Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Event Review: Prom 41 - Sherlock Holmes: A Musical Mind

Everyone knows Sherlock Holmes. After all, he is the most famous detective of all time. But do you know the music behind the mastermind? That’s what this year’s Prom 41 set out to uncover.

The Prom advertised a solid mix of scores from the various TV and film adaptations over the years, alongside a wider variety of Holmesian music. And that mix was certainly delivered on the day. The scores, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, were interspersed with other relevant musical performances. These included everything from 16th century Dutch church music to French operas, so it turned out to be a very varied programme!

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
In between the music, we were treated to brief narration on the performances and their relation to the great detective by BBC Radio 3’s Matthew Sweet and Mark Gatiss, the current incarnation of Sherlock’s brother Mycroft. While I’m sure this was all well-meaning (there was always going to be some exposition because it was billed as a ‘family’ Prom) I did think it started to detract from the music which, after all, was the whole point. Plus it was obvious Gatiss was only there as a celebrity to help draw crowds, which judging by the array of fans in deerstalkers and ‘I am Sherlocked’ T-shirts, clearly worked.

The crowd wasn’t all teenage fangirls though. Actually it was very varied, with people of all different nationalities and ages. This just proves how much of a global appeal the Sherlock brand has. Sure, a lot of younger people were there due to the current BBC incarnation. But there were also plenty of people who had come to celebrate past Sherlocks too. When Mark Gatiss was introduced I overheard one middle-aged woman whisper to her husband, “Who’s he supposed to be?”

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Did you go to see Prom 41? Are you a fan of Sherlock? Let me know in the comments below!

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