Jurassic Park, Portsmouth Guildhall, review: ‘a roaring success’

Jurassic Park was at Portsmouth Guildhall.
Jurassic Park was at Portsmouth Guildhall.

With a career spanning seven decades, John Williams’ compositions had added an air of menace to a rubber shark in 1975 and grandeur to a certain space opera two years later. 

Among his best loved work is the score for Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, which is marking its 25th anniversary.

As part of the celebrations, the Czech National Orchestra has undertaken a UK tour of the film with an HD restoration and more than forty musicians on stage.

It seems to be an increasingly popular format in a live setting, but I must admit to a little apprehension in advance.

Would the musicians drown out the dialogue and should my attention be on the orchestra rather than the screen itself?

I needn’t have worried.

The enduring spectacle of the movie coupled with the immersive experience of the music unfolding in front of you led to an enhanced enjoyment of the film.

The orchestra’s enthusiastic conductor added to the sense of occasion, and while there were a few moments where the sound of the film itself was obscured, it was hardly detrimental to the narrative itself. 

The performance also underlined the subtlety of Williams’ score, with long sections only requiring small flourishes of music.

The audience reaction indicated the evening had been a roaring success.