The Sydney Metropolitan Orchestra and Philharmonic Choir were flawless and fun (unlike the sometimes 'stuffy' SSO and MSO), and while the international bigwigs were in to help (Doctor Who composer Murray Gold and conductor/arranger Ben Foster), it was these performances that made it. Particular kudos must go to soloists Antoinette Halloran and Daniel Bonic-Goodwin (the latter particularly spine-tingling), and while there were elements of pantomime to the proceedings (complete with “I can't hear you, scream louder” moments), the love in the room was infectious.
If you're not already a believer, the appeal is simple: these are ambitious stories supported with amazing attention to detail – particularly lush, playful, ornate music. Organised roughly chronically tonight to allow for different characters' and story arc themes (as well as to allow the 'live' monsters to change), there were sequences that devotees would have already seen elsewhere (such as This Is Gallifrey, a super-mix-up of all the Doctors' regenerations), but also music from the most recent episodes (The Final Chapter Of Amelia Pond). Some favourites might have been given a bit more (The Doctor's Wife and Vincent were eps that seemed sandwiched a bit), but let's face it, two hours was never going to cover it all. Hosted by River Song herself (Alex Kingston) and her 'granddad' Mark Williams, no doubt Santa came early for a few good little (and big) aspiring timelords tonight. A perfect screen-to-stage transition.
WHEN & WHERE: Sydney Opera House to Friday 21 December
This week's new sets include music from locals Gurrumul, Josh Pyke and West Thebarton Brothel Party plus new tunes from The Maccabees and Albert Hammond Jr.