After attending RIFT’s Macbeth, I had a day off work and instead of going home and relaxing, I thought it would be a good idea to go to the Southbank Centre for a backstage tour. Even though I was tired, I did enjoy the experience.
The Centre was originally constructed for the 1951 Festival of Britain. We were taken inside the Royal Festival Hall, with its recently-restored organ, and shown the auditorium. Our guide explained how parts of the hall were padded for more effective sound and that the space could be arranged differently for different kinds of concerts. We were able to go backstage and see how the lighting and voiceovers worked, as well as having a glimpse inside the room where all the pianos are stored to keep them at an appropriate temperature – I had no idea pianos needed so much care!
We got to see the backstage areas and dressing rooms, and have a look at some of the mementoes from the many famous faces who have performed here. Not to mention the foyer spaces and the brilliant Singing Lift. I definitely recommend a tour if you get the chance – it is very enjoyable.