Last night the O2 caused its normal vehicular chaos around the Docklands of Dublin. Arriving on a Luas full of patrons and scumbags alike Tiernan and I made our way hassle-free into the arena. After procuring popcorn – a rather unexpected theatre snack – we made our way up to the second tier and took what I consider to be our prime seating; ready to watch a movie with over two thousand other people.
We were there to see The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers accompanied by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and its over 200 members of orchestra and chorus. As the lights dimmed, the crowd applauded unnecessarily a number of times before greeting conductor with the same enthusiasm they had given nothing only moments before.
The most amazing part of the experience is hearing just how much of the score is not instruments, but human voices. While Frodo, Sam and Gollum were staggering about in marsh lands and falling on top of bog bodies the chorus providing an extraordinary performance while violin bows were contorting.
With Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli traversing the landscapes of rural New Zealand I started to get excited about my trip home next year. Particularly so when you’re surrounded on all sides by Irish people who are chattering to each other about how they would fancy going to New Zealand ‘some day’.
After the intermission I really started taking notice of the chorus of children who sat swiveling to watch the movie until they were finally required to sing while Faramir had Frodo up against a wall in Ithilien. This was well after ten on the day we’d wound back the clocks, so it felt like eleven – fair play to them.
It was like reliving the movies for the first time. I say this because we were dead tired. You really felt the full three hours sitting in a theatre chair rather than your plush living room sofa. Not to say it wasn’t fantastic, because it was, there were moments when you appreciated words like ‘epic’ and ‘journey’.
Like the gentleman on his phone in the intermission said, it was “brilliant” and you were a “[choice word beginning with ‘f’] idiot” for not being there. Speaking of idiots, many people seemed to forget towards the end that they were there to hear the score, and the film was running as a bonus. After the film ended, a few hundred people made for the exit as though the building were alight right in the middle of the lead Sopranos main aria. Other than that part, where I wanted to poke the audience with a long stick and get them to move, I was very impressed.
The RTÉ Concert Orchestra will be playing to Return of the King in 2013.
To see when it will be near you, click here.