Yesterday I watched the Last Night of the Proms on TV. The promenade concerts are a London institution which was established at the end of the 19th century; they are called promenade because like in the Elizabethan theatres, part of the audience stands in the “promenade” areas of the Royal Albert Hall — the best (and at the Last Night the most fun) is probably the arena in front of the orchestra!
The Last Night always ends a season of proms and involves lots of Union-Jack waving, cheerful singing and interaction between the artists and the audience. Now there are also Last Night parties (the Proms in the Park) in other cities of the UK: Swansea, Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester as well as in Hyde Park. So imagine: when they’re playing Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance in the Royal Albert Hall, 100000 people will join in and sing “Land of ho-hope and glooory …”!!! That’s extremely moving — even if you watch the Last Night on TV!
For the next few days, you can also watch this year’s Last Night online: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctwo/programmes/?id=proms