Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Review: MUSICAL CON, Excel Centre

Review: MUSICAL CON, Excel Centre

The West End’s first ever musical theatre fan convention kicked off with a bang.

Musical Con is the "West End's first ever musical theatre fan convention", an event designed to connect audiences with their favourite performers, showcase new work and simply have a lot of stagey fun.

The event, which took place over two days at the Excel Centre, is modeled upon Comic Con - a convention that draws in thousands of guests annually. Musical Con was no different, with approximately 5,000 attendees present.

To begin with, there were many things that Musical Con did right. It hosted a series of illuminating panels that allowed attendees to better understand the work that goes into bringing production from page to stage. This also opened the door for interesting and vital conversations about inclusivity and diversity within the industry, particularly during the panel entitled, "Why Representation Matters in All Areas of Theatre".

While the main stage was largely dominated by well-established productions, such as Wicked and Heathers, they also platformed newer productions, such as Super You and But I'm A Cheerleader. The But I'm A Cheerleader cast, in particular, was excellent - as the audience lapped up every moment of their time on stage.

Every performer that stepped onto the stage gave their all - and a highlight of the day was a performance of "Defying Gravity" sung by four former Elphabas; Alice Fearn, Louise Dearman, Laura Pick and Nikki Bentley.

The main stage was also home to the "Star of Musical Con" competition, where eight finalists sang before judges to see who would be crowned the star. With some performers as young as fifteen, audiences were blown away and it's clear that many have promising careers in front of them.

However, as a new event, Musical Con did experience teething problems. Throughout the day, there were issues with sound quality - mainly as the main stage often drowned out whatever was happening in the panels. While headphones were provided for the former, they picked up a lot of the noise from the microphones being used on the main stage and within the workshops. This made it difficult to follow - which is a shame as the conversations were so interesting.

While there were lots of performances running throughout the day, attendees who were not participating in workshops or spending extra money on 'meet & greets' were also not given much to do. When this event runs in the future, it would benefit from hosting more panels, Q&A opportunities, or perhaps a wider selection of stagey vendors (who were fantastic).

The former also brings into question the pricing for the event - £45 for a day pass, or £79 for a weekend pass (with VIP packages starting at £89). This is considerably more expensive than similar events, such as Comic Con, which usually averages around £25 for an adult day pass - despite the fact that Comic Con is a bigger event with more things going on. As an event that was geared towards giving back to the fans and accessibility, the cost likely priced out many fans who would have liked to attend.

However, overall, there was a lot of heart behind Musical Con - and much fun to be had. This is born from the fact that organisers were keen to help audiences connect with their favourite stars, and celebrate all that the West End has to offer. With plans for next year's convention already in the works, there's also a lot of promise for a bigger, better event that builds upon this early success.



Kelly Glyptis, Zachary James, And Telly Leung Team Up For One-Night Only Cabaret Benefitti Photo
Some of the best voices from the West End, Broadway, and the English National Opera are partnering for a limited one-night only event to benefit Soup Kitchen London and Maestra UK.

Theatres Trust Announces Theatres at Risk Register 2023 Photo
Theatres Trust, the charity that campaigns to protect the UK’s theatres, has published its annual Theatres at Risk Register, which highlights theatres across the UK under threat of closure, redevelopment or severe decay, but which all have the potential to be revived for their local communities. 

WICKED Appoints Starling Arts to Bring Wellbeing, Anti-Bullying and Musical Theatre Worksh Photo
The stage musical Wicked has announced a partnership with Starling Arts to exclusively deliver school and community group workshops, with an emphasis on wellbeing and self-confidence.

New Musical THE BOOK THIEF  Will Play in Coventry and Leicester Beginning in September Photo
The stage adaptation of best-selling novel The Book Thief, with libretto by Jodi Picoult and Timothy Allen McDonald and music and lyrics by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson, will be presented at Coventry's Belgrade Theatre and Leicester's Curve Theatre in autumn 2023.


From This Author - Abbie Grundy


Review: MY SON'S A QUEER, (BUT WHAT CAN YOU DO?), Ambassadors TheatreReview: MY SON'S A QUEER, (BUT WHAT CAN YOU DO?), Ambassadors Theatre
February 2, 2023

There is beauty in the simplicity of this concept. My Son's A Queer (But What Can You Do?) is a tale about growing up. More specifically, the 'ups and downs of raising a queer child.' It is also clearly a production made for and by generations of theatre kids, the kind who prefer to stay in the dress-up section of the school (especially if it gets them out of a football match).

Review: WHITE CHRISTMAS, Liverpool Empire TheatreReview: WHITE CHRISTMAS, Liverpool Empire Theatre
December 22, 2022

While last week's snow may have melted away, there will still be a White Christmas in Liverpool thanks to the touring production of Irving Berlin's beloved Holiday classic.

Review: MR CHARLES DICKENS PRESENTS A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Greenwich TheatreReview: MR CHARLES DICKENS PRESENTS A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Greenwich Theatre
December 13, 2022

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is one story that most audiences, young and old, are familiar with. After all, it's dusted off every year to mark the festive season - encouraging audiences to step into the Christmas spirit.

Review: MUSICAL CON, Excel CentreReview: MUSICAL CON, Excel Centre
October 24, 2022

Musical Con is the 'West End's first ever musical theatre fan convention', an event designed to connect audiences with their favourite performers, showcase new work and simply have a lot of stagey fun.

Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE IN CONCERT, Royal Albert HallReview: HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE IN CONCERT, Royal Albert Hall
October 10, 2022

With seven books, eight films, a stage production, and countless video games to devour - it's hard to believe there's a new way to share this story, but that's where CiniConcerts step in.