While London’s West End is the theatre capital of the world, the amazing city is also famous for so much else, whether it’s your landmark sites – Big Ben, the Tower of London, or Buckingham Palace – your eye-popping vistas – a visit to the top of London Eye or the Shard is quite something – or your hub of international sporting prowess.
So it’s quite fitting that, five years after the Olympic Stadium was awash with the sheer excitement of 2012, London now finds itself hosting plenty of the world’s finest sportspeople once again.
But we’d also like to think the West End’s iconic characters could mix it with the best of them on track and field, and once you’ve seen our dream Theatreland athletics line-up, we’re sure you couldn’t disagree…!
100 metre race
Our athletes: Strat & Raven (Bat Out Of Hell The Musical)
Christina Bennington as Raven and Andrew Polec as Strat in Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical (Photo: Specular)
A hefty burst of acceleration and a burst of blazing pace would be necessary to overcome the likes of Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin in this event, so we’d put forwards Strat and Raven, two daredevils used to living life at searing speed, from Meatloaf’s musical masterpiece.
Oh, and their motorbike might come in handy, too.
110 metre hurdles
Our athlete: Aladdin (Disney’s Aladdin)
Matthew Croke as Aladdin in Disney’s Aladdin
Along the same lines, what better way to scale the inconveniences of obstructing hurdles than simply to glide over them?
Aladdin is well versed in scarpering away from pursuers and, with liberal application of his magic carpet, would show his fellow competitors A Whole New World of speed on the track.
Our athletes: The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong
Photo: Helen Murray
Only one contender here: the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, a.k.a. the cast of The Play That Goes Wrong.
Not because we’d expect to win, but because the consequences could be too hilarious to miss.
The Phantom Of The Opera at West End LIVE 2017 (Photo: Pamela Raith)
We’ve got the dynamic duo sure to claim the gold medal here: both halves of our eponymous Phantom Of The Opera and Woman In Black double-team have an eerie habit of disappearing in an instant, only to reappear quick as a flash elsewhere – a valuable trait for any Marathon participant.
We’re pretty confident this one’s set in stone – provided we can dissuade the Phantom from asking his partner to sing for him, that is…
4 x 100 metre relay
School Of Rock The Musical backstage at West End LIVE 2017 (Photo: Pamela Raith)
The relay race is all about electric bursts of speed, energy, coordination and teamwork; traits which, fortunately for our selectors, shine through every Theatreland cast.
Miranda Hart (Miss Hannigan) with the Orphans in Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre (Photo: Paul Coltas)
But if you’ve ever seen the young kids casts of School Of Rock The Musical or Annie tear up a West End stage, you’d know that their storming performances night after night see them hold nothing back; they’re full-throttle livewires who’d tear past the opposition.
And should they start to fall behind, they could always pull a prank or two on the race track…
20 kilometre walk
Our athlete: Jean Valjean (Les Misérables)
Jean Valjean is used to a good (pacey) stroll in the countryside, having journeyed miles across the French plains in his efforts to evade long-term nemesis, Inspector Javert.
Fortunately for him, a chance at redemption is at hand: an opportunity to represent Theatreland in the 20km walk event, as long as he promises not to make a break for it. Somebody, Bring Him Home!
Our athlete: Agatha Trunchull (Matilda The Musical)
The powerhouse that is Miss Agatha Trunchbull has this one in the bag, as she’d almost certainly recapture her glory as a former Olympic champion in this event.
While she may suffer from the occasional temper tantrum, as long as we could keep her away from our 4 x 100m relay teams, this gold medal’s sure to be ours.
Our athletes: the cast of An American In Paris
The cast of An American In Paris are more than used to pulling off a beautifully balletic hop, skip and a jump in spectacular style.
And while we can’t promise them they’d return to the beautiful cobbles of Paris upon landing, we could certainly tidy up the triple jump sandpit before entering them into this event.
Our athlete: Elphaba (Wicked)
Alice Fearn (Elphaba) in Wicked at The Apollo Victoria Theatre (Photo: Matt Crockett)
There’s definitely an advantage to Defying Gravity in this event.
Green would take gold here, as Wicked‘s Elphaba would soar far over the sandpit and beyond. The only potential hitch? London rain. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Our athlete: Peggy Sawyer (42nd Street)
Clare Halse & company in 42nd Street (Photo: Brinkhoff & Moegenburg)
Tackling ten events over two events is the ultimate test of an athlete’s endurance, and boy does our wildcard entry, Peggy Sawyer of 42nd Street, have stamina in abundance.
Proving just as adept at picking up athletic events as she is all-singing all-dancing tap routines, Peggy’s the perfect choice for nailing every event first time, and with the minimum of fuss.
It helps, too, that her competitors always seem to suffer an injury on the day of the event.
And when it’d come to collecting the medals…
… well, unfortunately, there would be none.
Turns out that motley crew from The Comedy About A Bank Robbery got there first.
Sean Kearns (Freeboys), Gareth Tempest (Mitch), Jeremy Lloyd (Everyone Else), Hannah Boyce (Caprice) and Steffan Lloyd-Evans (Sam) in The Comedy About A Bank Robbery (Photo: Darren Bell)