To kickstart its 150th anniversary celebrations, the Royal Albert Hall has unveiled a short film narrated by Sir Mick Jagger, directed by BAFTA-nominated Tom Harper.
The 90-second film, titled ‘Your Room Will Be Ready’, features a W.H Auden poem read by the legendary Rolling Stones musician and is scored by Academy Award-winning composer Steven Price.
The film, exploring the anticipated return of live events, combines images of the empty 5,272-capacity venue with unseen clips, including over 40 pieces of archive footage dating back to the 1930s.
Such clips include BBC archive footage of Shirley Bassey, George Michael and Luciano Pavarotti, as well as Albert Einstein speaking out against the Nazis in 1933 and Freddie Mercury’s appearance at Fashion Aid in 1985.
The film is the first in a series of the Hall’s 150th anniversary celebrations, which have been extending into 2022, and will be followed by major commissions from British artists and performances from rising and established talent.
The venue has cancelled more than 330 auditorium shows and lost £34m in income since the pandemic.
Royal Albert Hall CEO Craig Hassall said its continue closure means it remains in a financial crisis: “As a charity that is not in receipt of recurrent government funding, we rely solely on ticket sales and ancillary income for our survival, and we hope to re-open our doors in the not-too-distant future.”
In December, the venue’s management received a government loan of £20,740,000 to support the venue until it can return to pre-Covid levels of programming.
On the film, Hassall said, “We’re especially thrilled that Sir Mick agreed to narrate the film, almost 60 years on from his first performance here. Tom’s aim with the film was to evoke the excitement and humanity of live performance, which is the true soul of concert venues and something we are desperately missing right now.”
The film can be watched here.