life by the RPO at Ipswich Regent . - Credit: PA

The Royal Philharmonic plays the work of John Williams at the Ipswich Regent on Wednesday evening

It is 25 years since the Regent Theatre was bought by Ipswich Council and relaunched as East Anglia’s largest live venue – and we were given silver jubilee treat when the RPO came to town with a programme straight from Tinseltown’s finest.

Many people regard John Williams as the finest film composer ever. He is also arguably the finest orchestral composer of the late 20th/early 21st century,

And last night the sell-out audience at the Regent were treated to a simply brilliant evening of superb music.

Starting with the stirring theme to Superman (the 1978 classic, not this year’s mish-mash with Batman) the tone for the next two hours was set brilliantly.


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Most of the music was instantly recognised by the audience, although there were a couple of less-popular scores included to keep the real movie-buffs happy (okay, how many of you left humming the theme from Hook or JFK?).

But most of the music was genuinely familiar and truly classic – themes like ET, Home Alone, Harry Potter, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the hauntingly beautiful Schindler’s List.

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There was also a superb selection of Williams’ orchestration from Fiddler on the Roof back in 1970 which won him the first of five Oscars (he’s only been nominated 50 times!).

The evening finished with a suite of themes from Star Wars, from both the first film and last year’s “The Force Awakens.” We were sent home with an encore of the Imperial March theme. No sign of Darth Vader, I’m relieved to report!

But for me the highlight of the evening was the performance of the theme that is my personal favourite from John Williams – Jurassic Park. A little piece of me would not have been surprised to see a raptor leap out of the wings as it played!

The evening was introduced by Ipswich Mayor Roger Fern who outlined why the borough believed the theatre was so important.

The 1,300 people in the Regent last night needed no convincing on that score. A truly magical night.

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