ROYAL ALBERT HALL, LONDON, WITH CHILDREN

I realised earlier this year that I had never been to the Royal Albert Hall. I started looking out for opportunities to go there with children. Fate lent a hand when it was announced that, for one night only, Disney’s Broadway Hits would be staged at the Royal Albert Hall in a world premier concert. It doesn’t get more family friendly than Disney, right?! Carpe Diem, we managed to get tickets.

The cast at this stage was unannounced other than that performers would be from London’s West End and New York’s Broadway. I nearly screamed the house down when a few weeks later my favourite Showtunes entertainer, John Barrowman, was announced as the performing compere along with cast members Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins on Broadway), Josh Strickland (Tarzan on Broadway), Alton Fitzgerald White (Mufasa, Lion King) and, as no musical event is complete without one of the Strallen sisters, Scarlett Strallen (Mary Poppins in the UK).  The BBC Concert Orchestra and singers from the Royal Academy of Music and the Arts Educational School were to complete the ensemble. This concert was shaping up to be an awesome show with such a pedigree cast and musicians from both sides of the Atlantic.

Dusk fell and excitement rose as we set off to the Albert Hall. The auditorium itself certainly has the wow factor.

The curved nature of the building, built in 1871, means you can see all of the auditorium as well as the stage. We were very high up the steep sides, which gave a panoramic view. The mushroom shaped ceiling discs lend a lot of character and were added in 1969 to improve the acoustics. The auditorium was very effectively lit with coloured  lights moving across the Hall during the performance. Whilst our seats were stationary, the seats at the bottom of the auditorium swivel. If you are getting tickets for the top tier, be aware it is standing only.

Entering the auditorium I was expecting kids galore but children made up a very small percentage of the audience, the majority being die hard Disney music aficionados. Clearly I had judged this event all wrong. People had travelled the length and breadth of the nation and from overseas for this one-off event and they were not wasting tickets on the youngsters.   I was also expecting people to be dressed up, which they were…in Disney gear! Yes that includes the adults.

The musical programme for the evening included hits from Disney’s Broadway plays including Mary Poppins, Lion King and Beauty and the Beast but also a large number of lesser known songs -anyone heard of Newsies or King David? Me neither but everyone else in the audience had! The vocals and music were absolutely world class with the international star cast appearing to enjoy every moment of being in this exceptional concert. The audience knew their Disney music and they nearly raised the roof when Alan Menken, eight times Oscar winning composer of many Disney scores including Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas and the Hunchback of Notre Dame, took to the stage to perform ‘Proud of Your Boy’ from Aladdin. Hearing the composer sing and play his own music was a highlight of the evening. Others included the two Mary Poppins singing a competitive duet and the cast of Aladdin joining the stage at the end.

Disney’s Broadway Hits was not what I was expecting, but sometimes that’s a delightful surprise. That is exactly what we got with this exceptional show in a truly breathtaking venue.

 

FUTURE CHILD FRIENDLY SHOWS AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL in 2017

 

Space Spectacular  This looks fantastic – lasers, fireworks and fantastic music (16-17 June 2017)

Jaws in Concert (21st October 2017)

Pub Quiz for Kids – Film Edition (24th October 2017)

My Great Orchestral Adventure (25th October 2017)

Symphonic Star Wars (29th October 2017) Another one I’d love to see, the music is spectacular -add it to the wishlist!

The Royal Albert Hall also has a wonderful selection of Christmas shows.

As well as amazing shows for kids, the line up for adults includes a huge selection of every type of music from classical to country.

Check age ratings for each show, prices and updated listings here as new shows are frequently announced.

The Disney Broadway Hits show was broadcast on Radio Two’s Friday Night is Music Night on 16th December 2016 and was shown on Sky TV.

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WHERE JO GOES -CITY BREAKS WITH KIDS 

Porto – Jardins do Palacio de Cristal/Porto- Food Tour/Porto City Highlights/New York/Oxford UK/London – Greenwich/HMS Belfast/British Library/O2 Arena/Royal Albert Hall/World’s Biggest Lego Store/Ham House (National Trust)/Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre/

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32 Comments

  1. March 31, 2017 / 10:32 pm

    I am a huge Disney fan, but like you, I would have brought children to this. The hall is lovely, and huge. It would be fun to see some of your photos of the adults adorned in Disney gear. 🙂

    • March 31, 2017 / 11:01 pm

      I should have taken some surreptitiously!

  2. April 3, 2017 / 4:38 pm

    What a beautiful place! It was on my list last time we were in London, but sadly we never made it over there. That’s so funny that the audience was mostly adults…and in Disney gear! Although I’d love to see the show and we don’t have kids yet so we’d fit in well with the adult Disney crowd.

    • April 3, 2017 / 5:13 pm

      It was a really fun evening although not what I expected. The Royal Albert Hall has a real sense of occasion though. Thanks for reading.

