West End LIVE, a free annual event, returns in June with performances of leading theatre productions in the West End performed live in Trafalgar Square. In 2012, the West End LIVE weekend saw over 500,000 visitors attend. The two-day festival is run by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), Westminster City Council and Mastercard.
Performances at this year’s event will include a mix of West End favourites and newcomers, including Billy Elliot the Musical, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Matilda The Musical, The Sound Of Music, Top Hat, The Bodyguard, A Chorus Line, Once: A New Musical and many more.
West End LIVE, now in its ninth year, was proposed by deputy leader of Westminster City Council Robert Davis to support and rejuvenate the West End, and to showcase the entertainment available in the area. Of the visitors to last year’s event, 85% said that it would be likely that they would attend a West End show having seen the performances as part of West End LIVE.
Councillor Robert Davis said of this year’s event: ‘This will be the largest West End LIVE we have ever produced with more shows taking part than ever before. From humble beginnings in Leicester Square nine years ago, our event now attracts hundreds of thousands of people. We cannot wait to get the weekend started and showcase exactly what the West End of London has to offer – the best art, musicals and theatre in the world.’
West End LIVE takes place on 22-23 June 2013, for more information visit www.westendlive.co.uk.
Yesterday, we reported that Joanna Page had criticised the reality show Superstar. She said: ‘There are actors and musical theatre performers who have given their whole lives to the profession because it is their passion, and then you have some bloody van driver on a show saying “I didn’t do this when I was 12 but I wish I had done, but I didn’t have the guts”. Well, that’s your problem, because you obviously didn’t have the passion, spirit, drive, and the determination, to dedicate your whole life to it.’
Do you think Joanna Page has a valid point?
Andrew Lloyd Webber first embarked on making these reality format shows in 2006 with How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? The show saw Connie Fisher win the lead role in a production of The Sound of Music. This was followed by a number of shows with a similar format: Any Dream Will Do, I’d Do Anything, Over the Rainbow, and this year’s ITV series Superstar.
Do you think the process of casting a theatrical production on television has a bad affect on actors auditioning in the industry?
Do you think people who would ordinarily not be recalled for auditions would have a better chance on a show of this format?
It is important to note that a majority of the winner’s from these shows do have some sort of theatrical experience and training. Connie Fisher, as an example, was a member of the National Youth Music Theatre, attended Mountview Academy of Theatre and Arts and received a Dance and Drama Award funded by the government. Did the reality show How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? give her a chance she may not have had in the usual circumstances of casting a show like this?
Would you encourage or discourage your students from applying for a television programme like this?
Do you think it could have a negative impact on their careers?
Let us know what you’re thoughts are …