Visiting Prague for @DavidGArnold’s concert in June

David Arnold has been appearing ‘live in concert’ at some beautiful cities in Europe and this June (5th) he’ll be the special guest of Film Music Prague for a concert of his music. If you’re not already living in Prague but wondering how to get then there this post is for you.

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David Arnold: Live in Concert with Film Music Prague
5 June 2016,  7pm
Tickets and info:
Click to find the current time in Prague (they are one hour ahead of the UK)

By train
The best resource for travelling the world by train is The Man in Seat 61 and this is the page for visiting the Czech Republic:

If you’re in London a train journey would likely start with the Eurostar to Brussels, then either an overnight or day train via Cologne to Prague. The Seat 61 site has information on the fastest, most leisurely and cheapest options (obviously booking in advance helps here), as well as plenty of useful background information on hotels, travel insurance, currency and things like that (see other information below).

By boat / ferry
You can also start your journey to Europe by ferry from Newcastle (to Amsterdam), Hull (to Rotterdam) or Harwich (to Hook of Holland / Hoek) before continuing across land by train. The ideal option should you wish to travel with your pet dog (they’re not permitted on Eurostar).

By aeroplane
Václav Havel Airport Prague (Letiště Václava Havla Praha) airport is six miles from Prague city centre and its three letter acronym is PRG. Non-stop flights from London take just under two hours (Ryanair, Wizz Air, easyJet, British Airways) and connecting flights from London (KLM, Air France etc) obviously take a bit longer.

Other information
But I don’t speak Czech…

Can you really get around only speaking English?‘ – TripAdvisor forum post suggesting that English is widely spoken in hotels, less so but still a bit elsewhere but you’ll likely find someone who can help. Doesn’t hurt to find out how to pronounce hello, please and thank you though 🙂 Google Translate’s page has a little speaker icon which lets you hear the translated word. Here’s how to say Hello in Czech.

Travel and health insurance
Seat 61’s page on travel and health insurance
NHS England’s page on using your free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get care when in the Czech Republic, and what to watch out for.

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The Music of David Arnold – Lucerne, Switzerland with Ludwig Wicki and @21stOrchestra

Note: there may be some discounted tickets available for David Arnold’s concert in Lucerne, Switzerland on 23 October 2015.

Last summer I went to see (and hear) Star Trek: Into Darkness at the Royal Albert Hall, with an orchestra performing Michael Giacchino’s score, in time with the picture. It was amazing. The orchestra was the 21st Century Orchestra and they were conducted by Ludwig Wicki.

This October, the 21st Century Orchestra with Wicki conducting, will perform “The Music of David Arnold” in Lucerne, Switzerland and David will be a special guest at the event. They’ll be playing David’s music from films including Godzilla, Stepford Wives, Paul, Stargate, Independence Day and the James Bond movies. Having seen the conductor, orchestra and also David in concert before I predict that this will also be amazing 🙂

But if you can’t wait until October, and you’re a bit nearer England, good news – David is performing and hosting another four concerts this year (Manchester* on Tue 14 April and London, Birmingham and Nottingham in June).

*Win a pair of tickets to the Manchester concert [competition open until 5pm, 7 April 2015]

The Music of David Arnold – in Lucerne, Switzerland

KKL (Kultur und Kongresszentrum) Luzern, Konzertsaal
// Culture and Congress Centre, Lucerne, Concert Hall
Friday 23 October 2015, 7.30pm
21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Ludwig Wicki, Leitung // Conductor
Info and tickets:

Thanks to Google Translate I’ve (nearly) been able to translate the German text, though it enthusiastically over-translated the already-in-English film title ‘Last of the Dogmen‘ into ‘Last of the Dogmas‘ 😉

English translation (original German version in link above)

“With bombastic compositions to “Stargate”, “Last of the dogmas” [Last of the Dogmen], “Independence Day” and “Godzilla” David Arnold stormed the large-scale Hollywood cinema. From 1997 to 2008 he was ‘Composer on Her Majesty ‘s Secret Service’ for the Bond adventure, including for “Tomorrow Never Dies”, “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace”.

But the charismatic Briton can do other things. He wrote, for example, the [music for the] surreal dramedy “The Stepford Wives” and the slapstick “Paul” lively, dramatic and ‘funky’ sounds.

In short: David Arnold’s film music scene is as diverse as contemporary cinema itself [and we] are pleased and honored that we do not only portray this versatile composer, but also may be on the concert stage of the KKL Luzern with him.

