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Casino Royale

Trip Aces

On Saturday, I headed to the Royal Albert Hall for something pretty special: a screening of Casino Royale (2006 flavour) with live score by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

The place was filled with happy, excited Bond fans from all over the world; I heard a group of Scandinavians in the lobby having a very animated discussion of which I understood only 'Timothy Dalton'.

An email from the venue had stated that the dress code was '007 inspired', and there were plenty of attendees in black tie, putting my SPECTRE polo shirt to shame. I saw Thunderball and A View to a Kill T-shirts, and a tiny little boy in a tux (I hope he enjoyed the torture scene).

Before the screening there was a Q&A with composer David Arnold, in which he talked about his love of Bond and his experience writing the scores for five Bond films, from Tomorrow Never Dies up to Quantum of Solace. Then it was into the action.

I didn't realise quite how much the live music would add to the experience, but it was wonderful to hear and watch. Seated in the circle, I was almost above the conductor; I could see the small screen in front of him showing the movie and electronic cues, and catch the subtle movement he made as he geared up for the swooping 'Vesper' love theme.

My favourite thing to watch, though, was one of the violinists, who was turning his head to enjoy the film every chance he got.

I also loved the gusto with which the orchestra swung into the Bond theme over the closing credits, accompanied by David Arnold on guitar.

No effort had been spared to make it a tasteful and memorable occasion. Aston Martin had even sent along a DB5, which was sitting smugly outside behind ropes. Everything was just lovely, including a custom INTERMISSION screen with the O forming part of the 007 logo.

Casino Royale in Concert


Sounds an awesome evening hun.
Afternoon, actually - I went to the matinee (which meant I was at the world's very first performance)!
While browsing on Twitter I came across this piece about Fleming material no yet used for Bond on screen
Oh, nice - I am absolutely on board with regard to Moonraker.
I quite like the idea of Bond brainwashed into killing M. Though the author of the article misses an obvious beat in how to set it up.
You're ahead of me; I'm terrible at plotting films.
The writer emphasizes that it would only work if the previous film ended on a cliffhanger. Surely the capture of Bond would be the pre-titles sequence.
Ooh, a la Die Another Day? Yes!
Argh please don't remind me of that terrible film. But yes... Do it more along the lines of the Avengers episode Stay Tuned early on and build on it there
Nope, sorry, I rewatched DAD recently and everyone must share the pain!
Are you a gluten for punishment?
...now that's not even Moore-level punning.
That sounds awesome!
Yeah - I'm still grinning about it! So glad I went.
This definitely does sound cool! I went to a screening of The Last Man on Earth (1964, Vincent Price) on a similar principle a few years ago, where someone had written their own soundtrack for it played mainly on a laptop and synth. But I never really did understand on that occasion, and still don't now, how they suppressed the music in the original film without suppressing all the dialogue. I don't suppose you got any insights into that from Casino Royale, did you?
No - I was wondering this too. I guess the music and dialogue are on different tapes/modern tape equivalent? That would allow for dubbing, as well.

(The orchestra was so good I initially suspected them of miming.)
Yeah, they must be separable somehow. It's a mystery to me, though! Glad the orchestra wowed you so comprehensively. :-)
I'm now wondering why they don't do a Bond Prom, especially given the success of the Who one...
True, that would be cool. Maybe a bit more logistically tricky, as they'd want to use music written by a wider range of different people. But I'm sure that's not insurmountable.