West End Live 2016 – in words and pictures – ‘hate will never win’

West End Live is the musical theatre lovers’ event of the year and reminds us that we are spoilt for choice for theatre in London. Whether you pop down for a couple of hours or camp out from crazy o’clock to see your theatre favourites, you know you’re bound to have a wonderful weekend. Pictures: Roy Tan.

There were of course some West End Live favourites performing over the weekend such as Stomp, Matilda The Musical, Mamma Mia!, Wicked and Jersey Boys. Les Misérables presented us with a beautiful mashup of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ and ‘On My Own sung’ by Rachelle Ann Go as Fantine and Eva Noblezada as Eponine. We were also treated to four Phantoms for the price of one from The Phantom of the Opera cast.

There were also some exciting West End Live debuts from shows such as In The Heights, Guys and Dolls and Motown – The Musical too.

As always, West End Live gives us a sneak preview of the stars of the future with sensational performances from Sylvia Young Theatre School, Spirit  Young Performers Company, West End Kids and West End Masterclass

The loyal Sunday crowd stuck around for the whole day waiting to see their favourite singers, from Matt Cardle to Samantha Barks, and I’m sure they’d agree it was worth the wait.  

However, this year there was something more poignant about the lyrics from our favourite musicals in light of the tragedy at Orlando and the shocking loss of MP Jo Cox. From Kinky Boots ‘Raise You Up/Just Be’ to Thriller Live’s ‘Black Or White’, just to name a couple, musical theatre celebrates all people regardless of who they are, what they believe and who they love, and everyone is welcome to join this community.

Ramin Karimloo, Daniel Boys and Stephen Rahman-Hughes took their turns in uniting the audience with each dedicating their music to the victims who lost their lives to terror over the last week.

Councillor Robert Davis, the brains behind the event, also led a one minute of applause in memory of those who lost their lives after quoting James Corden’s speech from this year’s Tony Awards: “Theatre is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal and is embraced and is loved. Hate will never win.”

Tal Fox

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