Last month, along with every other landmark performance venue in London, the Royal Albert Hall closed in response to the pandemic. It was its first official closure since the Second World War. While on its temporary hiatus, the giant oval building will be taking its ‘concerts’ straight to the living rooms of musicians for a new digital initiative called #RoyalAlbertHome.
The programme of free, nightly live gigs launches tomorrow night (Thursday April 9) from the home of the ludicrously talented singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, who claims the Royal Albert Hall is his favourite venue to play in the UK. The gig will be around 30 minutes long, and Rufus might even take a few requests. Speaking about his living-room performance plans, he said, ‘I will try to be your “Gay Messiah” in these difficult times, serve you some “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk”, give you hopefully a “Peaceful Afternoon”, maybe pray a little “Agnus Dei”, hold you virtually “In My Arms”, take you to “Sanssouci” in your mind, show you some “Pretty Things” and make your “Alone Time” uplifting, funny, hilarious, beautiful and bearable.’
Others on the RAH streaming schedule are English tenor Alfie Boe, Idlewild singer Roddy Woomble and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson. The Royal Albert Home plan will also be reviving some cancelled shows, taking its ‘Sea Shambles’ event online with screen appearances from comedian Robin Ince, oceanographer Dr Helen Czerski and wildlife presenter Steve Backshall.
Sadly there’s no word on a streamed RAH performance of Cirque du Soleil. The teeterboard just isn’t living-room-friendly.
The Royal Albert Home schedule can be found here.
Find more London events you can stream online now.
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