This is a sponsored article on behalf of the Royal Albert Hall.
When you think of the Royal Albert Hall, you might think Proms or that amazing gig you went to in its beautiful round red space. But did you know there's lots of free and excellent value entertainment to enjoy outside the main auditorium? Be it exhibitions, comedy, cabaret, spoken word, family events or cosy concerts of all kinds of music, there's more to the Hall than you thought.
This is just a selection of what's on this season. Find out more and book via the Royal Albert Hall website.
This season, the Royal Albert Hall’s state-of-the-art performance space, the Elgar Room, celebrates two musical milestones:
- 3 November, 5pm: Singer Eve Loiseau honours the 50th anniversary of legendary French chanteuse Edith Piaf with a performance of her most-loved songs
- 11 November, 8pm: The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain Chamber Choir perform A Festival of Britten, focussing on Benjamin Britten’s unaccompanied choral work in his centenary year.
Cabaret, Spoken Word and Comedy
The Royal Albert Hall is often thought of as a music performance venue, but cabaret, spoken word and comedy also feature on the listings:
- 23 October, 8pm: Premier spoken word and music night Poejazzi makes its Hall debut with YouTube sensation Hollie McNish and hip hop poet John Berkavitch.
- 2 November, 8.30pm: Abandoman presents innovative mixtape mashups and futurists jams live on stage using the history of hip-hop as its blueprint.
- 5 November, 8pm: World record holding beatboxer Shlomo is joined by singer songwriter Newton Faulkner to explore the art and science of geekdom in his show, Human Geekbox.
- 12 November, 7.45pm: The Antonio Forcione Trio perform the guitar virtuoso’s new album Sketches of Africa with support from London Music Award nominee Katy Carr, known for bringing British and Polish communities together through her music.
- 13 November, 8pm: Cantabile - The London Quartet (Sir Tim Rice’s favourite vocal group, apparently) return to the Elgar Room to perform Master Pieces - hit songs by past stars of the Royal Albert Hall.
- 25 November, 7pm: The Royal Albert Hall teams up with BAFTA to present Conversations with Screen Composers, this season featuring Dario Marianelli, Oscar-winning composer of scores for films including Atonement and Anna Karenina.
- The Great Pop Prom 50th Anniversary Exhibition features never before seen photographs of the 1963 concert where The Beatles and The Rolling Stones performed together at the Royal Albert Hall. There will also be rare prints, original posters and artwork. The final open day is 19 October. Free, just turn up, 10am-4pm.
- This is followed by The Royal Photographic Society’s International Images for Science Exhibition 2013, showcasing stunning images from a diverse range of photographic techniques, such as scientists creating images to support their research. Free open days are on 10 and 30 November, just turn up, 10am-4pm.
Ignite brings a selection of jazz, blues and family events to the venue.
- Sunday mornings: Tickets to the weekly ignite brunch include a drink, main course and dessert. Upcoming highlights include internationally acclaimed soloists Morgan Szymanski and Harriet Mackenzie on 20 October (12pm) and on 10 November Man Overboard, who add their own stamp to tunes made famous by the likes of Billie Holiday, Django Reinhardt, and Duke Ellington (12pm)
- Friday lunchtimes: Free ignite concerts take place each week in the Cafe Consort, showcasing musicians from around the world.
- 28 October, 12pm and 2.30pm: The Royal Albert Hall’s resident orchestra, Albert’s Band, celebrates all things blues at Family ignite.
- 29 October - 1 November: Bluesfest is the Hall’s first full-scale music festival. During the day, Daytime Stroller tickets will be sold in addition to the evening’s main auditorium concerts, offering festival-goers a variety of Bluesfest ignite sessions, featuring blues & soul-inspired acts.
Regular Late Night Jazz sessions also take place in the Elgar Room. Coming up soon are:
- 6 November, 9.45pm: Catch Helenē Clark’s captivating performances of jazz, original song plus interpretations of some of opera’s saddest arias.
- 18, 22, 23 November: The Hall welcomes the EFG London Jazz Festival at which Claire Martin (9.45pm) and Kat Edmonson (9.45pm) showcase their talent, and Ian Shaw sings Joni Mitchell (9.45pm)
- 19 December, 9.45pm: See Gypsy Fire, an acoustic quartet who encompass many different genres.
Classical Coffee Mornings
The Classical Coffee Mornings series runs on Sunday mornings in partnership with the Royal College of Music and some of the performers to catch this season include:
- 3 November, 11am: Trio Incendia, an award-winning piano trio perform Haydn and Shostakovich.
- 1 December, 11am: Saxophonist Savannah Brown, performs pieces by Piazzolla, Maurice and Molinelli.
Find the full line up, check prices and book events via the Royal Albert Hall website. Keep up to date with the Royal Albert Hall via their Twitter and Facebook page.