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Hit shows star at West End LIVE

First Published 17 May 2011, Last Updated 19 May 2011

A host of London’s hottest shows will be entertaining the public in the iconic Trafalgar Square this June as part of the free theatrical extravaganza West End LIVE.

New musicals Betty Blue Eyes, Ghost The Musical, The Wizard Of Oz, Shrek The Musical and Lend Me A Tenor The Musical will join long runners including Billy Elliot The Musical, Chicago, Wicked and this year’s BBC Radio 2 Olivier Audience Award winner We Will Rock You as they make Nelson’s column dance to a musical theatre beat on 18 and 19 June.

The hugely popular annual event will even feature a special sneak preview of Broadway hit Rock Of Ages, which is not due to open in London until September but is flying its US cast across the Atlantic just to perform at the event.

The full line up of shows taking part includes Crazy For You, The Lion King, The Flying Karamazov Brothers, Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde The Musical, Love Never Dies, Mamma Mia!, Million Dollar Quartet, Potted Potter, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert The Musical, ZooNation’s Some Like It Hip Hop, Stomp, Thriller Live and War Horse.

Among the stars making an appearance at the wallet-friendly weekend are Over The Rainbow winner and star of The Wizard Of Oz, Danielle Hope, Any Dream Will Do winner and now star of Legally Blonde, Lee Mead and Betty Blue Eyes’s Sarah Lancashire and Reece Shearsmith.

The seventh West End LIVE is the first that has been staged in Trafalgar Square, the event moving from its usual location in Leicester Square as the famous London landmark is being redeveloped. It is also the first year that the free festival of theatre is being staged in association with MasterCard, the credit card company that is building on its support of London theatre after sponsoring the Olivier Awards earlier this year.

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre, commented: “I am delighted that we are working even more closely with West End LIVE this year and developing our growing partnership with MasterCard to enable people to come and see for free this unrivalled theatrical spectacle.”

In addition to performances from more than 20 hit London productions, West End LIVE will also feature stalls from exhibitors including the Science Museum, London Film Museum and National Gallery, appearances by Angelina Ballerina and Bob The Builder, and shows from Free Run, the West End Gospel Choir and the London Gay Men’s Chorus.

Cllr Robert Davis, Deputy Leader of Westminster City Council, who first proposed West End LIVE, added: “West End LIVE not only offers a fabulous opportunity to sample some of the very best family entertainment and theatre the West End has to offer but it also provides an opportunity to truly understand what makes London’s West End such a world-renowned destination for the millions of visitors who flock here each year. The event also has a significant positive impact on the local economy, bringing in millions of pounds of income to our theatres, bars, restaurants, shops and businesses and generates a real buzz among those who visit.”

Since it was first staged, West End LIVE has showcased more than 200 performances, featuring more than 2,000 artists that have been seen by around two million members of the public. This year’s event, which runs from 11:00-18:00 on 18 June and 12:00-18:00 on 19 June, is expected to attract 500,000 people to the capital.

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