Review of 'Christmas with Alan Titchmarsh'


A last minute ticket offer had us visiting the Royal Festival Hall for a performance of Christmas carols by the London Philharmonic Choir and the London Concert Orchestra, hosted by television celebrity (and keen gardener) Alan Titchmarsh. Titchmarsh did an admirable job providing light touch introductions to the various pieces, directing the audience when our participation was required (which was a lot more often than we expected though, thankfully, did not involve us having to stand up and sit down all the time) and providing the narration for “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. The orchestra and choir were on top form for this feel-good evening of classical carol music. There were several montage pieces performed by the orchestra that gave the audience and choir a bit of a break from singing. The baritone Grant Doyle provided vocals for several songs and had a wonderfully smooth voice though suffered a bit with insufficient amplification that was quickly sorted out.

Titchmarsh was quite warm throughout with only one or two dips into politics (despite a general election having just been held two days prior). This was an evening simply to listen to the familiar carols played exquisitely and occasionally sing along. Not a huge concert event full of virtuoso performances, but a pleasant and relaxing evening.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2019-12-14

Royal Festival Hall

Location: London (England)

Address: Southbank Centre Belvedere Road London SE1 8XX

Public Transport: TUBE Embankment TUBE Waterloo NRLOGO Waterloo

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7960 4200


Opened as part of the “Festival of Britain” in 1951, the SouthBank Centre is forever reinventing itself with cutting-edge, contemporary as well as classic entertainment and social commentary. Looking a bit dated the venue is always busy with a number of restaurants below the terrace by the river and beside it as well as regular food market behind the building on Belvedere Road. Great, though small, gift shop too. To me it is almost like a university campus at times…