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  • Writer's pictureFrances

Space Spectacular Review | The Bridgewater Hall | Manchester

“5…4…3…2…1…Thunderbirds are go!”

Opening with Richard Strauss’s Sunrise AKA 2001: A Space Odyssey, Manchester Concert Orchestra combine classical and contemporary scores to form a mesmerising concert that sprinkles stardust over its captivated audience. Performances by the Manchester Concert Orchestra are always enthralling, but this dynamic production attracts a diverse audience that helps introduce classical music to a mainstream audience.

A selection of iconic and unexpected film and television scores are shaped by conductor Pete Harrison who stops to expands our knowledge of the songs with excerpts about the pieces picked. Audiences were even asked to help recreate the Thunderbirds theme tune in a loving rendition I could have listened to on repeat.

Celebrating the magic of music in a playful and inventive collection, the orchestra includes tracks from Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and Apollo 13. Most notable is 5-time Oscar winner, John Williams work, bringing absorbingly atmospheric moments with scores from Star Wars, Close Encounter, E.T and Superman.

Listening to tracks that are heavily bonded to particular scenes, stripped back helps capture your imagination in a new way. The musical concert not only gives a new appreciation for the composers but connects the audience through its conductor. Harrison brings poignancy, humour and playfulness through the use of reveals that included an extra appearance from Darth Vader, equipped with lightsaber.

The hypnotising layers of spotlights, lasers and indoor fireworks are probably best seen from the circle or gallery as most hovered above the heads of the stall level seating. Though, sat closer to the stage the visuals surrounding the Bridgewater did not disappoint. The pyrotechnics were the cherry on the cake for a show that offers such a relaxed atmosphere. I highly recommend you sit in on any Halle performance but the Space Spectacular includes a collection of time travelling tracks that are truly timeless.

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