London. Again. Quite a novelty to have two trips to London in 3 months – one of the perks of the kids having left home that family trips are now much cheaper.
We had always wanted to visit the Royal Albert Hall and we do check what’s on each time we go down. When we booked the trip back in August we were pleased to see this time that there was a Disney on Broadway concert with the BBC concert orchestra so decided to get some tickets. At the time we had no idea what a special concert it was and exactly who would be performing but I think most of London did! I logged on bright and early to get some tickets to find I was 4638 in the queue! I decided to leave the ticket page running but was convinced I would never get through so carried on with all the other things that needed doing in life and just checked occasionally what was happening. I continued to move up all morning and after 3 1/2 hours and a very lucky break as I was currently sat at the computer I arrived on the ticket page to the flashing time in the corner – they are so stressful! - complete this page…… I hurriedly said give me any two tickets (in my price range obviously and not the £299 each in the stalls!) everything went through fine and I was really pleased firstly to get the tickets and secondly to find we were in a Loggia box! Apparently this is not that rare at the Royal Albert Hall as there are lots of boxes. The email confirming everything arrived safely and we then got very excited to find we could order food to our box – which we promptly did!
In the following days we found out just what a big concert we had accidentally chosen – hosted by John Barrowman with some of the original stars of the Broadway and the London stage singing the songs they made famous plus a very very special guest appearance by Alan Menken – composer of some of Disney’s most famous songs (and one of our other favourite musicals Little Shop of Horrors).
We arrived at the Royal Albert Hall after a simple trip on the Circle Line and as the auditorium was still closed we got to explore all the places which were available for walking around. The corridors were amazing and currently full of a display of film posters which were available to buy (no prices though!). Amongst other things I found out that vintage film posters are actually quite rare as they were made on very cheap paper which didn’t age well!
Bonnie Langford walked past us and a wonderfully ‘English’ gentlemen then told us the story of her family and how he had been in Gypsy with her when she was very young playing alongside the wonderful Angela Lansbury. He was such an interesting man and what a shame he wasn’t sat near us as I am sure he had lots of amazing stories.
The food was good if a little expensive – but well worth it for the experience. We ordered a tray of ten mixed sandwiches and a dessert tray of tiny delicate assorted cakes and tarts plus a large bottle of sparkling water and some beer – total £41. It was very exciting to have it delivered to the box but we were the only ones in the box who had so that felt a bit strange! I think if we had been a box full of friends or family it would have been a much more relaxed and enjoyable experience! The food was delicious and felt very special and the staff were very attentive both on the night and the weeks before.
Well done to Rhubarb. http://www.rhubarb.co.uk/locations/royal-albert-hall
The concert itself was excellent. We both love music of all kinds and enjoy orchestras very much. The singers were obviously some of the best in the world and the venue was everything we had hoped for. John Barrowman compered the evening and also sang several times. We had seen him in panto once before many years ago and he is always very entertaining! It was a very simple premise of singer and orchestra, which maybe the families with very young children attending hadn’t realised. Surprisingly for Disney there was no characters or particular branding just good songs. Several of which we had not heard of. Highlight of the night was the appearance of Alan Menken who performed a song from Aladdin which had been cut from the original film but had made it into the stage version. He received the loudest applause of the night – what an honour to see him perform. The concert finished off in fantastic style with the cast of Aladdin led by the genie performing ‘Friend like me’ – fireworks, lights and dancers in gold lame made the perfect end to what had been a wonderful evening. We hope very much to go back to the Royal Albert Hall and will definitely have more of the box catering!
A bit of this .... and a bit of that. We do like doing fun stuff and maybe some things that people of a certain "ahem" age shouldn't - but what the hell. Concerts, music, theatres and anything else that's a bit different.