Award-winning TV personality and fashion guru Gok Wan will host the special one-night-only concert You’ll Never Walk Alone at the Queen’s Theatre on Sunday 2 March in aid of the Philippines Typhoon Appeal.
Wan said today: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be hosting You’ll Never Walk Alone, the West End’s response to the recent disaster in the Philippines. The atmosphere is going to be electric, the cast are phenomenal and this event is going to be a fantastic way to reignite awareness of this beautiful country where so much has been completely devastated. The work the Disasters Emergency Committee is doing to provide much needed aid to the areas affected is vital, the reconstruction process is far from over and people of the Philippines still need our help.”
Wan will be joined by an array of stars from the Philippines, the London stage and beyond. Names already confirmed include Danielle Hope, Strictly’s Pasha and Katya, Cynthia Erivo, Cassidy Janson, Britain’s Got Talent’s Francine Lewis, Joanna Riding, Hannah Waddingham, Joseph Apostol, Hugh Maynard (soon to play John in Cameron Mackintosh’s revival of Miss Saigon), Michael Xavier, Emmanuel Vass and Avenue Q original London cast members Julie Atherton, Jon Robyns, Simon Lipkin and Giles Terera.
On 7 November 2013 Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most intense tropical storms ever to make landfall anywhere in the world, struck the Philippines. Millions were affected by torrential rain, winds of over 140mph and flooding of up to 15 feet, devastating coastal areas. More than 14 million people have had their lives torn apart, with approximately 590,000 homes completely destroyed and well over four million people forcibly displaced due to the destruction.
You’ll Never Walk Alone – The West End Unites for the Philippines is a one-night-only gala concert in support of the Philippines Typhoon Appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which brings together 14 of the UK’s leading aid charities to raise money in order to quickly reach those in need. The money raised will contribute to the ongoing need for emergency shelter, clean water and food as well as helping survivors rebuild their lives.
The event has been instigated by the UK based theatre Filipino community, many of whom moved to the United Kingdom in the 1990s to take part in the original production of Miss Saigon, produced by Cameron Mackintosh.
Mackintosh said: “The Philippines have been a special part of my life ever since Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil and I first went there 25 years ago to cast the original production of Miss Saigon. As well as being an exceptionally talented nation, the people we have met are also warm, generous and good-hearted human beings who have become our friends the world over. The recent terrible natural disaster there has affected so many people and along with the international aid, I am only too happy to offer the use of the Queen’s Theatre for a fundraising performance led by stars of the Philippines and the West End to help gather as much money as possible for those in desperate need.”
You’ll Never Walk Alone is directed by Jacqui Sanchez and choreographed by Grant Murphy, with musical direction by Alan Berry. It is produced by Paul Spicer and Matt Firth for Stage Acts Productions with the support of Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.