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Does anyone here work (or have worked) at the Royal Albert Hall?

(12 Posts)
ishallconquerthat Tue 08-Mar-16 11:40:40

I'm writing a book with 2 scenes in the Royal Albert Hall, one of them backstage.

I've been there a couple of times, had my graduation ceremony there (but it was almost 10 years ago so I don't remember the details...), and recently went in one "behind the scenes" tour (but wasn't allowed in the dressing rooms or the stage obviously).

So, although I have an idea of the place, it would be great to hear from people who have been there during the shows, or have seen artists and caterers and technicians rushing around. My story is about a small presentation (imagine student production) and I'm looking for details to make the whole thing more believable.


MissBattleaxe Wed 09-Mar-16 09:25:20

I would put this on a board with more traffic such as Chat. You might get more help there. Good luck!

IrenetheQuaint Wed 09-Mar-16 09:34:57

I've sung there several times. The backstage area is a massive rabbit warren. Artists are quite separate from caterers and I've never seen them rushing around, it's all very orderly.

Hard to imagine a small presentation/student production there, it has a capacity of several thousand and the hire rates must be very high.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Wed 09-Mar-16 20:39:58

I am not sure how there could be a student production there? It's huge!

iklboo Wed 09-Mar-16 20:44:43

Unless student production is part of a much larger event - something like a competition or showcase?

ishallconquerthat Thu 10-Mar-16 11:21:49

Thanks a lot for the replies!!!

I know the student production doesn't make much sense - but it would happen in exceptional circumstances - think of someone who works in the RAH (high ranking) letting MA graduates from the Royal College of Music using the place in a day in which a presentation that was booked was cancelled - I know it is still far fetched, but I'm hoping it's believable in the context of the story?

Irenethequaint how exciting you've sung there! Are you part of a band, or a choir, or in the cast of a show? (feel free to ignore this question, I'm being nosey ;)

Where is the cast entrance to the theatre? Where does it lead to? What do you do in the hours before the presentation starts? Do you rehearse, do you have a rest? What time does the artists arrive at the theatre? Sorry for all the questions, but that's the sort of detail that I want to write the scene smile

suitsyousir79 Thu 10-Mar-16 11:31:24

Ive done backstage security there several times.

The cast use the stage door around the back of the building (opposite side to the main road).

The artists tend to sound check and chill out in their dressing rooms before a gig. They often arrive a few hoirs before but can come and go if they want to get food, or meet people.

ishallconquerthat Thu 10-Mar-16 11:36:05

suitsyousir79 thanks! smile

Where does this artist entrance lead to? The corridor with the dressing rooms?

If it's an opera, for example, do all the artists check the sound?

suitsyousir79 Thu 10-Mar-16 11:37:58

Yes it does lead there. Ive not been there for an opera but the gigs ive seen usually involve the main singer and any choirs/backing singers doing sound checks.

SwearyGodmother Thu 10-Mar-16 11:42:02

Our local music centre played there when I was a teenager - there were hundreds of us aged 10-18(ish) there for the day. I remember there being a lot of rushing around when one of the junior bands had a pipe burst in the green room.

We spent the entire day there - rehearsing, going to Imperial canteen for lunch (we felt so grown up), rehearsing some more and then performing in the evening. We were given performers' tickets so we could come and go (this was around 1993 or so, I expect it would be different now) though as children we weren't allowed out.

IrenetheQuaint Thu 10-Mar-16 22:15:37

The dressing rooms are a couple of flights downstairs from the artists' entrance. You need a performer's pass to get in, as SwearyGodmother says. There is an artists' bar where you can buy tea/coffee/snacks.

I still can't imagine a student event there - it's so big you need a few thousand in the audience to have any atmosphere. Otherwise it just feels a bit sad.

ishallconquerthat Fri 11-Mar-16 15:13:09


Now I know better what the characters will be doing before the show! smile

Irene good point about it being a bit sad. But I want the final scene to be there!!! <stamps foot> It doesn't work as well in the Britten Theatre in the Royal College of Music - where this type of production would be presented.

Any ideas? Offer a free ticket for everyone in the mailing list for the Proms? (provided a character can hack the mailing list for the Proms...)

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