West End LIVE in association with MasterCard takes place in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 June 2014. Now in its tenth year, this annual event – the largest event of its type in the world – is organised by Westminster City Council and the Society of London Theatre and offers free family entertainment from London’s top theatre productions and performers.
The event attracted more than half a million people in 2013, and this year the stage is set for another record-breaking weekend with huge crowds expected to gather for special live performances from some of the West End’s biggest shows.
West End LIVE regulars returning this year include Billy Elliot the Musical, The Bodyguard, The Lion King, ZooNation’s Groove On Down the Road, Jersey Boys, Les Misérables, Let It Be, Mamma Mia!, Matilda the Musical, Once, The Phantom of the Opera, Stomp, Thriller Live and Wicked.
The Commitments launches the festivities on Saturday 21 June and will be joined by a number of other West End LIVE debuts including 20th Century Boy – The Musical, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Forbidden Broadway, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Lord of the Dance, Miss Saigon and The Pajama Game.
Also making their West End LIVE debut is the Royal Opera House Chorus, led by renowned singer and conductor Plácido Domingo, concluding the day’s festivities by performing a selection of favourite opera classics.
Cllr Robert Davis, deputy leader of Westminster City Council, who created West End LIVE ten years ago, said: “Whether you are a budding Billy Elliot, a jovial Jersey Boy or a waltzing Matilda, Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square are the places to be this summer. 2014 is a very special year, as it marks a decade of West End LIVE – and we are still the only festival in the world that brings together the best of musical theatre and more in one place, for free. Come and join us and let’s make this the best year yet.”
On Sunday 22 June, as part of the tenth birthday celebrations, there will be a special cabaret 10 from 10 featuring ten iconic songs from many of West End LIVE’s favourite shows of the past decade performed by some of Theatreland’s best loved names.
There will also be a very special performance from English National Opera, which is also making its West End LIVE debut.
Julian Bird, chief executive of the Society of London Theatre, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating a decade of West End LIVE. Theatre is one of the capital’s greatest draws with an international reputation for offering world-class entertainment, and West End LIVE is a unique opportunity to showcase the quality and range of shows the London stage has to offer as well as putting on a great free family event for the public to enjoy.”
This year, for the first time ever, West Live LIVE will celebrate drama as well as music. A special free Theatre Emporium will be housed in a 1920s Spiegeltent in Leicester Square where the public will get the chance to peek behind the scenes and discover all the elements that bring a theatrical production to the stage including scripts, set and costume designs, wigs and make-up and special effects. There will also be an opportunity for visitors to participate in an Official London In Conversation with West End performers and creatives including the casts of Handbagged, Shakespeare in Love and the Olivier Award-winning actress Maureen Lipman, soon to open in the West End revival of Daytona. Full details to be announced shortly.
For more information and the weekend schedule visit the West End LIVE website www.westendlive.co.uk.