In 2015 the Royal Albert Hall hosted nearly 400 shows, so it’s no surprise to hear that it’s very rare to find the Hall completely empty! On one of our rare non-show days we invite you in for an exclusive behind the scenes tour.
We followed the Hall’s Tour Manager Anthony Lynch to find out which rarely seen rooms and hidden areas you can discover on this tour.
Go Beneath the arena
If you go under the main auditorium you’ll see that there is ample space for two huge tanks. These are placed here during performances of Madam Butterfly, and the arena floor transformed into a large Japanese water garden. During the interval, 8000 gallons of water must be drained from above to below the stage in time to transform it into a rock garden.
nose around the Sub Basement
Beneath the Hall runs a complex catacombe of passages and rooms. In 1874 the Hall was given a large quantity of Portuguese wine to store, which was quickly forgotten about. Subsequently General Henry Scott, one of the Hall’s principle architects, founded a Wine Society with this stash. The Wine Society is now recognised as the oldest and most respected wine society in the world.
explore the Loading Bay
The Loading Bay, at once a unique gallery of graffiti and street artwork and one of our many venues for events, has hosted some pretty novel events. In 2012, it was the site of a Chessboxing tournament – competitors alternated a few minutes of chess with a round of boxing, winning either via a checkmate, a knockout or the ref stopping the contest.
discover the eighth wonder of the world
The original organ of the Royal Albert Hall was built in 1871 by Henry Willis and cost approximately £10,000. Some call it the eighth wonder of the world, and ‘The Voice of Jupiter’. 144 years later, you can even find the organ on Twitter @RAHOrgan.
On 17 November 2015 peek behind the curtain of this Grade I listed building. Gain access to parts of the Hall usually off limits to the public, and acquire a rare insight into how the show, catering and technical teams come together to stage over 390 different events in the main auditorium per year.