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West End LIVE 2011

Theatre news

MORE than 20 shows will be taking part in this year’s West End LIVE, the world’s largest free entertainment festival, which takes place in Trafalgar Square on June 18 and 19.

The shows include Betty Blue Eyes, Billy Elliot The Musical, Chicago, The Lion King, Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde The Musical, Lend Me a Tenor The Musical, Love Never Dies, Mamma Mia!, Million Dollar Quartet, Potted Potter, Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical, Stomp, Thriller Live, War Horse, The Flying Karamazov Brothers, We Will Rock You, Wicked and The Wizard of Oz.

There will also be sneak previews of forthcoming shows, such as the Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park’s Crazy for You which runs from July 28 to September 10, the Broadway transfer Rock of Ages which opens at the Shaftesbury Theatre in September, and Ghost The Musical which begins preview performances at the Piccadilly Theatre in June.

Stars visitors can expect to see include Over The Rainbow winner and star of The Wizard Of Oz, Danielle Hope and Any Dream Will Do winner and now star of Legally Blonde, Lee Mead. Sarah Lancashire and Reece Shearsmith from Betty Blue Eyes will also be on hand.

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.

This, the seventh West End LIVE, is the first to be staged in Trafalgar Square, a move made necessary by the redevelopment of Leicester Square, the event’s usual venue. It’s also the first time that West End LIVE is being staged in association with MasterCard, which earlier this year sponsored the Olivier Awards.

This year’s event, which runs from 11am to 6pm on June 18 and from 12 noon to 6pm on June 19, is expected to attract 500,000 people.