Review | Psycho Live! at the Colston Hall
Undoubtedly Hitchcock's greatest box office achievement, Psycho and it’s original score are ingrained in film history, and rightly so. Hitchcock would later say that "33% of the effect of Psycho was due to the music.” When I heard the score was to be played live in tandem with a showing of the film at Colston Hall, I dusted off my Media Studies GCSE terminology, juxtaposed my binary oppositions and mise-en-scene all the way to the box office.
Fifty years on from its original release and the film still packs a punch. Albeit if the genuine terror that gripped audience of the 1960’ has been replaced with more of a B movie sense of indulgence. For those attending the Colston Hall performance who had not seen the original film, it was an explanation to the stream of parodies and references so familiar from subsequent decades of TV shows and films.
Performed by the British Sinfonietta Orchestra, the sound produced was spectacular. With a small screen showing the film next to conductor Anthony Gabriele - each note matched the on-screen action perfectly.
— SIMON MEADOWS (@MEADOWS_MEDIA) April 11, 2014
Most famous of all, the shower scene, was spot on. Each screeching violin piercing the air and creating a sense of menace that you just wouldn't have experienced anywhere else . Completely engrossing. So engrossing in fact that at times the sense you were watching a live orchestra was lost.
I was rather brutally brought back into my surroundings when a man was ejected from the performance after an altercation with another patron (or as I like to say; a bit of argy-bargy in the rear stalls). Someone made the classic Psycho shower scene noise, everyone clapped. It was the single most British thing that has ever happened. I felt that any minute the guy sat next to me was going to turn around and remind me how good the Olympics were. Luckily the orchestra were not interrupted and the show continued.
Experiencing such acoustically exceptional surroundings as the Colston Hall was a great experience and I could only wish that I had a full orchestra to follow me round and replicate the effect for a number of social situations. Most notably in my own warped mind I believe the intro to The One Show would be improved tenfold performed live.
Overall, the show was quite exceptional and I'd be happy to see more films given the same treatment. Saying that, Psycho is the obvious choice and I'm not sure what you would choose next. Well, that's not strictly true. Jurassic Park. It's obviously Jurassic Park.
As well as from the rapturous applause from the audience a the end of the performance, the event also received the oh so modern seal of approval in the form of the ‘performer selfie’. Deserved.
Viola section selfie with Janet Leigh (Marion) @BSinfonietta #PsychoLive pic.twitter.com/CagGSwv1m2
— Polly Wiltshire (@PollyWiltshire1) April 10, 2014