Sunday 23 March 2008

Heroes and Superheroes Noisy Kids concert by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, London

Performed by a 85-piece orchestra made up of some of Britain's finest musicians, Heroes and Superheroes is an 75-minute concert with a childish twist - a compere banters with the deadpan conductor between each piece and chivvies the audience of young families into doing dance routines and even singing. Members of the orchestra, dressed up as Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman and Captain America, come to the front of the stage to help with the sometimes overly-long audience-participation routines. The music itself, as you would expect from an orchestra of this calibre, is played impeccably and with panache. The pieces, which include Rossini's William Tell overture, Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Williams' Superman theme, are well known and accessible enough to get toddlers' attention. The Royal Albert Hall is a distinguished and grandiose circular venue packed with maroon seats, boxes and ornate Victorian trimmings. Avoid booking tickets in the arena, which is directly in front of the stage, but is too low to provide a good view of the orchestra. Five family seats in the stalls, which offer a much better view, come to a total of just £20. This kind of concert is an ideal way to give young children a taste of the rarefied world of live classical music. 8/10