Danny Elfman – music from the movies of Tim Burton at the Royal Albert Hall

Danny Elfman at the Royal Albert Hall

Let’s be honest, I booked this one because I like going to weird things at the Royal Albert Hall. They are always endlessly entertaining and done to a high standard. I mean, I haven’t seen a Tim Burton movie in years. So on a cold Monday night I rocked up expecting nothing more than some light entertainment.

I got my first inkling that this would be a bit of a different night when I saw every second person dressed up as a Goth Paloma Faith (think 1950’s housewife combined with the corpse bride). But hey, this is London so that level of dressing up on a Monday night is hardly anything too unusual.

I was expecting parts of the score from each Tim Burton movie to be accompanied by the actual scene from the movie. But thankfully it was a bit different and far more artful. At the start of each score they would bring up the name of the movie, and then show scribbles, sketches and artist impressions from the movie. Occasionally there was a scene from the movie itself, but by far the focus was on the music with just enough images to remind you what went on. Better yet, the screens were only full of pictures for the first few bars of the music, after that you were left to just listen.

I guess because the movies had always been the focus I never appreciate how beautiful the score was. Unlike normal classical music it takes you on a journey, it is funny and it made serious use of the theremin.

And then there was the audience. Pretty much everyone in the audience were MAJOR Tim Burton fans. Whenever a new movie title came up there was not only applause, but also stomping and whooping. You couldn’t help but be caught up in the fun.

Then there was the ultimate fanboy moment, Danny Elfman himself (also known as the voice of Jack Skellington, king of Halloweentown in The Nightmare Before Christmas) came out and sang a couple of songs from the movie, with full orchestral accompaniment of course. Then the audience went even crazier with Helena Bonham Carter came out to sing her part of the song.

I have been to a fair few concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, but I have never seen so many standing ovations. The audience were so enraptured by the music and the show that it was a joy to behold.

There is something to be said for going to weird things at the Royal Albert Hall.