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Royal Festival Hall in general

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      30.10.2010 19:50
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      The Marmite of London Music halls

      Royal Festival Hall is located on the South Bank in London, it is within 2 minutes walk of Waterloo Tube Station and also just across the Hungerford Bridge from Charing Cross rail and tube stations.

      The Royal Festival Hall is the marmite of London buildings, described by many as a communist era monstosity, it also appeals to others as a building that is somewhat different from others in London. For me i've enjoyed so many great events here I love it and am firmly of the view that it does what it does brilliantly.

      It is in a perfect location, close to transport and underneath the RFH there are a variety of restaurants including Wagamama, Giraffe and Starbucks, there are also further restaurants including Las Iguanas within 20 metres.

      The RFH is generally used for music and theatre, i've been there on a few occasions for the Meltdown festival which is orated by a different person each year, i've seen Harry Hill perform many years ago at the request of David Bowie, seen Brian Wilson perform his long missed version of Smile and gone to the Latina festival on a few occasions ,enjoying delights like Gotan Project.

      For such events the RFH is perfect, it has numerous halls, it allows classical music in smaller halls, has exhibitions in the main building, has a bar and restaurant on the second and third floors and a large main building for big shows.

      The place looks ugly from the outside, inside it is minimalist and functional, it is both stylish and ugly at the same time and I like it because its individual. Prices are average for London, food and drink are slightly overpriced so I recommend eating before arrival. There is a book shop and gift shop and staff are always knowledgable and very cool.

      Acoustics are great, seats are generally good too, overall its a great place to visit, I like marmite and I like the RFH, i've enjoyed some wonderful gigs and performances here over the years and have very fond memories.

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      08.09.2000 03:07
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      Located on the South Bank, a stone's throw from Waterloo station, the RFH has long been London's principal concert hall. The London Philharmonic are resident here, and they perform regularly from September to May. Needless to say, the standard of their concerts is outstanding, and they also play with some of the world's leading soloists. Just off the top of my head, I've seen LPO concerts in the last couple of years that featured Daniel Barenboim (piano), Emmanuel Pahud (flute) and even Chick Corea (jazz piano). The hall itself is extremely well designed, with an acoustic that I would consider beyond competition from anywhere else in London. It is also endowed with an excellent organ, which comes in handy on occasion, and the seats are comfortable. Even the programmes are worthy of note - the notes provided for each piece tell you exactly what you need to know and nothing more, which is just what you want when you sit down to quickly scan through five minutes before the concert starts. The South Bank Centre also includes the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, National Theatre, Museum of Moving Image and Hayward Gallery. There is a wealth of cafés/restaurants in the various buildings - plenty to choose from just in the RFH - and outside there is the river, great views of St. Paul's Cathedral and other sights, and a big second-hand book stall. Not forgetting the "Books etc." branch, along with a handful of other shops, inside the RFH building. If you want a programme of events for the season you can ring the South Bank Centre on 020-7960-4202 and they will add you to their mailing list for free.

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