London to Put on Ninth Annual West End Live Festival

Matilda The Musical - H 2012

Matilda The Musical - H 2012

Among the stage productions that will provide free entertainment on Trafalgar Square are "Billy Elliot The Musical," "The Sound of Music" and "Dirty Dancing."

London will bring back the West End Live festival, celebrating theater productions, for its ninth edition this summer, organizers said Thursday.

The Westminster City Council and the Society of London Theatre are organizing the event in collaboration with sponsor MasterCard. The festival will return to the British capital's Trafalgar Square on June 22 and 23 with free performances from some of London’s top stage productions and performers.
Among the West End favorites that will showcase their work at the event are Billy Elliot The Musical, Jersey Boys, Disney’s The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Matilda The Musical, Les Miserables, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Phantom of the Opera, Stomp, Top Hat, War Horse and Wicked

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Newcomers that will be in the spotlight include Burn The Floor, The Bodyguard, A Chorus Line, The Color Purple, Dirty Dancing -- The Classic Story on Stage, From Here to Eternity, The Golden Voice, High Society, Let It Be, Limbo, Merrily We Roll Along, Once: A New Musical, Peter Pan: Never Ending Story, The Showstoppers and The Sound of Music.

West End Live is the largest event of its type in the U.K. Organizers said that "the stage is set for another record-breaking weekend as large crowds are expected to gather."

Last year, the festival attracted over half a million people. It takes place 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 22 and 12 noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Said London mayor Boris Johnson: “West End Live brings the roar of the greasepaint to the heart of the capital and all for free. From curtain up, to the encore, London Theatreland is unbeatable, and this is a fabulous way to sample some of the most exciting shows to be seen anywhere in the world.”

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Added Julian Bird, CEO of the Society of London Theatre: “Theater is one of the capital’s greatest draws with an international reputation for offering world-class entertainment, and West End Live is a chance to showcase the quality and range of shows the London stage has to offer.”

Twitter: @georgszalai