Take the train and save!
Take advantage of the SBB RailAway 20% discount on the train journey and a voucher of CHF 10.00 for a CD with the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra. The discounted train ticket you get at the ticket counter. More information about the RailAway offer

If you travel by public transport to the KKL Lucerne!
The KKL Luzern is located right next to the train station and from there easily in 2 minutes walking distance. For the best connections visit SBB [English-language site selected, pick from DE, FR or IT in the menu at the top].

Original German language version:

Other travel options

This is the page for travel in Switzerland from the Man in Seat 61 which gives information about train travel within and beyond Europe, eg it’s possible to get from London to Switzerland for £57.

This is an unofficial fan website but you can sign up for updates and follow on this website on Twitter @DGAUnofficial. David Arnold’s on Twitter at @DavidGArnold 🙂

If you’re near London, go & see @MadeInDagenham the musical (music by David Arnold)


Made in Dagenham the musical is quite remarkable and thoroughly lovely, and I highly recommend it.

If you can get a seat in the stalls I recommend that too (or make sure you bring a pound coin for the wee opera glasses because the set is really clever (by Bunny Christie – she’s nominated for a What’s On Stage award, more on that later)) and worth a good gawp just for itself, and the story is true, dramatic, touching and extremely funny – perhaps surprisingly so, given that it’s a story of inequality in the workplace.

And there’s loads of great music in it from David Arnold. Plenty of the sort of catchy tunes that people hum in the interval and on the way out. There was a lot of humming and la-la-la-ing of the rousing ‘Everybody Out’ during the interval when I was there (you can hear some of the songs on Made In Dagenham’s YouTube channel).

My favourite song in the musical (the beautiful ‘We nearly had it all’) is also one which David Arnold sang at his recent concert in Dublin and which Gemma Arterton sings (as Rita O’Grady) in the show.

Ah, it’s properly lovely 🙂

Another song I particularly like is a cleverly layered song which had the line ‘storm clouds on the horizon in it’ (I don’t know the names of the songs), also a light-hearted song in the first half which is sung by one of the factory women who can never seem to find quite the right word. That one made me laugh a lot but the whole show is great fun and extremely witty.

But it’s only on until 11 April 2015 (at the Adelphi, on the Strand) … so don’t miss it and, a few days after Made In Dagenham ends, David will be performing his next concert, in Manchester (14 April).

What’s On Stage awards

Made in Dagenham is nominated for four awards:

  • Best New Musical – Made in Dagenham
  • Best Actress in a Musical – Gemma Arterton
  • Best Set Design – Bunny Christie
  • Best Lighting Design – Jon Clark

You can cast your vote (it’s free) here:

Getting to Made in Dagenham / Adelphi theatre

Well obviously I am going to recommend you arrive at the Adelphi by ferry (closest piers for Thames Clippers ferries are either Embankment (closest) or London Eye) although the RV1 bus (Tower Hill to Aldwych / Covent Garden) is also good for seeing the sights. Basically head for the Waterloo / Covent Garden / Charing Cross area, the theatre’s opposite the Savoy Hotel.

And if you’re in the market for a non-fancy pre-show cheese sandwich I also recommend the Crown Cafe (136 Strand, on the same side as Somerset House / King’s College London). Other sandwich solutions also available.

See Adelphi Theatre on Google Maps.

Book tickets:

This is an unofficial website.



David Arnold’s next concerts are in April, with @MancCamerata, at @BridgewaterHall on 14th & @liverpoolphil on 21st

Above is a video recorded by David McAlmont, of him singing ‘Play Dead’ with the orchestra during the Dublin concert rehearsals for the evening’s performance.

Visitors to Dublin’s National Concert Hall on Thursday 22 January 2015 were treated to a fantastic, sold-out and enthusiastically-received-with-multiple-standing-ovations (see the Storify of all the lovely tweets about the event) orchestral concert of David Arnold’s music from his work in film, television (Sherlock), Olympics (closing ceremonies) and the musical Made in Dagenham (whose six month run in London has been extended for a couple of weeks to 11 April).

The music is fantastic to start with and the orchestra (RTÉ Concert Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Dodd) and choir (New Dublin Voices) were utterly brilliant. I’m not sure how many in the audience (other than me) had also seen the concert in London but it was a delightful surprise to have David McAlmont back again to sing a couple of David A’s songs (you can hear David McA singing in the YouTube clip above).

National Concert Hall, Dublin - during David Arnold's concert

If you missed the Dublin show (commiserations!) and might consider travelling to England then the good news is that there are another five shows coming up, in England, between April and June. Possibly the most straightforward location for those coming from Ireland or Northern Ireland is Liverpool thanks to the ferry* connections but obviously flights go all over the place as well.

