Free musical theatre festival West End Live is back in Trafalgar Square this weekend.
The annual event brings together stars from several West End musicals for free performances in Trafalgar Square. Mamma Mia!, Six, Frozen and The Lion King are just some of the current West End shows taking to the stage this year, along with (deep breath...) 42nd Street, The Book of Mormon, Cabaret, The Choir Of Man, Heathers The Musical, Grease, Jersey Boys, Magic Mike Live, We Will Rock You, and many more.
Never been before? Take a look at this clip from last year for an idea of what to expect:
The exact schedule for West End Live 2023 has now been announced. Tim Mahendran (& Juliet) and Hiba Elchikhe (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) host on Saturday, with Trevor Dion Nicholas — who takes his final bow as George Washington in Hamilton this weekend — and Olivier Award nominee Rachel Tucker leading proceedings on Sunday.
While many of the performers are cast members of long-running West End shows — some dashing over to Trafalgar Square between their Saturday matinee and evening performances — it's also a chance to get a look at upcoming musical theatre treats. The cast of The Wizard of Oz (opening 23 June) and The Time Traveller's Wife: The Musical (opening in October) are on the bill, and we're promised an advanced preview of the latter on Sunday.
Preview performances of Annie Get Your Gun, Babies The Musical, Divas, The Little Big Things, Lizzie The Musical and Ride are also on the schedule, plus previous shows Treason and Showstopper! The Improvised Musical will be returning to the West End Live stage.
Usually, the fast-paced scheduling means the snappy sets are brief enough to maintain the attention of even the youngest audience members, and the schedule means you can drop by to catch your favourite shows — but it gets busy, and once you've given up your front row space, there's no getting it back.
West End Live 2023 takes place 11am-5pm on Saturday 17 June and 12pm-5pm on Sunday 18 June. It's free to attend, and there's no need to book tickets (but get there early for a good view, and to ensure you get in, as it's reached capacity quite early in previous years). The full schedule will be available on the website. If the event gets your toes a-tapping, browse offers for tickets to current and upcoming musicals in London.