West End LIVE 2009
Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
WEST End LIVE, the world’s largest free entertainment festival, returns to Leicester Square on Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21, 2009, opening to the public at 11am on Saturday.
Highlights of this year’s event, hosted by Christopher Biggins, will include performances by talk-show host Jerry Springer who is currently making his West End debut as Chicago‘s super slick lawyer Billy Flynn, and I’d Do Anything‘s Jodie Prenger who won the coveted role of Nancy in Cameron Mackintosh’s revival of Oliver!
Other shows taking part include Hairspray, Jersey Boys, Wicked, We Will Rock You, Dirty Dancing, Avenue Q, Thriller Live, Stomp, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, La Cage Aux Folles, Carousel, Been so Long, Too Close to the Sun and Sister Act.
Visitors will also be able to take part in a host of activities. Children will be able to enjoy watching TV favourites Bob The Builder, Barney, Fireman Sam and Angelina Ballerina in a sneak preview of The Little Big Club Live in Concert. Not due in the UK until next year, the 70-minute stage show is currently touring Hong Kong.
Children can also visit the Postman Pat marquee to meet another much-loved screen favourite.
Speaking about the event, Cllr Robert Davis, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Special Events, said: “We’ve already got a host of excellent shows lined up for this year’s event including established stage favourites such as Chicago and Avenue Q as well as exciting new performances from Thriller and Priscilla Queen Of The Desert.
“West End LIVE is a spectacular event and it’s free, so all the family can come along and enjoy the shows and soak up the atmosphere even if they are on a budget.”
And Nica Burns, president of the Society of London Theatre, said: “London has the best theatre in the world. No city can rival the breadth and variety of outstanding entertainment that can be enjoyed daily in London. West End Live gives everyone the chance to enjoy a weekend of fantastic free entertainment showcasing just some of our fabulous shows and the opportunity to take part in a range of fun activities.
“Beat the recession blues by joining us in celebrating the success of an industry we can all be proud of – and which contributes £1.8 billion to the capital’s economy whilst bringing untold pleasure to millions of people. A big thank you to Westminster City Council for hosting this fantastic event.”
More than 150,000 people are expected to attend this year’s West End LIVE which is organised by Westminster City Council.