Where? Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP
When? Tours are available to individuals and small groups on most days of the year.
What was on? Can’t remember, but it was a modern classical music concert.
Cost? Adults £12.25, Concessions £10.25, Children £5.25 (including 25p per ticket booking fee)
Duration? 1 hour
The Royal Albert Hall is such a gem. I’ve been a few times and seen Kerry Ellis (not only does that lady have the most fabulous voice she rocks some exceptional shoes as well) Brian May (legend – what else can I say?), Adam Pascal (I’ll never forget One Song Glory sung live by the original Roger from Rent!), English National Ballet‘s Swan Lake in-the-round, the Phantom of the Opera 25th anniversary performance, and a charity conference amongst other things. But never classical music, which is something I intend to rectify, especially after going on this tour!
I did wonder if the Grand Tour would have much to offer me as I’ve been to the Hall before, and thought it might be more suitable for tourists or first time visitors. Not at all! I got to see many spaces I’ve never been to before, including having a peek inside the exclusive Royal Retiring Room, watching a bit of rehearsal and visiting the Gallery where I’ve never ever been before (cue lots of concert enthusiasts dropping with horror). It really is a great spot acoustically and apparently people even bring pillows and lie on the floor, soaking up the wonderful music.
I didn’t realise so much went on in other parts of the Hall – lots of free music! – and of course it has a very rich history and an amazing variety of people have appeared there, from rock and classical music stars to Albert Einstein! The guide was great fun with lots of knowledge and I thoroughly enjoyed my hour there.
Verdict: A great overview of the iconic Royal Albert Hall. Very regular visitors who know a lot about the Hall already and partake of everything it has to offer might enjoy a Secret History Tour or Behind The Scenes Tour (note: I haven’t taken either of these myself yet but definitely intend too!) but the Grand Tour is perfect for a first-time, occasional or even semi-regular visitor.
For more information visit the Backstage Theatre Tours website
Photo by Drow male (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons