PROM 11 & 12: CBEEBIES PROM – OCEAN ADVENTURE | London, Royal Albert Hall

There is something profoundly wonderful about the 6,000-capacity Royal Albert Hall packed to the rafters with children and families (two performances in one day), screaming at the exciting bits and dancing to the dancey bits, free to enjoy the amazing orchestral music however they choose. An unbelievably high-tech and high concept Prom, specially commissioned music and video design took us on a true underwater adventure.

CBeebies star presenters Andy, Chantelle, Jen, Maddie, Nigel, and Rory joined us live on the Royal Albert Hall stage, which had been transformed into a brightly-coloured submarine, complete with a periscope and video-screen portholes. Each presenter took their own solo adventure to discover marine life: dolphins, penguins, seahorses, starfish, turtles and whales, in order to find out what sound they make. This culminated in a sing-a-long of the “Ocean Adventure Song”, with actions and animal noises.

Conducted by Kwamé Ryan, who joined the presenters as submarine captain, the Southbank Sinfonia and Ocean Adventure Steel Pans played with sparkling energy, tackling everything from the video scenes’ orchestral underscoring to the challenging dissonances and technical effects of Britten and Ravel.

At 75 minutes, this Prom proved a little too long for its main audience (and much longer than the advertised time of 60 minutes). But for those who managed the full run-time, this is truly the crème-de-la-crème of children’s orchestral concerts. Lucky there’s a repeat performance for Prom 12, and it’s been filmed for future broadcast on CBeebies, too: don’t miss it.

Tickets for all 72 Proms are available from just £7.12 on the BBC Proms 2022 website.

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