Bringing sparkling festive shows to London for well over a century, the Royal Albert Hall is certainly an expert at creating festive cheer. It’s just a short walk from The Milestone Hotel & Residences, so guests can easily make the most of the venue’s hotly anticipated programme this winter. Here Mehdi Aoustin-Sellami, the Hall’s Head of Programming and Corporate Partnerships, provides a sneak peek of what we can expect from the Royal Albert Hall this Christmas.
Can you tell us what to expect this Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall?
“To get everyone in the Christmas spirit, this season will feature festive favourites such as Guy Barker’s Big Band Christmas, The Nutcracker, Handel’s Messiah and Christmas Carols at the Royal Albert Hall, with the opportunity to sing along to Yuletide favourites. New additions include soon-to-be festive classics like A Hollywood Christmas, which celebrates great scores from beloved Christmas films, and London Community Gospel Choir at Christmas, as well as the delightful double-bill musical storytelling event, The Snowman and Paddington Bear. We’re also very excited about our festive Late Night Jazz concerts and a Christmas special of That’s What She Said; a night of spoken word featuring the most incendiary women writers and performers around. We’re also looking forward to welcoming Clive Anderson and a host of comedians for Whose line is it Anyway?’s 30th anniversary Christmas show.”
How do you decide what to include in the Christmas programme?
“It is really important to us that our programme caters for everyone. We want audiences to enjoy Christmas in all sorts of ways, from traditional carol singing to fabulous cabaret to family events and everything in between. This year we have a festive Friendship Matinee, a performance providing people who are part of a charity or community group with the opportunity to see one of our carol concerts for just £5. We will also have our first Christmas relaxed performance (one of the The Snowman and Paddington Bear performances), which enables children and adults with autism, sensory and communication impairments and learning disabilities, as well as individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind and partially sighted, to enjoy the show in a relaxed environment. We would like everyone to enjoy the best that the Hall has to offer and our varied programme of events hopefully reflects that.”
What makes the Hall such a special venue at Christmas?
“We’ve been celebrating Christmas at the Hall for almost 150 years and this year will be bigger and better! The Victorian architecture makes for a beautiful backdrop for one of the most cheerful times of the year. Let’s not forget that Prince Albert, whose vision was to create the Hall as a centre for the arts and sciences, also first championed the Christmas tree and Sir Henry Cole, the Hall’s inventor and creator, is credited for inventing the first Christmas card. So it’s only fitting that the Christmas story continues with our jam-packed programme.”
What are you personally most looking forward to at the Hall this winter?
“That’s a tricky question as it all appeals, but if I had to pick, I’d say I’m most looking forward to Home Alone in Concert – it’s one of my childhood favourites and such a Christmas classic!”
What would you recommend for families?
“There is so much to choose from... our immersive Father Christmas at the Hall will see children journey through our historic building, meeting a range of enchanting characters from the North Pole, including toy soldiers, fairies, workshop elves, toymakers, and of course, the real Father Christmas. Our Elgar Room will play host to Michael Rosen, the best-loved children’s author, for a special festive reading of Bah! Humbug! Singalong Carols at the Royal Albert Hall will feature on the main stage as well as My Christmas Orchestral Adventure, The Snowman and Paddington Bear and the return of the spectacular classic, The Nutcracker, performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet.”
Celebrate Christmas with the Royal Albert Hall while staying at The Milestone Hotel & Residences.
Image credits: all images courtesy of the Royal Albert Hall.