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Westminster launches festival of outdoor arts

Jess Young

By Jess Young First Published 17 September 2020, Last Updated 17 September 2020

The vibrant arts and culture scene in the West End will be brought back to life in a unique partnership between Westminster City Council and the area’s world-famous cultural institutions. 

From Marble Arch through Leicester Square to Covent Garden Piazza, the Inside Out festival will feature open air performances, outdoor exhibitions and installations from some of the area’s top theatres, opera houses, museums and galleries. 

The festival is the latest initiative from Westminster City Council to attract visitors back to the West End to enjoy London’s cultural and hospitality offerings safely.   

The programme from  1 – 4 October will include:  

  • A selection of open-air performances from West End musicals, the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, and the Royal Philharmonic Brass Ensemble
  • An open-air gallery on the National Gallery’s North Terrace, on Trafalgar Square
  • The first ever Mayfair Sculpture Trail launched by Mayfair Art Weekend in partnership with local galleries
  • Light projections in celebration of new life, nature, and optimism onto Marble Arch by artist Claire Luxton, in partnership with Marble Arch London BID and English Heritage, from sunset to encourage more people to visit central London, whether it be for an evening or for a cultural weekend
  • Light projections in Piccadilly Circus and Victoria by MTArt Agency Artists Ben Cullen Williams and Lauren Baker in partnership with Heart of London Business Alliance and Victoria BID
  • The Photographers’ Gallery hosting a free, open-air portrait studio, selfie booths and an exhibition of work produced by young people during lockdown.

The four-day festival has been curated to allow people to enjoy it in a socially distanced manner.

Cllr Rachael Robathan, Leader of Westminster City Council said: 

“We’ve all missed the buzz of the West End’s theatres, opera houses and galleries, and while some are starting to reopen, we’re doing everything we can to bring more fantastic art outdoors where people can enjoy it safely.  

“We’re delighted to be working with our cultural partners to give people a chance to sample the magic of stunning theatre, music and art on our beautiful streets and squares. We hope this is the precursor to a full re-opening of the West End when we are sure it is safe to do so.  

“We look forward to welcoming people back to the West End safely, and hope they will take the opportunity to stop for a meal or a drink while they are here.” 

Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, said:  

“I am absolutely delighted that artists and musicians of the Royal Opera House are joining the Inside Out project. It is vital for the West End, for theatres across London and for everyone who engages with the arts in any capacity that we get back to live performances, for live audiences, as soon as possible. The road ahead will be challenging, but this is a big step in the right direction, and many thanks go to Westminster City Council for showing this lead.”  

All elements of the festival will comply with Government guidance and local public health advice.  Further information about the festival will be confirmed over the coming days, including ticketing information for the open air performances. Tickets are due to go on sale next week.  

To find out more about Inside Out and for the full programme of activities, please visit westminster.gov.uk/insideout 

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We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

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In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.