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Green Light in the City

Review: Return of the Jedi In Concert at the Royal Concert Hall

24 November 21 words: George White

John Williams' legendary score performed live by a full orchestra? Love to see it, we do... 

Is there anything better than watching a Star Wars movie on the big screen? Yes, as it turns out - watching a Star Wars movie on the big screen with an actual live orchestra in the room. If you thought John Williams’ iconic score sounded great in Dolby Atmos, hearing it played in person by dozens of incredibly talented musicians, showcasing everything from the harp to the trumpet, takes things to another level. It is a must for any sci-fi nerd or scruffy-looking nerf herder to experience. 

Sure, Return of the Jedi may not be the best film in the Star Wars series, but from the moment the first blast of the Main Theme fills your ears, you could be watching any instalment from the franchise and be filled with excitement - yes, even The Last Jedi. Seeing the conductor lead his army of musicians with the same level of enthusiasm as the utterly encapsulated crowd is an absolute joy, and a real moment to treasure. 

As the story progresses and you get sucked into a galaxy far, far away, it is easy to forget that there are accomplished artists performing right in front of you, such is the spellbinding nature of Star Wars - but it also speaks to the quality of the musicians, their phenomenal standards perfectly matching the immaculate original score of the movie.

Watching Star Wars is always a magical experience, but there is nothing quite like this

Yet every now and then you will snap back from the film and appreciate the craft of those on stage. Watching each individual performer nail each intricate beat, it is a challenge not to clap your hands and cheer at the end of every musical number. Hearing The Imperial March reverberate through the Royal Concert Hall as Darth Vader strides menacingly through the newly-built Death Star is properly special, and by the time the orchestra has finished its passionate cover of the Main Theme at the end of the final credits, you would be rude not to give a standing ovation. 

Watching Star Wars is always a magical experience, whether on an IMAX screen or on your iPhone, but there is nothing quite like this. So, follow the advice of Arrested Development’s Lucille Bluth and “go see a Star War” - and see it with a live orchestra, if you can.

Return of the Jedi In Concert is, um, returning to the Royal Concert Hall on Wednesday 9 February 2022. 

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