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Royal Albert Hall unveils new purpose built performance space

15 September, 2009

On Wednesday 14 October the Royal Albert Hall will open the doors to a new venue, the transformed Elgar Room. Steeped in history, having seen actors such as Dame Judi Dench and Sir Laurence Olivier perform, the room will change in both space and capacity as state of the art technical specifications and a modern redesign help make it one of London's premier entertainment spaces.

The Elgar Room will now incorporate built in technical facilities and the flexibility to match any event requirement. From late night and intimate gigs to after show parties, comedy nights, cabaret and theatre performances, the redesign has created a versatile room in which a variety of events can be accommodated. The new room already has a host of events lined up to take place ranging from after show parties for Elton John and Monty Python's 'Not The Messiah' to a comedy night with Patrick Monahan and the next instalment of the Royal Albert Hall's hush series.

The £1million renovation sees the original floor to ceiling windows restored as the room's raised flooring is removed to create one large space – increasing its maximum capacity to 350 standing and to 110 when used as a restaurant. An impressive lighting infrastructure has been installed including 4 LED colour changing ceiling panels l as well as a state of the art sound system and speakers.
Jasper Hope, Director of Events at the Royal Albert Hall said 'We are delighted to announce the completion of the newly refurbished Elgar Room. For the first time since the Hall's opening in 1871 we have somewhere other that the main auditorium in which to host music and other events. The 350 capacity venue will allow the Hall to bring a different type of artist and audience to the building and we look forward to having some exceptional events in the space.'

Located on the west side of the Hall, the Elgar Room was first known as the West Theatre. With a history as interesting as it is varied, the most notable use of the West Theatre was as a training ground for budding actors. From 1906 to 1957 The Central School of Speech and Drama was established in the room providing training in speech, language and drama. A wealth of famous actors and theatre professionals including Sir Laurence Olivier, Dame Judi Dench, Harold Pinter, Peggy Ashcroft, Vanessa Redgrave, Joss Ackland and Cicely Berry learnt their trade on its stage. On Sunday 4 October 2009 the school’s Alumni will reunite in a special pre-opening celebration in the Elgar Room.

In keeping with the Hall's rich musical heritage, the walls of the Elgar Room will pay tribute to the late-great musicians who have played the Royal Albert Hall with images of artists including John Lennon and George Harrison, James Brown, Johnny Cash, Luciano Pavarotti, Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.

For more information please contact:
Nadine Bibi / Emma Burgess @ LD Communications
0207 439 7222 /

Notes to Editors

About the Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall is one of the UK's most treasured and magical buildings, recognisable the world over. It is a registered charity and operates without any public subsidy. Since opening in
1871, the Royal Albert Hall has had an unparalleled history of exceptional performances by the world’s leading artists. Today over 350 events are held in the Hall’s auditorium each year which
include performances of jazz, world music, rock and pop, dance, comedy, film premières and award ceremonies. Audiences of well over a million are entertained at the Hall each year and
many millions more around the world enjoy the Hall experience through broadcasts, recordings and new media channels.

The Royal Albert Hall co-promotes productions and showcases talented world music and jazz artists through its lively lunchtime music series, ignite in the Café Consort. It has a strong heritage
in rock and has hosted a diverse range of legendary artists and bands over the years. It hosted the only gig in history where The Beatles and The Rolling Stones played on the same bill, and has
also played host to such luminaries as Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Oasis, Cream and Dame Shirley Bassey. It also offers tours of this iconic building, a free exhibition series entitled
reflect and an extensive education programme for young people.

About The Central School of Speech and Drama

The Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London is an international centre of excellence based in London serving its professions by providing quality higher education in, and training for, the dramatic arts and the performance and media industries. Courses include fulltime Undergraduate and full and part-time Postgraduate programmes in acting, design, voice, movement, music theatre, puppetry, drama education and teaching, drama therapy and applied theatre; as well as many Short and Summer courses in acting, design, voice and presentation skills, training in spoken English, and bespoke courses.

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