The five concerts are Manchester (14 April), Liverpool (21 April – cancelled, London (18 June), Birmingham (26 June) and Nottingham (28 June). All start at 7.30pm except London which starts at 8.

David Arnold’s next two concerts


Bridgewater Hall
Tuesday 14 April 2015, 7.30pm
£26.50 to £44.50 (+£2 booking fee[1]), £72 for VIP package

[1] “Bridgewater Hall booking fees: No fee applies to tickets bought in person and paid for by cash or cheque or bought as part of a fixed or flexible subscription.  Tickets bought in person at the Box Office using a debit card or credit card are subject to a 2% booking fee.”

Box Office: 0161 907 9000
Book Online 
In person: The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3WS

Liverpool (cancelled)

Philharmonic Hall
Tuesday 21 April 2015, 7.30pm—liverpool
£24.50 to £50 (+£1.50 booking fee[2])

[2] “Philharmonic Hall Booking Fees: £1.50 per ticket administrative fee applies for online ticket orders, + 75p per order postage fee (if required).  As The Philhamonic Hall currently do not have an in-person booking facility due to the major refurbishment of Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Booking Fees are waived for debit card transactions by telephone.”

Box Office: 0151 709 3789
Book Online


Stena run ferries from Ireland or Northern Ireland to England including: Dublin to Holyhead, Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead or Belfast to Liverpool (they also run ferries from Rosslare to Fishguard [Wales] and Belfast to Cairnryan [Scotland]) – Stena: Ferries to Britain

Irish Ferries run Dublin to Holyhead (and also Rosslare to Pembroke [Wales]) – Irish Ferries to Britain

P&O Ferries run a Dublin to Liverpool service – P&O Ferries Dublin to Liverpool (not sure if this is part of SailRail)

Journey times from Dublin to Holyhead are typically 3h+ in winter but in the Spring / Summer months (including April!) the ferries also use faster catamarans which get you across in under 2 hours (though these are more susceptible to weather problems).

I travelled to David’s Dublin gig from London using the SailRail scheme, with a ferry from Holyhead to Dublin [Irish Ferries there] and back [with Stena] via train from Euston – information from the Man in Seat 61 website: Ireland (& Northern Ireland).


Liverpool John Lennon Airport
Manchester Airport


The TrainLine
Departure Boards (for real-time train information, more useful nearer the time of travel)

UK travellers heading to David Arnold’s Dublin concert – try SailRail (from any UK station), from £39

Yes flying is quicker but for those who like mildly heroic journeys involving ground-level scenery, trains and ferries then the SailRail option, highlighted on the The Man in Seat 61‘s website might be of interest if you’re heading to David Arnold’s concert in Dublin next Thursday 22 January at the National Concert Hall.

The entire journey from London to Holyhead (train) then ferry (with Irish Ferries) to Dublin then back again (with Stena Line ferries) to Holyhead then London via Chester costs £80.50 (tickets 2x£39 + £2.50 booking fee).

“You can buy cheap SailRail tickets between any rail station in Britain and any rail station in Ireland, covering train travel to the port, ferry to Ireland & onward trains in Ireland, all on one ticket.” From: How to travel by train & ferry from London to Dublin & Ireland

Online booking form:
(I found my tickets by selecting Irish Ferries on outward journey and Stena Line on return)
Phone: 0906 2000 500 (costs £1.02/min from BT landlines)

Day 147 - When the Boat Comes In
I get to travel on this on the way out – Ulysses (Irish Ferries). It’s quite big.

Now to find a hotel that’s near-ish to both the ferry ports and the National Concert Hall!

This is an unofficial website.

Example journey from London to Dublin

Outward journey £39 with reserved seats on train
London Euston (depart, train) 9.10am
Holyhead (arrive): 12.50
Holyhead (depart, ferry): 14.20
Dublin Port – Irish Ferries (arrive): 17:25

Return journey £39 with reserved seats on both trains
Dublin Port – Stena ferries* (depart, ferry): 8.20am
Holyhead (arrive): 11.50am
Holyhead (depart, train): 12:32
Chester (arrive): 14:15
Chester (depart): 14:35
London Euston (arrive): 16:39

*near (but not identical to) the Irish Ferries port

Other example fares given on the Man in Seat 61’s page for Ireland include
• London to Dublin from £39
• London to Cork, Limerick, Galway from £60.50
• Manchester or Liverpool to Dublin £34
• York, Leeds, Birmingham to Dublin £37