In fitting with their long-held reputation, Manchester Camerata’s performance of the soundtrack to Hitchcock’s Psycho is an exquisitely timed and delivered affair. So synchronised with the images that you almost forget they’re there.
The 20+ strong orchestra sits below an elevated screen, audibly enhancing each of the 1960 thriller’s iconic scenes, from stricken showerers and eerie exchanges to the shrill shrieking of the climax. Their skill is partly in remaining unnoticed, an achievement not managed by calamitous drinkers in the seated audience, whose crash bang wallops en route to the bar add unintended percussion to jolting strings. But that trade-off still beats overhearing popcorn munching at the local supermegamultiplex, and isn’t a reflection on the show itself.
The film’s aesthetics may now be dated, but the famous director’s cinematic touches and penchant for tension felt at home in the Grade II-listed splendour of Albert Hall’s renovated interior.
RAD Screenings’ next event takes place on Sunday 27 November at Gorilla, featuring The Monster Squad and Night of the Creeps.