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This Royal Albert Home session can be watched on demand now:

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Performance poet Toby Thompson will deliver an exclusive session from his aunty’s cottage in Normandy, France as part of the Royal Albert Home series.

In these strange times, closing the Hall’s doors is the best way to look after the world, but we are now opening a (virtual) window for you to experience some of the most talented artists around.

‘Toby Thompson is the future’ – Kate Tempest

‘Entrancing… the words tumble out of him like an extended jazz solo’ – The Guardian

Toby Thompson:
“The pigeons were cooing, the woodpecker was pecking, Pumpkin the fat ginger cat was flopping about on his back in the sun. I had been here at my auntie Jacquie’s Normandy residence for two out of a planned three weeks’ writing. The absence of commitments, the proximity to the sea, the aliveness of the garden, all these things were conspiring to make introspecting fruitful. I won’t say the poems were gushing into being – scarcely ever do they gush – but they were flowing, in their own gentle trickling way. My one slight sadness, as often, was that it couldn’t last. The hustle and bustle of city life beckoned me sternly. (enter global pandemic stage left).

5 weeks elapse and still the pigeon love birds coo; the conscientious woodpecker pauses not his pecking; and dear Pumpkin flops more fatly than ever. Come and join me why don’t you? I have poems to speak – new ones, old ones – words of love, words of sorrow, words of wonder and bewilderment. It will be my great pleasure to host you for the evening.”

Royal Albert Home

As artists generously share their work with you, we ask that you generously support us so that the Royal Albert Hall can come back strong when we reopen our doors to the world.

If you can donate a fraction of the price of a ticket to see one of these artists live, you will be supporting the Hall for a brighter future.