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New season to celebrate “remarkable women” in RAH history

Women and the Hall, a series of music, panels, talks and networking events, aims to help women "forge a path" through a male-dominated industry

By IQ on 07 Nov 2017

Nerija, Women and the Hall

Nérija will perform in a special Late Night Jazz show

image © Nérija

The Royal Albert Hall has announced a new season of concerts, talks, comedy and networking events which hopes to celebrate the role of women in the London venue’s storied history – and help future female industry leaders succeed in an “unequal, male-dominated” music industry.

The 5,272-capacity concert hall – the site of 20 suffragette rallies, 100 years of Women’s Institute (WI) meetings and Janis Joplin’s only UK solo show – will “examine the roles of women in Britain, past, present and future” in Women and the Hall, which runs from January to April 2018.

Among the highlights of the season will be:

  • A screening of the film Suffragette, followed by a panel including producers Alison Owen and Faye Ward, director Sarah Gavron, Women’s Equality Party co-founder Catherine Mayer and activist Helen Pankhurst
  • Industry Insights – Women in Music, a free networking event for women aged 18–25 featuring a panel discussion with agents Emma Banks and Lucy Dickins, Royal Albert Hall artistic director Lucy Noble, Decca Records’ Rebecca Allen and BPI’s Maggie Crowe
  • A performance of cult spoken-word event That’s What She Said on the eve of International Women’s Day
  • A talk on the history and future of the WI, with former president Anne Stamper, national chair Lynne Stubbings and Daisy Cooney of the Shoreditch Sisters WI chapter

Women and the Hall will also include live music programming, with the venue’s regular regular Late Night Jazz, Live Music Brunch and Classical Coffee Mornings slots given over to female performers.

“We want to … engage with the critical issues facing women in Britain today and look to the future, celebrating the artistry and creative energy of up-and-coming female voices in music”

Artists playing the season include Emma-Jean Thackray, Nérija and Vula Viel (Late Night Jazz), Deelee Dubé (Live Music Brunch) and the senior girls’ choir from the National Youth Choir (Classical Coffee Mornings), with more to be announced soon.

“The hall has been at the centre of British cultural life for nearly 150 years, and in that time has played host to an extraordinary number of remarkable women, whose talent, determination and vision has helped to shape the country, and the world, as we know it,” comments Noble.

“On the centenary of the Representation of the People Act [which enfranchised women], we want to mark that legacy, engage with the critical issues facing women in Britain today and look to the future, celebrating the artistry and creative energy of up-and-coming female voices in music, and – through our Industry Insights event – helping them forge a path through an industry that’s unequal, male-dominated, and contains particular and ongoing challenges for women.”

In addition the widely publicised gender imbalance in live music, IQ revealed last month that many women working in the industry have been subject to inappropriate behaviour from male counterparts, with most agreeing on the need to create a culture when women are given equal opportunities to succeed – and aren’t scared to speak out against the perpetrators of abuse.

Tickets for Women and the Hall go on sale at 9am on Friday from www.royalalberthall.com.


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