"The Last 10 Million Are The Hardest"

By Hazel Last edited 153 months ago
"The Last 10 Million Are The Hardest"

Apparently. We wouldn't know. The only ten million the denizens of the Londonist dungeon are familiar with is the ten million (and sometimes more) emails about satisfying our women. They all get it wrong: none of them seem to specify remembering to take out the rubbish without being told and not putting the empty milk bottle back in the fridge.

Still, when you're in charge of one of London's biggest multi-arts performance venues undergoing a major 2 year, £110 million refurbishment, then perhaps, yes, the last ten million can feel a bit like getting stuck at the front of the bus queue and being caught out by 20p.

Since closure last July, the RFH has raised 50 million in borrowing, donations and sponsorship to match the 50 million from the Arts Council - but in order to open in time for July 2007, Chief Executive Michael Lynch is scrabbling around for the last pennies to make up the necessary amount. The removal of a crane from the building works and the continued success of the new riverside restaurants and shops will hopefully encourage more donors and sponsors to come forward and support the RFH as it gets closer and closer to a summer completion.

The Royal Festival Hall refurbishment is being touted as offering the original 1951 concept of its architecture with a 21st century twist. Whatever that means, we're looking forward to this stalwart of the arts opening its doors again and are hoping it makes its deadline because summer in London without a pint and a sit-down on the RFH fifth floor balcony just ain't the same.

For more information on the Royal Festival Hall refurbishment and for Queen Elizabeht Hall and Purcell Room programme details, go here.

Last Updated 12 May 2006