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home alone live

Home Alone Live review

Home Alone Live – Sage Gateshead

~ a guest blog by Mandy Charlton


This now Christmas classic was first released in 1990, a movie about a small boy who get’s left home alone at Christmas, pretty much a simple adventure well told and with a fabulous John Williams soundtrack which has really stood the test of time.

The movie has become iconic and the soundtrack even more so, in hearing that the Royal Northern Sinfonia would be performing Home Alone this Christmas season at Sage Gateshead, I knew I had to be there and I’m so glad I had the chance to attend with my daughter.

Usually when I review concerts I’m on the main floor, this time though, we were on the side balcony hovering about the keyboards and the choir, I can say now, if you get the chance to go to an orchestral performance, that’s the place you need to be. 

I’m not even sure how to start summing up the live performance, in fact it’s taken me a couple of days to get my thoughts together because it was so incredibly phenomenal.

Let’s just take a moment to think about this, the orchestra played the live soundtrack along to the movie, even a second out of sync and it would have been an unmitigated disaster, my brain can’t quite comprehend how it’s even possible to have the choir singing at the exact same time as the church choir in the movie.

Ben Palmer, the conductor is an absolute genius to have expertly conducted that orchestra to sync at the right moments.  Also let’s talk about that John Williams soundtrack, you know, Home Alone is as much about the music as it is about the story, it’s sometimes fast and furious and sometimes a little sad and almost mournful, we really believe at points because of the music that Kevin, our small hero is completely and utterly alone.  It’s actually even more iconic now that I’ve seen it live.  My 14-year-old thought it was magical, particularly the second half with the choir and let me just tell you, teenagers, well they’re the hardest to please of all.  I cried a little in the opening bars, it’s one of those emotional triggers which always makes me tear up thinking about the warmth and traditions of Christmas and when at the end of the movie the choir and orchestra performed a song from the end credits of Home Alone 2, I actually wept throughout because it was so incredible.  I do hope that next year the RNS decide to do Home Alone 2 with a live performance of the soundtrack, you can bet I’ll be there and I shall aim to be in those exact same seats.  The RNS constantly knock my socks off, I’ve never seen a performance I didn’t love and I often joke that they’re so good I’d cheer if they played the alphabet but with Home Alone Live, they outperformed themselves, it was my last RNS show of the year, I’ll be back next year for Broadway Classics and New York, New York and if you’re one of the smart ones, you’ll be making sure that you’re there too!


For further information on what’s on at the Sage Gateshead click here.

~ a guest blog by Mandy Charlton





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