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Royal Albert Hall

  • Music
  • South Kensington
  • Recommended
Night Time Queue at the Royal Albert Hall.jpg
Night Time Queue at the Royal Albert Hall
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Time Out says

Built as a memorial to Queen Victoria's husband in 1871, the Royal Albert Hall's vast rotunda was once described by the monarch as looking like 'the British constitution'. It has been the venue for the (now BBC) Proms since 1941, despite acoustics that do orchestras few favours. The Royal Albert Hall's splendid exterior is matched by the regal red-and-gold interior which is crowned by a domed stained-glass skylight. Occasional classical concerts are held throughout the year – look out for recitals on the Willis pipe organ. Other key events in its calendar include pop and comedy gigs (including the annual Teenage Cancer Trust shows), and circus extravaganzas from the likes of Cirque du Soleil.

In addition to seasonal tours during the Proms, the RAH has launched daily Secret History Tours, which draw on a rich seam of stories about London's largest hall for hire and offer access to areas not normally open to audiences.

For a full list of events taking place at the Royal Albert Hall, check their website or click the 'book online' button. 

Details

Address:
Kensington Gore
London
SW7 2AP
Transport:
Tube: South Kensington
Price:
Various
Opening hours:
Tours run most days from 9.30am-4.30pm, but check website for details.
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What’s on

Cirque du Soleil: Alegría

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Circuses

There are many reasons why this 40-year-old Canadian company is the world’s most famous circus. And you’ll witness them all in this lively reboot of a classic show from their back catalogue. Lavish design, astonishing athletes, and deft direction that ushers you from giggles to gasps with - apparently - the greatest of ease. Your boss would love ‘Alegria’; so would their kids or your granny, and that’s the point. It’s precisely crafted entertainment – never too scary, never too crude, it’s charming and daring and silly and frou-frou and 100 percent enjoyable.  The concept is high, bafflingly high. In the words of Franco Dragone, the original director: ‘Perhaps we need to rediscover that true ambition is not to reach for the stars, but to wipe the tear from our neighbour’s cheek.’ Quite so. What this translates to onstage is a Fool on a throne, done up like a fin-de-siecle Rumpelstiltskin, flattered by knickerbockered courtiers, wigged and knickerbockered in sugared-almond-coloured silk. Angels and nymphs perform for him, and so do bronze-trousered ‘Bronx’ strongmen. Confusingly, these are not men from the Bronx (the troupe is mostly from Russia and Ukraine), but apparently signify ‘forces of change’. It is ardent nonsense – but it works, binding together very different circus acts in a gorgeous, poignant world with a high emotional pulse and flow.  The clowns – Spanish duo Pablo Bermejo and Pablo Gomis Lopez – are a delight. It’s unusual for the light relief to be the highl

Messiah on Good Friday

  • Concerts

Apart from during the Blitz and the pandemic, this Good Friday performance has taken place every Easter weekend since 1876, and 2024 marks its 148th year. The Royal Choral Society’s rendition of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ (an English-language composition written way back in 1741) is without a doubt one of London’s greatest Easter traditions, and thanks to its accompaniment by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, it promises to be a rather wonderful way to spend Good Friday afternoon.

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