Back from the ashes! West End Live goes virtual this year
| By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels
(Updated on May 22, 2020)
Just as it was looking like there'd be no West End Live this year, the annual theatre showcase has announced with Sky VIP that it will be heading to the virtual stage beginning on 21 May!
Get ready for Virtual West End Live!
Originally meant to take place live on Trafalgar Square from 20 and 21 June before being cancelled due to coronavirus, West End Live will now be offering London theatre fans something to look forward to on digital screens. The best part of it all: new teaser performances will be streamed every Thursday for five weeks starting on 21 May and leading up to the originally planned weekend of 20 and 21 June!
Virtual West End Live will feature stars from such top West End favourites as & Juliet, SIX, Mamma Mia!, and more, and will be available for free for all existing Sky customers. Every week will see a different production showcased with cast members of the show performing from home and answering audience questions.
The virtual offering will be broadcast in lieu of West End Live 2020, which was forced to cancel in physical form due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
Sky VIP meets the West End
Virtual West End Live is a partnership between Sky and Society of London Theatre (SOLT), who host the event on an annual basis. It now forms a part of Sky's theatre-related content, which is intended for people staying at home.
Sky VIP's special programming also includes free acting and directing workshops for young people between the ages of 11 and 14, which are hosted in partnership with National Youth Theatre. These 60-minute classes will be live-streamed starting today (13 May) and will cover all areas from comedy to Shakespeare.
West End Live will be celebrating the weekend itself on their social channels for everyone to be involved in. The Sky content that will be for Sky customers in the lead-up to the event will also be shared with everyone after the big weekend.
West End Live issued a statement on their partnership with Sky VIP: "West End LIVE are delighted to be working with Sky VIP, who were due to partner with this year’s event, to create six new teaser features of West End shows for their customers in the lead up to the weekend of the 20 & 21 June.
But it doesn’t end there, Official London Theatre will be sharing the new Sky VIP performances that Sky helped to develop on their YouTube channel following what would have been the stagiest weekend of the year. Everybody can join the celebrations on the weekend itself on the West End LIVE social channels."
The official London Theatre YouTube channel can be visited here.