With decorations to get down from the loft, relatives to write to, parties to recover from and plenty of halls to be decked, it’s little wonder that so many of us leave our Christmas shopping to the last minute.
We may be biased, but it’s worth us re-emphasising that the Royal Albert Hall is a pretty special place to see a show, and coming here is always an unforgettable experience, so we’ve taken the liberty of pulling some gift ideas from the hundreds of events coming up in 2018…
For the special person in your life
Cirque du Soleil have been wowing hundreds of thousands at the Hall for over twenty years now, and they’re back again in 2018 with their spectacular OVO.
This show, themed around insects, is about the most family-friendly Cirque show to come here yet, and promises more of Cirque’s mind-boggling signature acts, including a 14m high-flying trapeze act – the biggest of its kind!
Top tip: Shows from mid-February onwards have only recently gone on sale due to huge demand, so check these out for the best availability. There’s also a range of hospitality packages available if you want to really splash out.
For a movie lover
Everyone likes films, right?
The Hall has earned a reputation for putting on unforgettable movie experiences, with some of history’s biggest blockbusters having been screened in the auditorium with live accompaniment from some of the nation’s top orchestras.
Watching one of your favourite movies, accompanied by a full orchestra, with 5,000 other fans laughing, cheering and clapping along is an experience everyone needs to try, as Huffington Post put it: ‘It’s nearly impossible to verbalise how amazing the live experience is’.
2018 will see more films given the orchestral treatment here, with the second instalment of the Harry Potter series, J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot, and Justin Lin’s Star Trek Beyond follow-up amongst the first to be announced.
For the kids
The My Great Orchestral Adventure concerts have drawn thousands of children to the Hall to experience classical music for the first time over the last couple of years.
These interactive concerts are the perfect opportunity for children aged 3+ to experience the magic of a full symphony orchestra, with plenty of songs and actions to join in with.
The first MGOA of 2018 (26 May) will be of an intergalactic flavour as it forms part of the venue’s space festival, with the aim of the show being ‘to bring musical harmony back to the galaxy’ – now there’s a campaign slogan we can all get behind.
For that friend who Instagrams everything
There once was a time when anyone taking a tour of our venue was asked to put their camera away. That time has passed.
Visitors are now welcome to photograph our beautiful building and thousands of you share your best shots on Instagram for the whole world to see – filter or no filter.
Our Afternoon Tea Tour offers the perfect opportunity for visitors to take in an absorbing tour of the building, before sitting down to a quintessentially British afternoon tea in the Hall’s Verdi restaurant.
Our teapots should keep the tea warm for long enough for your friend to angle up the crockery to take the perfect #afternoontea photo, before tucking into a selection of scones, finger sandwiches and a pot of the finest East India Company tea.
For the ballet fans, old and new
The ‘post Christmas / pre-New Year’ time can be a strange one – you don’t know what day it is, it’s only the toffees left in the Quality Street tin, and nothing really makes sense.
Fortunately Birmingham Royal Ballet are in town to bring their hugely acclaimed production of The Nutcracker to the spectacular setting of the Hall.
Expect spellbinding dancers in spectacular costumes, all within an auditorium brought to life through groundbreaking projections from the Tony Award-winning team of 59 Productions.
‘No other version comes close’, said The Sunday Times of this BRB production, and who are we to question?
For everyone else
You can now become a Friend of the Hall. What a time to be alive. The Royal Albert Hall Friends & Patrons scheme gives our Friends great benefits, including priority booking and discounts on retail, tours and lunches in Verdi Italian Kitchen.
Other than that, we also offer gift vouchers, so your nearest and dearest can pick what they want – there’s plenty on here next year, from homegrown favourites such as Chas & Dave, Ian Anderson, Sheridan Smith and UB40, to international stars such as George Benson, Joan Baez, Eliades Ochoa and Gregory Porter; or spectacular performances from the likes of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Choral Society.