This year’s West End Live, the world’s largest outdoor theatre festival, held each summer in London’s Trafalgar Square, was cancelled in March after the UK went into coronavirus lockdown. Organisers have now announced that a virtual version will go ahead.
Working with the event’s sponsor Sky, every Thursday for six weeks from 21 May, a variety of West End musicals will be showcased on Sky, with stars performing from their homes and asking viewers’ questions.
All of these resulting videos will be available for free on the Society of London Theatre social media channels on over the weekend of the festival’s scheduled dates, Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June 2020.
As for the live event, on 23 March 2020, Westminster City Council and the Society of London Theatre said:
“When the coronavirus pandemic lifts and London revives, West End LIVE will have an even more important role to play as a curtain-raiser to the best of our fantastic West End. We look forward to being back bigger and better than ever before.”
The Virtual West End Live is part of the Society of London Theatres (SOLT)’s ongoing online efforts to keep theatregoing relevant during lockdown. There are also free acting and directing workshops for 11- to 14-year-olds, with National Youth Theatre, 60-minute live-streamed classes on Shakespeare, comedy and other genres, a ‘theatre fix’ portal for online productions and, for those in the industry, the Theatre Means Business portal for webinars and other digital learning resources.
But it doesn’t end there, we’ll be sharing the new performances on our YouTube channel following the stagiest weekend of the year. More information will be released soon.
Get ready to celebrate with us. 💛 (2/2) pic.twitter.com/5JZwUi3zS4
— West End LIVE (@WestEndLIVE) May 13, 2020