Jaws Live in Concert review: The BBC Concert Orchestra bring Spielberg’s classic, Jaws, to life at The Royal Albert Hall.

Jaws Live in Concert review by Kat Hughes. 

Jaws live in concert
Jaws Live in Concert Review

If you say the film title Jaws to pretty much anyone, they will inevitably start humming that theme music.  Much like PsychoJaws is one of those rare films whose score is so iconic, everyone can instantly recall it. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise then that The Royal Albert Hall are including Jaws in their latest programme of live concert events. Previous seasons have included Jurassic Park and Aliens; this year, alongside Jaws, are The Addams Family and Fantasia . The shows are always a winner with audiences as it gives them an opportunity to witness their favourite film unfold on a massive projector screen whilst accompanied by a live orchestra. At the helm of the BBC Concert Orchestra for the duration of the Jaws shows, is conductor Dirk Bossé. We caught the first performance yesterday and found it, as always, to be a truly wonderful experience.

Jaws, the film that has inspired several generations’ fear of sharks, is a classic Steven Spielberg film, one that is just as respected today as it was upon release in 1975. For those unfamiliar with the story, it’s a rather simple one. Amity is an island that relies on summer tourism to keep it going. However, just as summer is about to get into full swing, a rogue Great White Shark claims Amity as it’s territory and starts to munch on locals and tourists alike. Seeking to rid his home of the sea-dwelling beast, Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) charters a hunting party with kooky local fisherman Quint (Robert Shaw) and Oceanographer and shark enthusiast, Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss). The three men find themselves in an unenviable battle with twenty-five feet and three tons of pure killing power.

Jaws Live in Concert Review

Over forty years later, Spielberg’s classic is still making audiences jump. During the live screening, several people sat around us literally jumped out of their seats as the great white suddenly appeared on screen. There was the odd scream here and there too, proof that this is one film that will never not be scary. Then there was the spontaneous round of applause as Scheider utters that immortal line – ‘You’re going to need a bigger boat’. It is these moments, along with the live score, that makes these screenings so special. Suddenly you are in a room full of like-minded fans, and that generates a great sense of community. Should you attend though, do remember to be respectful to the film and those around you, some folks in our screening got a little too carried away and almost spoilt a few of the quieter moments – people are there to hear the score after all.

Speaking of the score, the orchestra really does bring the film alive and offers audiences over-familiar with the movie a chance to see Jaws with new eyes (and ears). The spine really does tingle the first time you hear that first ‘Duh-Dun’ live. Outside of the shark theme, however, there isn’t really a great amount of score, this is great for the orchestra who get plenty of time to rest, but might leave some folks feeling a little short-changed. When they do play though, the orchestra injects new life into the classic, especially the shark and action scenes, plus hearing one of John Williams’ most iconic scores live is a true treat.

Jaws Live in Concert review by Kat Hughes, October 2017.

Jaws Live in Concert runs at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October 2017.

Jaws live in Concert