BBC Symphony Orchestra, Milton Court, 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. Sunday 7 October


The BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Ben Palmer will be joined by special guest narrator, Simon Russell Beale and Blue Peter presenter, Lindsey Russell as they take Michael Bond’s Paddington™ on two family-friendly, fun-filled, musical escapades at the Barbican Centre.

This project on Sunday 7 October comes as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations for Paddington Bear, as the brand marks the first publication date of A Bear Called Paddington in 1958.

Introduced by Blue Peter’s Lindsey Russell, with narration from Simon Russell Beale, passages from a new Paddington book, written by Michael Bond, Paddington at St Paul’s, and released by HarperCollins this year will for the first time be interspersed with musical episodes performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, alongside projections of R. W. Alley’s illustrations from the book. To accompany this, Paddington Bear’s First Concert, with music by Herbert Chappell, will also be heard.

Paddington Bear’s First Concert sees this iconic character making his conducting debut in the Royal Albert Hall; and in Paddington at St Paul’s¸ this world famous bear finds himself mistaken for a member of the Choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral during a visit to Sir Christopher Wren’s iconic building.

Making his debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Simon Russell Beale is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed talents in British theatre, featuring most recently in The Death of Stalin (2017) and Into the Woods (2014). Himself a pupil at St Paul’s Cathedral School, he has a personal connection to this unique musical re-working of Paddington at St Paul’s. Blue Peter’s Lindsey Russell also makes her BBC Symphony Orchestra debut, having joined the long-running BBC television programme in 2013.

The 60th anniversary is a celebration of Michael Bond’s wonderful tales of this beloved character from Darkest Peru which are cherished by generations of readers.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra remains committed to its education and outreach work, with this concert marking the first of many family-friendly events to come in their 18/19 season.

The concert will be introduced by Blue Peter’s Lindsey Russell and children attending are encouraged to bring a teddy bear of their choice to the performance.


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