What To Watch? West End Live Gives A Taste Of What's On The West End Stage!
| By Ellie Bannerman
West End Live is an exciting free event put on each year in Trafalgar Square which aims to celebrate the best of London’s theatre. It’s taking place this year on the 20th and 21st June and features performances from the West End’s best loved shows along with some exciting newcomers.
I think this event is a brilliant chance to discover new shows that you’d not considered seeing before, or to check out a show you’ve wanted to see for a while. For me this is the case with Gypsy; I really want to see it as it’s had such brilliant reviews but I just haven’t been able to make it to the theatre yet. It’s definitely still on my list of things I need to see, but the chance to catch it in Trafalgar Square on Saturday at 17:40 will almost certainly cause me run down The Strand to the box office and buy my ticket immediately! Another show I’m really interested in seeing is American Idiot. I used to love the cast recording and listened to it religiously about three years ago, but recently it’s kind of fallen off my radar, so hopefully seeing it again this weekend will be a nice rediscovery of an old favourite. I’m also particularly intrigued by is Showstopper: The Improvised Musical. As a concept this seems almost impossible; the cast improvises an musical (as the title may suggest) based on ideas from the audience. I’m hopeful that this will be really funny and quite amazing to witness!
There’s also a great chance to enjoy some classic West End favourites. Wicked, Les Mis and Billy Elliot are all certain to put on a brilliant show and I’m definitely looking forward to Matilda too. I saw their performance in Covent Garden for the Olivier Awards event - all four girls who play Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre sung 'Naughty' which made for an interesting and different version of the song compared to what is performed in the show. Another moment of the weekend I’m excited for is the performances of jukebox musicals Let It Be, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Jersey Boys (to name but a few!). Normally I’m not the biggest fan of shows like this, but I think in a festival atmosphere like West End Live they will work brilliantly. A certain singalong moment!
As if all the entertainment in Trafalgar Square wasn’t enough, there’s also lots to see just a short walk away in Leicester Square. I’m most intrigued by the promise of a dinosaur petting zoo, which sounds like it will either be enchanting or completely terrifying. I also always love getting to see theatrical costumes up close - being a poor student I’m often way back in the upper circle so don’t get to see things within touching distance very often! There’s also going to be make up demonstrations and a photo booth - two things which seem to go together very well.
Clearly then there’s a huge variety of things to keep everyone entertained and I really can’t wait for this weekend. It’s impossible to say what I’m looking forward to the most but I don’t think there’s much chance of being stuck for something to see or do!