Daleks invade the Proms (while earthlings pay £250 for a ticket) - News - Classical - The Independent

Daleks invade the Proms (while earthlings pay £250 for a ticket)

It's not every day that Prom-goers start queuing for tickets at five in the morning, but then it's not often that the Tardis lands at the Royal Albert Hall.

Demand for yesterday's Doctor Who prom was so high that the waiting list for pre-booked tickets hit the 3,000 mark. Those unwilling to join the early-morning queues might have headed to eBay, where seats were selling for as much as £250 each by the end of last week. Only the tickets for the Last Night of the Proms were selling for more.

Margaret Lewis and her three children, Katie, Thomas and Oliver, had risen at four in the morning to drive to London from their home near Maidstone, Kent, in order to make sure they could get some of the 500 £5 tickets up for grabs on the day. They were rewarded by being the first in the queue.

"My favourite characters are the Daleks," said George, who passed the time by carefully constructing a Dalek mask out of a white paper bag and a straw. His elder sister, Katie, shyly confessed to being particularly enamoured of the Doctor himself, currently played by David Tennant. "Katie was up earlier than all of us straightening her hair," revealed her mother.

The concert, hosted by the actress Freema Agyeman, who plays one of the Doctor's sidekicks, Martha Jones, was part of the drive to make the annual Proms season more inclusive. Combining popular pieces including parts of Holst's Planets Suite and Wagner's The Ride of the Valkyries with scores from the TV series, the 1,400-strong audience gasped when a host of aliens and horrifying creatures marched into the hall through the crowds. The announcement at the start of the concert forbidding photography was soon forgotten. Hosting a concert using the popular appeal of such a mainstream programme has left the BBC open to accusations of dumbing down, a charge vehemently denied by festival director and BBC Radio 3 controller Roger Wright.

Speaking shortly before yesterday's show he said: "I think once people saw what was in the programme, they backed down. It's hard to talk about dumbing down when we're hosting a concert for families that include pieces by Holst, Wagner and Prokofiev."

The charges held little sway with the crowd either. "I think it's an absurd notion," said Sarah Carley, a music teacher from Kent. "You've got to make classical music accessible, and it has to be interesting for children."

The Doctor himself missed the prom, so a specially filmed 10-minute video had to suffice. David Tennant was unable to attend in person because he is currently playing Hamlet for the RSC in Stratford. Speaking from a giant television screen to the crowds, the time-travelling Doctor boasted: "I was at the first Proms in 1895. Played the tuba, I was brilliant."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Time and time again: the popular daytime quiz has been a fixture on Channel 4 since 1982

TV
Arts and Entertainment

To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthday

books
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams is reportedly competing with Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss for a major role in True Detective

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sam Smith returned to the top spot with his album 'In The Lonely Hour'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall is set to dance with Ola Jordan on Strictly Come Dancing. 'I have a friend who's a dancer and she said to me 'You want Ola because she's a fantastic dancer and she can make anyone look good' meaning 'even you'!' he said.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sting and Paul Simon on stage together at Carnegie Hall in New York

music
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 contestants and their professional dance partners open the twelfth run of the celebrity ballroom contest

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin teaches Clara to shoot an arrow
doctor who
Arts and Entertainment
Queen Christina left the judges baffled with her audition
X Factor
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week