You’ll never want to use plastics again: Review of Blue Planet II Live at Newcastle Arena
In the absence of any deep sea diving qualifications, Blue Planet II Live is the closest I’ll ever get to exploring the wonders of our seas.
You don’t have to have seen the BBC series to take the plunge and enjoy this immersive two-hour experience which adds a whole new dimension to the Bafta-winning show thanks to a huge 4k Ultra HD screen which spans the width of the stage, forming the backdrop to the incredible talents of the City of Prague Orchestra who perform a stunning live soundtrack conducted by Matthew Freeman.
From the warm azure seas of the Coral Reef to the frosty peaks of the Arctic, this spectacular feast for the eyes and ears takes you on mesmerising trip around the globe, without ever leaving your seat.
Segments from the show are introduced by host Anita Rani, with each scene accompanied by a faultless soundscape of music by Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea and David Fleming.
As if the TV show isn’t captivating enough, there’s something truly magical about seeing Orca and humpback whales in a feeding frenzy in the fjords to the strains of such a stunning score and on such a huge scale.
It helped give the 6,000 hours of underwater footage shot by incredibly-patient wildlife filmmakers from the BBC’s Natural History Unit an almost Shakespearean edge as we see the death and drama of the animal world up close.
You feel yourself really rooting for the charismatic Sally Lightfoot Crab as it scampers along rocks on Brazil’s shoreline in a bid to escape the waiting mouths of Moray eels who lurk beneath the surface.
And you can’t help but feel in awe of the natural beauty of the kaleidoscope of animals, from vibrant octopus to striped pyjama sharks, who call a kelp forest off the coast of South Africa home.
In true Bard style, there’s great pathos too in scenes which show lolloping walrus forced to go on land as their natural habitat slowly melts into the sea due to global warming. These shots in particular, which show both underwater and above water simultaneously, are a true feat of cinematogrophy.
The main man himself David Attenborough makes an appearance, sadly not in person, but on the screen to remind us all of our responsibility to care for our Blue Planet, and all life on earth, an important message that resonates all the more deeply once you’ve been enchanted by Blue Planet Live.