Review: Blue Planet II Live in Concert is amazing spectacle and more

We were almost within touching distance of the stage at the Blue Planet II live in concert tour at the Manchester Arena
We were almost within touching distance of the stage at the Blue Planet II live in concert tour at the Manchester Arena

Mesmerising. That one word sums up Blue Planet II -Live in Concert.

Following the huge success of the BAFTA award-winning BBC One TV series Blue Planet II, the wonders and mysteries of the planet’s oceans and wildlife was brought to the UK arena stage during a 13-date tour.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect as I entered the MEN arena but within moments of the show opening I was captivated, along with the rest of the audience by the stunning visuals highlighting the incredible beauty, wonder and sheer awesomeness of our planet.

Projected in breathtaking detail on a 200-square-metre screen, the visuals were accompanied by a score performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Matthew Freeman with music composed by Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea and David Fleming.

I had goosebumps as each story unfolded and we watched nature in all its wonderful glory in excerpts from the landmark series, including the now infamous Tusk fish, the Crab and Eel rock pool chase and the ‘folklore-turned-reality’ Sea Lion tuna hunt.

Stunning backdrops of places like Thailand and Australia, lit up the auditorium in all their splendour and you really felt like you were there.

The fantastic journey from icy polar seas to pulsating coral reefs, from the luminous deep sea to enormous kelp forests was a spectacular show, like nothing I have ever seen before.

I was joined for the evening by my guest, Gary Kent, a diving instructor who has lived and worked in several of the destinations featured and he was absolutely overawed by the show. He likened the experience to being transported back once again to the many wonderful places that many of us can only dream of visiting.

Blue Planet began some 20 years ago when a team of wildlife filmmakers from the BBC’s Natural History Unit set out to make a television series on the world’s oceans, the breadth and scale of which had never been seen before.

Broadcast in 2001 and narrated by Sir David Attenborough, it showcases peerless underwater filming.

The live show is presented TV personality and Countryfile presenter Anita Rani who narrated the event with class, elegance and real passion for the subject.

And while the audience swooned in wonder at the natural beauty of Mother Nature and our planet the show has a serious message behind it about we, the human race, hold the future of the earth in our hands which is being battered by environmental waste.

The show also gave us a glimpse into what it took to achieve this phenomenal footage and the audience learned that during the filming of the Blue Planet II , film crews embarked on 125 expeditions, travelled to 39 countries and spent over 6,000 hours of deep sea diving armed with the latest state of the art equipment.

Their efforts have not gone in vain and thanks to David Attenborough and his extraordinary vision maybe this show will make us finally wake up and realise that we, the human race, hold the key to the future of this our planet earth.