A 12-minute ode
Doris Day’s bone-chilling scream saves the head of the state and the murderer is caught. All’s well that ends well. The 12-minute long scene that was filmed with Hitchcock’s trademark precision confirms the image of Royal Albert Hall as the most beautiful concert hall in London - to great joy of the board. The Beatles and The Kinks have sung the praises of this monumental building, books have been written about it and the arched corridors exude history.
So much more than music. For 20 years, the Miss World pageant was held here. The most important film screenings, such as the world premieres of the Bond films Die Another Day (2002) and Skyfall (2012) were attended either by Queen Elizabeth or the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall. The Royal Albert Hall also serves as a sports arena; many basketball games, badminton and boxing matches have taken place here, and in December you will even find a tennis court here. The first sumo wrestling championship outside of Japan was held here in 1991, and in the summer of 2015 masked Mexican lucha libre wrestlers entered the arena.
BBC Proms returns every year in RAH
Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall regularly got out of hand. 1971 was a low point. Out of the 23 pop concerts that were held that year, only one took place in an orderly fashion. After the British band The Nice burned the American flag, management took a drastic decision: pop and rock were banned. Frank Zappa with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bryan Ferry with a 15-piece band, and the rock musical “Tommy” starring Rod Stewart, Richard Harris and Ringo Starr were all cancelled. It was a huge financial loss and the ban was short lived.
Royal Albert Hall, London
Take a tour of the Royal Albert Hall
To learn all the ins and outs, book a guided tour. The 1-hour Grand Tour takes you through the entire concert hall, including the impressive grand hall and the ‘Royal Retiring Room’, the Queen’s private room. The Secret History Tour will reveal some stories known only to insiders, the Inside Out Tour focuses on the architecture, while the Behind The Scenes Tour takes visitors backstage. There is also an afternoon tea with champagne or you can enjoy a complete dinner. With a choice of 6 restaurants and 14 bars, a concert is easily transformed into an evening out.