  3. April 4, 2017 / 8:52 am

    How awesome! I have also never been there but you were lucky to get to go for that incredibly show! I’ve always wanted to see Mary Poppins live! #CityTripping

  4. April 4, 2017 / 6:33 pm

    Oh, what a wonderful event! I would have totally gone to something like that, and I don’t even have children! 🙂 There’s just something about being in that incredible space, so classic and so historic, that would make any event just that much more special.

    • April 4, 2017 / 8:11 pm

      Yes it was the amazing and iconic building that made it really special. Thanks for reading.

  5. April 4, 2017 / 9:02 pm

    The Albert Hall is such a stunning building both inside and out. I haven’t been for many years – but there are definitely a few – Star Wars in particular – that I would love to go to! The Disney concert sounds epic, as my son would say! Thanks for linking up with #CityTripping

    • April 5, 2017 / 12:54 pm

      That will be a brilliant experience – what fun!

  6. April 4, 2017 / 11:01 pm

    Why does John Barrowman sound so familiar to me? I’m going to have to google him once I’m finished here. I’ve been to the Royal Albert once for a tour and it was amazing. It’s so beautiful in there! I can’t imagine what it would have been like to see a show in there. #citytripping

    • April 5, 2017 / 12:53 pm

      It would be great to do a tour there, that’s on my list for the future!

  7. April 4, 2017 / 11:02 pm

    Of course, he’s Jack Harkness from Doctor Who!

    • April 5, 2017 / 12:54 pm

      Yes! And my all time favourite show tunes singer LOL!

  8. April 5, 2017 / 12:41 am

    What a fun event! We walked by the Royal Albert Hall this past summer, and it’s a lovely building, now I know what it looks like inside too! #citytripping

  9. April 5, 2017 / 2:27 am

    What a place! The interior is stunning. I have started to attend places like this after I took a tour of the Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona. That experienced showed me how stunning performing houses can be. #citytripping

  10. April 5, 2017 / 4:34 pm

    I’ve been to the RAH a few times now, it’s such an amazing building. And the shows I’ve seen there have always been top quality! #CityTripping

  11. April 7, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    I love it there. It looks like you were up in the Gods 😀 We saw cirque de soleil there last and I’d love to take Jamie. It sounds like there loads of kid friendly things on though. Thanks for the list #culturedkids

  12. April 7, 2017 / 4:24 pm

    Even growing up in Luxembourg, my kids are familiar with the Royal Albert Hall (clips from the “Last night of the Proms are amongst their YouTube favourites). In fact, Child #1 is slightly in awe of it and has asked on several occasions if we could go there some day. Can’t go far wrong with Disney music either. Thanks for the great post and for educating me about the “mushrooms” (never noticed those before…) #CulturedKids

    • April 7, 2017 / 6:36 pm

      The proms atmosphere would be wonderful I think they do a kids proms and a Dr Who one!

  13. April 8, 2017 / 7:45 pm

    Can’t wait to take my boys to the Royal Albert Hall. Love the idea of Jaws in concert too, perhaps not with the kids..! #culturedkids

    • April 8, 2017 / 9:02 pm

      I think you are right! I fancy Harry Potter or Star Wars with the kids!

  14. April 9, 2017 / 12:22 pm

    I never did take the kids there when we were in London, which was clearly a mistake. Somehow I never got round to looking up their child-friendly programme – I was waiting until one of them was old enough to drag off to the proms!

  15. April 9, 2017 / 1:20 pm

    Wow, the line-up of family events looks brilliant. I’ve been to the Proms here, but never taken the children. I think they’d love it. Great post – and I did chuckle at your descriptions of all the adults in Disney gear! Thanks for linking up with #CulturedKids

  16. April 9, 2017 / 6:13 pm

    Yes, totally, utterly agree, would love to take my kids hear to a Disney ensemble.
    #culturedkids

  17. April 10, 2017 / 9:05 am

    Haha.. Anything with ‘Disney’ does sound safe to bring the kids! But I’m totally intrigued by the upcoming Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Concert. What? Like how??? I mean I can totally imagine Disney’s Broadway Hits being performed in a hall like this.. But Harry Potter?? I can’t even imagine. If I lived in London, I would have bought my tickets for that already! #CityTripping

    • April 10, 2017 / 9:06 am

      They show the movie but they have a live orchestra playing the music. The music in the movies is fantastic and apparently live it’s a really great experience. I guess it’s like going to a concert of the music but with the movie playing. They are doing Jaws as well!

  18. April 10, 2017 / 10:25 am

    Oh I would have loved this! And you got a Strallen – wow!
    I’ve been to the Albert Hall to see a classical concert and to see some indoor tennis – but this would have been fabulous. #culturedkids

    • April 10, 2017 / 10:27 am

      Indoor tennis?! I didn’t know they did that there! 🎾😀

    • May 4, 2017 / 9:16 pm

      I’ve never been to a prom but I think kids would enjoy the flag waving and the whole spectacular. I’m interested in the Christmas programme (sorry to mention the C word so early!)

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