It’s been 10 years since a handful of shows first left the safety of their West End theatres and took up residence in Leicester Square for what was back then a modest but lively event giving audiences a taste of just a small proportion of the entertainment on offer in London’s Theatreland.
A decade on, the free festival is bigger and better than ever before and, in a few days’ time, London’s iconic Trafalgar Square will be overrun once again with thousands of musical theatre fans ready to enjoy performances from more than 20 shows at the 10th West End LIVE.
From doggy debuts to world record attempts, we take a look at some of our favourite West End LIVE moments in the two-day festival’s 10 year history.
1. Sheridan Smith brings her Olivier Award-winning performance as Legally Blonde The Musical’s Elle Woods to the Leicester Square stage. Omigod, it was good!
2. West End LIVE becomes so popular it outgrows its original home here…
… and sets up shop here
3. Matilda pulls her best rock star pose with the cast of We Will Rock You. We defy you to find a cuter backstage picture, or indeed any other evidence of a studious school girl socialising with a bunch of futuristic bohemians.
4. The cast of Rock Of Ages rallies the crowds by attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Air Guitar Ensemble.
Some got into it more than others…
… and even the backstage team had a go.
5. The heavens open and instead of thousands of musical theatre fans running for the exit, a sea of umbrellas covers Trafalgar Square. That’s what we call commitment!
6. … After much Beggin’ from the men in red coats, the sun comes out again.
7. Glee star Matthew Morrison graces the TKTS tent with his much sought-after presence. Needless to say, phones and cameras were at the ready. Even ours.
8. Legendary lyricist Tim Rice takes to the stage to offer audiences their first taster of his new musical From Here To Eternity. Who doesn’t love an exclusive?
9. Move over Pudsey! This performing pooch makes his West End LIVE debut as Toto alongside his The Wizard Of Oz co-star Sophie Evans.
10. Having made Wicked history the previous year, becoming the first actress to play both Elphaba and Glinda in the Oz-set musical, Louise Dearman joins co-star Gina Beck on stage for an incredible rendition of For Good. It was Popular to say the least.