West End LIVE Celebrates 10 Years Today
West End LIVE in association with MasterCard takes place in Trafalgar Square today 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 theSociety of London Theatre and offers fantastic free family entertainment from London's top theatre productions and performers.
West End LIVE attracted over 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, Disney's The Lion King, ZooNation's Groove On Down The Road, Jersey Boys, LES MISERABLES, 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, 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 10 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 10th 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 Theatre In Conversation with... West End performers and creatives including the casts of Handbagged, Shakespeare In Love and the Olivier award-winning director Jamie Lloyd. Full details to be announced shortly.
Shaun Springer, Head of Brand, Sponsorship, Digital & Music Marketing at MasterCard UK & I, said: "MasterCard are delighted to support West End LIVE once again, in what is our fourth year as a partner. This is part of the next phase of our ongoingPriceless Theatre campaign which began earlier this year, with The 2014 Oliver Awards. During the West End LIVE weekend, we will be giving out many Priceless Surprises in and around Trafalgar Square giving consumers the chance to share in the magic of some of London's best theatre shows.
For all the latest information on West End theatre, and to book tickets for the shows participating in West End LIVE, visitwww.officiallondontheatre.co.uk .
- Exhibitors at West End Live 2014 include: the London Film Museum, Little Angel Theatre, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, Everything's Rosie, Theatre's Trust, Forbidden Planet, the Science Museum, Benjamin Pollock's Toyshop.
- MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities - such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances - easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.
- Society of London Theatre (SOLT) is the organisation which represents the producers, theatre owners and managers of the 52 major commercial and grant-assisted theatres in central London. The organisation exists in order to promote theatregoing, develop audiences, and to serve, protect and promote the interests of those engaged in theatre across London, through activities including The Olivier Awards with MasterCard, TKTS ticket booth, officiallondontheatre.co.uk, Theatre Tokens, West End LIVE and the promotions Kids Week and Get Into London Theatre.
- Following West End LIVE 2013, 76% of visitors agreed that they are likely to go to a West End show because of what they had seen and 75% said that attending West End LIVE has influenced which shows they would like to see in the future.
- 46% of visitors also said they were personally spending more money on the day as a result of West End LIVE.
- Over the course of West End LIVE 2013 more than £100,000 worth of theatre tickets were sold at the TKTS booth in Leicester Square.
- West End LIVE was first proposed by Cllr Robert Davis, Deputy Leader of Westminster City Council, as part of the council's wider commitments to help rejuvenate the West End and as a way of showcasing the quality and diversity of entertainment in and around the local area.