‘At Christmas, you tell the truth’ – and just like Mark on his confession cards, I will do just that and proudly say that Love Actually in Concert, is nothing short of perfection.
Love Actually in Concert was at York Barbican yesterday evening (Wednesday).
I don’t believe I have met a person alive who hasn’t watched and loved this iconic Christmas Film, which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year. (Doesn’t that make you feel old!)
Full of tales of love, friendship, unforgettable characters and of course Christmas joy, Richard Curtis’ film is a smash hit and will forever stand the test of time.
If you were to ask me what could make this film better, before yesterday I would have simply responded: absolutely nothing. However, once you have experienced the soundtrack brought to life by a superb live orchestra, it makes the impossible possible and this movie even more special.
The talented musicians took on every genre and quintessential melody and did not disappoint; they became just as important as the stars in the film themselves. Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant, step aside – there’s a new enchanting focus to this film that you can’t tear your eyes away from.
Whether it’s the string section, including a beautiful harpist who rose to the challenging and enduring score, or the drummer performing the unforgettable drum solo in the ‘All I Want For Christmas’ school concert, they all had their moment to shine. Under the direction of conductor George Jackson, they carried out each piece with love, care and an abundance of talent.
A particular moment of delight was during the ‘All You Need Is Love’ wedding scene, where the trumpets, trombones and electric guitar mirrored the beautiful surprise in the film itself, rising to the occasion (literally) – you could not help but grin ear to ear. And these emotions came in waves, the biggest being the illusive necklace scene which leaves everyone’s hearts aching on behalf of Emma Thompson. Hearing Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’ accompanied live only made the tears flow faster, tears that revisited at each emotional musical crescendo.
We all know the memorable sample of music, which accompanies every romantic and uplifting moment in the film, and to hear this live was beautiful. Each theme amalgamating into an outstanding soundtrack; a personal favourite of mine is the Prime Minster’s Love Theme, which performed live was an explosion of passion and it does what it says on the tin – you cannot help but fall in love with it.
From the moment the phenomenal Overture began – a welcome addition to this live viewing – the audience knew they were going to be a part of something special and the standing ovation as the performance concluded cemented that truth.
Whilst this may be a one night only event in York, I recommend attending this sensational night of entertainment if you get the chance as it tours up and down the country. As an audience you will laugh, cry and be amazed together, it’s not to be missed. Love Actually in Concert… ‘to me you are perfect!’
The Love Actually in Concert UK tour concludes on Saturday 9 December at London’s Eventim Apollo.
Take a look at what else is coming up at York Barbican at their website.