Directed by Richard Curtis and originally released in 2003, festive favourite Love Actually, follows the lives of eight couples whose stories are intertwined in the lead up to Christmas. Love Actually in Concert consisted of a live orchestra performing Craig Armstrong’s famous score, while the film was projected onto a huge screen.
“The ‘Overture’ gave the audience the opportunity to immerse themselves in the beauty of the score”
Love Actually in Concert was a truly unique experience, and it certainly wasn’t any ordinary film screening. The performance began with the ‘Overture’, which was performed beautifully. This piece really showcased the talent of all members of the orchestra, with use of strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion being used. The ‘Overture’ gave the audience the opportunity to immerse themselves in the beauty of the score, which is often overlooked when watching normal film screenings.
Following the ‘Overture’, the film began with the famous Universal theme tune, which the orchestra actually played. The attention to detail added to the performance hugely; the orchestra literally did perform the entirety of the film, including the introduction. This addition had the audience in hysterics.
One of the highlights of the performance was definitely the wedding scene. At this part of the performance, members of the orchestra synchronised with members of the congregation on the projection of the film who were playing instruments. This element of humour brought the film to life, and definitely made me see it in a new light.
“The live orchestra definitely adds a new dynamic and another layer to ordinary film screenings”
In the case of Love Actually, the presence of a live orchestra worked extremely well. This is because the liveness brought together the stories of the characters and strengthened the links between these characters. I would be really interested in seeing how live orchestras complemented other film screenings. The live orchestra definitely adds a new dynamic and another layer to ordinary film screenings.
“The presence of a live orchestra definitely heightened the emotions felt throughout the performance”
The score allowed the film to move more seamlessly from moments of laughter, to moments of sadness and reflection. The presence of a live orchestra definitely heightened the emotions felt throughout the performance, and really brought the film to life. A particularly heightened moment was at the end of the film when Sam is pursuing Joanna, the love of his life. At the part of the film, the orchestra were playing ‘Glasgow Love Theme’, and the live element of the orchestra heightened my emotions more than the original screening of the film ever had done.
At some points of the performance, the orchestra seemed to overpower the performance space, which unfortunately resulted in me being unable to hear some of the dialogue in the film. However, this can easily be amended by simply lowering the volume at points where the speech is softer.
“The positioning of the orchestra was sometimes off-putting during the performance”
The orchestra were positioned on the stage, with a large projector screen filling the space between the stage floor and the ceiling. The positioning of the orchestra was sometimes off-putting during the performance. I found myself fascinated with the orchestra itself rather than paying attention to the film. However, if the orchestra were positioned in the pit then this positioning would fail to showcase the orchestra as the main element of the performance.
Full of moments of reflection, laughter and happiness- Love Actually in Concert encapsulates life extremely accurately and there is no better way to begin the festive season than by seeing Love Actually in Concert!
Featured Image courtesy of Rosa Morgan.