Home » Classical Music » Review : Prom 56 – CBeebies Prom at the Royal Albert Hall on the 28th August 2016

Review : Prom 56 – CBeebies Prom at the Royal Albert Hall on the 28th August 2016


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The CBeebies Prom at the BBC Proms 2016 (Photo Copyright BBC/Guy Levy)

The Proms provide a very diverse programme, however the majority of concerts are not suitable for very young children. The addition of the Cbeebies Proms addresses this oversight with concerts aimed at 0- to 5-year-olds and their families. Cbeebies is the UK’s leading children’s channel with the presenters being familiar faces to young children and their families.

The concert began with the arrival of a number of presenters including Ben Faulks (Mr Bloom), Gemma Hunt (from ‘Swashbuckle’), Chris Jarvis (from ‘Show Me, Show Me’ and ‘Stargazing’), Andy Day (from Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures), Rebecca Keatley (Let’s Play), Steven Kynman (William Shakespeare) and Cat Sandion (CBeebies presenter). The enthusiastic audience then enjoyed a special Overture of CBeebies theme tunes played by the orchestra with images shown on a number of screens around the hall.

Conductor Jessica Cottis led the BBC Concert Orchestra in this CBeebies Prom with a number of musicians turning up all around the hall before eventually working their way towards the stage.

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The CBeebies Prom at the BBC Proms 2016 (Photo Copyright BBC/Guy Levy)  

The theme of the Prom was that the various presenters and the orchestra would take the audience on a visual and musical journey through time and space, from dinosaur adventures with Andy to swashbuckling treasure-hunts with Gemma and stargazing with Chris. These adventures were accompanied by a series of pieces of classical music with Beethoven’s 3rd Movement Pastorale Symphony, Korngold’s The Sea Hawk, Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights, Peter Maxwell Davies’ An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise and Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra.

Additional fun came courtesy of Cbeebies favourite Justin Fletcher (Mr Tumble) who appeared on the screens to provide clues to the adventure for the cast and the audience.

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Gem (Gemma Hunt) at the BBC Proms 2016 (Photo Copyright BBC/Guy Levy)  

It was the interactive nature of the show which kept the thousands of children and the families entertained, however there were generally  hushed voices when the orchestra went through the various pieces with many children fascinated by the music and the musicians. The appearance of a piper with bagpipes in Peter Maxwell Davies’ An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise was particularly well received. Towards the end, a rather large Tiny Clanger entered the stage to help with the conducting of Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra.

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Tiny Clanger with the BBC Concert Orchestra at the BBC Proms 2016 (Photo Copyright BBC/Guy Levy)  

The Cbeebies Proms is a wonderfully innovative and entertaining way to introduce classical music which allows children and families to enjoy the different aspects of the concert seeing some of Cbeebies presenters live and enjoy music without all the usual restrictions of being quiet and sitting still. Catering for this age group is notoriously difficult and the Cbeebies Prom manages to balance the music and action to satisfy the needs of almost every one in this hour long show.

The Proms are considered one of the greatest music festivals. Some of the best musicians and orchestras in the world with an incredible diversity of music provide wonderful entertainment with tickets at very reasonable levels.

Even though the seats for many of the Proms have sold out, it is still possible to attend if you don’t mind standing in the arena or the gallery. With a large number of tickets available for every Prom at the price of £6, it is one of the bargains of the summer.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and book tickets, visit the Royal Albert Hall website here

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