So over the bank holiday weekend we travelled down to the Royal Albert Hall to watch the Cbeebies Prom. This prom has been a long time coming for us. The Cbeebies prom from 2014 gets watched an awful lot in our house, it could even be the most watched thing on our Tivo box. While walking around Hyde Park last autumn, we spied the Albert Hall and the sight of this building spurred on so much excitement by Betsy, we vowed to take her there for a concert as soon as we could.
Buying tickets was a bit like getting tickets for Glastonbury festival according to Dave, but eventually, after being on the phone for about 40 minutes, we got some seats. They were high up, but we had a box all to ourselves which made me more excited than it should have. Betsy wanted to sit in the arena – the area right in front of the stage, but as those tickets don’t go on sale until the morning before the performance, neither Dave or I wanted to risk not getting tickets. So up high we were!
Betsy couldn’t have been more excited in the morning for the Prom. We aimed to get there for when the doors opened to soak up the atmosphere and I think most people had the same thought. Some of the queues were particularly long, I think because lots of buggies and prams were being put away, but the door number that you are advised to go through on your ticket is a guideline and we nipped into door 10 and got to our seat a good 20 minutes earlier than we would have done had we queued through our “proper” door, door 9.
We were in a fairly quiet corridor and when you walked though the door to our box you were hit by the noise and the heat and the light of the Hall. It was a very special moment and it was slightly overwhelming for just a moment.
Both Arthur and Betsy were transfixed by the sight before them.
The atmosphere was electric and when the Cbeebies presenters walked on one by one, it felt like the entire auditorium was going to explode with excitement. Betsy absolutely LOVES Rebecca and she was so pleased to see her walking about just below us.
You see that face above? That face didn’t change the whole time we were there. She was enthralled, clapping and cheering along with the presenters and intensely listening to the music. Even Arthur happily sat on my lap for the duration of the show. The prom started like the 2014 one, with a medley of Cbeebies shows theme tunes. I think the Octonauts theme possibly got the biggest cheer of the day? Actually, that could have been for Mr Tumble, or maybe the appearance of Tiny Clanger towards the end. Everyone had a blast. It was fun seeing children and parents alike doing the Swashbuckle salute together and the bit where Andy talks about how Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights is actually about dinosaurs (and it totally sounds like dinosaurs stomping around!) was genuinely funny. The only thing that fell slightly flat was the conga at the end. It looked chaotic and the rhythm of Conga del fuego nuovo shifted a bit too much for the children to get into, but it wasn’t enough to dampen the moods of the crowd.
Outside the Albert Hall after the show, if you were lucky,you could spot Ubercorn and Grandmaster Glitch (they’re from Go Jetters in case you’re interested. I still don’t know if I like this show – why only have one female character in the whole thing? – but it does have the best theme tune). If you were really, really incredibly luckily and applied for some free Proms Extra tickets and then by some amazing brilliance you got said tickets, you got to meet a few more characters, do some crafting and make some instruments and dance in a cèilidh. Betsy managed to have a dance with Elmo from the Furchester Hotel which made this old Sesame Street viewer very happy. Alex Winters, who used to do a lot of presenting on Cbeebies, read stories and hi-fived kids. Fun fact! He has a campervan called Betsy.
It’s things like Proms Extra that make me very willing to pay for the TV licence.
It was such a good day. I shouldn’t really have gone, I was super full of cold and felt terrible, but I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. Wouldn’t have missed listening to some wonderful music in the most amazing setting, most definitely would not have missed it to see how much my own children absorbed this massive wedge of culture and fun. I hope there’s not another two year wait for the next Cbeebies prom.