Thursday, 22 May 2008

The Cathcart Spring Proms

Rah-rah-rah! The Spring Proms were last week, and yours truly was there waving her flag, watching as the sponsors in the posh seats got slowly more unruly as the night (and free wine) went on…

The Spring Proms are like the fore-runners to the main event through July to September. They are a sparkly starter to the meat and veg of the BBC Proms, with the Last Night ending the season as the gorgeous chocolate-y pudding. Of course, you have to like Edward Elgar to stomach the Proms, but luckily I do, so off I headed to the Royal Albert Hall with a spring (ta-dah!) in my step.

Much as I love the Royal Albert Hall, you do need a Sherpa to guide you to the seats at the top back, and perhaps fall down oxygen masks on arrival. I feared for the lives of the elderly trying to ascend, it was like watching determined walking sticks conquer the Eiger. Still, once settled, we all were there to have a good time (as we weren’t leaving these seats again in a hurry).

The Spring Proms are hosted by Angela Rippon, and yes, the anecdote about her flashing her legs on the Morecambe and Wise show in 1976 still gets mentioned! She is a very good host though – and even very nicely stopped a heckler in her tracks (one of the sponsors was getting a bit carried away with the free splosh I feeleth, and Angela very nicely said she couldn’t quite hear the words the heckler was saying, but she was sure it was very pertinent all the same), which was a rather nice way of dealing with things. Yes, even the Spring Proms gets a heckler. Shocking.

Being spring – these proms are all about new musicians and composers, new beginnings, and new ways of listening to old classics, with all the fun of the promenade at the end. They had teamed up with the World Wide Fund for Nature, so large screens show animals and nature in harmony while the Royal Philharmonic play their hearts out below. The Eclipse String Quartet were rather fab as well. And the Royal Choral Society sang I Vow To Thee My Country - such a lovely song.

All too soon it ended, and we threw our streamers to drift gently down the several hundred miles to the sponsors on the tables below, who promptly used them as fetching scarves to tangle each other in while cheering uproariously. Rah-rah-rah! Roll on the Last Night…!

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