People from not only all around the country, but the whole world, flock to London each year to visit our renowned Theatreland. There really is something for everyone in the West End, and for every theatregoer, there is one event which they would be a fool to miss: West End Live.
The annual live performance event has become a staple of the theatrical calendar, entering its eighth year as it returns in June 2012. West End Live provides its audience with an opportunity to enjoy and celebrate productions both new and current as it showcases the crème de la crème of the West End in a unique promotion of its popular theatre industry. For the first time since it appeared on the London scene, this year’s programme will feature performances from every one of the stage musicals playing in a West End theatre this summer ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games. The list of shows includes long-runners Billy Elliot, Blood Brothers, Chicago, Les Miserables, The Lion King, Mamma Mia, The Phantom of the Opera, We Will Rock You, Wicked; the more recent popular productions of Dreamboats and Petticoats, Ghost, Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain, Jersey Boys, Matilda, Rock of Ages, Shrek, Stomp, Sweeney Todd, The Wizard of Oz, Thriller Live, Top Hat, War Horse and newcomers Ragtime and Spamalot. In an added bonus to the wonders of the West End, there will also be a range of other fun and interactive experiences, with exhibits from The Science Museum, The London Film Museum, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and The National Gallery on display, alongside further activities and live performances still to be announced.
One of the most popular theatrical events of the year, West End Live continues to attract thousands of people – as well as being an unmissable chance to enjoy an outstanding line-up of live talent, the open air two-day event is free to attend and appeals to all ages. For the first six years, West End Live took place in Leicester Square, but during the renovation project that was underway in 2011/12, it moved to the new venue of Trafalgar Square, where it returns to in 2012.
West End Live is presented by Westminster City Council and the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) in association with Mastercard. It will be at Trafalgar Square on the last weekend of June, running from Saturday 23rd June 2012 (11am-6pm) to Sunday 24th June (12pm-6pm). A full programme of performance times for each show will be made available before the event.
Any avenue which promotes the art of theatre is a positive move for the industry, and West End Live is one of the most highly effective events for this purpose. It showcases the unrivalled quality of the West End shows and performers, while also rewarding the dedicated fans who support the industry by their continuous presence in our theatres. Theatre is all about entertainment, and theatregoers would be hard-pressed to find anything which offers more entertainment than West End Live. Despite the British summer being notoriously unpredictable, the rain didn’t deter the thousands of people who attended last year’s event, so whatever the weather, there’s only one place to be on the 23rd/24th June 2012: West End Live.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)