FILE PHOTO: A cyclist rides past the Royal Albert Hall, which remains closed following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, London, Britain, July 6, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo
February 23, 2021
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Royal Albert Hall launched its 150th anniversary celebrations on Tuesday, releasing a short video narrated by rocker Mick Jagger and paying tribute to live performances.
“Your Room Will Be Ready” mixes archive footage of Royal Albert Hall entertainment shows and political as well as sports events with shots of the empty London venue, which has been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jagger, who performed with The Rolling Stones four times at the Royal Albert Hall in the 1960s, reads W.H. Auden’s poem “For Friends Only” in the 90-second video.
“I have some wonderful memories of performing there with the Stones in the 1960s when once or twice it did get a bit wild, with enthusiastic fans joining us onstage and almost bringing the show to an abrupt end – but we soldiered on and had a great time,” Jagger said in a statement.
The film features clips of the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross, Luciano Pavarotti, Adele and Stormzy as well as historical footage of Britain’s wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill and German-born physicist Albert Einstein speaking at the venue.
“(The film is) not only a celebration of performances from the Hall’s glorious past, but also the sense of anticipation of some of the things to look forward to when we can be together again,” Tom Harper, who directed the film, said.
The Royal Albert Hall, a registered charity, said it had closed for the time last year since World War II, cancelling more than 330 shows and losing 34 million pounds ($48 million) in income.
It will mark its birthday on March 29 with celebrations planned over the next year including commissions from British artists and music performances.
The hall, named after Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert, opened in 1871, 10 years after his death aged 42.
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
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