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The Titfield Thunderbolt
Heisenberg might have stayed here
What makes the Proms so great is that, every now and then, they dare to be a bit different. Last year I went to see the wonderful Prom re-creating the music at the Coronation of King George II in 1727. The same air of "music-theatre" - although less formal - was present at the Prom of Great British Film Music on Saturday 16 August.

The darker music naturally gravitated around - directly, presciently or in the shadow of - the Second World War, with "The Cruel Sea", the "Warsaw Concerto" (brilliantly executed by Philip Fowke - for once I was near the front of the arena and I've never heard the piano so clearly) contrasted with "Things To Come", "Oliver Twist" and "Richard III". But the Prom also extended from the sublime to the ridiculous, with the percussion department of the BBC Concert Orchestra demonstrating that a straw boater and pigtails are every bit as essential as the triangle when it comes to "The Belles of St Trinians".

We were also treated to "Murder on the Orient Express" - on which occasion Timothy West beat the prommers to the cry of "they all did it!" - and a demonstration of the versatility of John Barry, from "The Lion in Winter" with its clipped Latin incantation through to "Goldfiner". Unlike Bond, the audience was stirred, but not shaken.

All that was really missing from this Prom was an encore - I'm sure the audience would have lapped up "The Dam Busters" or Monty Norman's original Bond theme - but, like Oliver, and in the best theatrical tradition, we were definitely left wanting more.


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