On Saturday the 20th of June I went to West End Live, a free event in Trafalgar Square that showcases the best of the West End. Each of the musicals present three or four songs, they normally perform their iconic songs or highlights. After watching each show I was astounded by the groundbreaking talent and diversity that is currently in the West End.
I compiled a list of the top 5 shows I saw at West End Live and the ones I am most desperate to see. Some of them I have already seen but West End Live reminded me how phenomenal they are.
I’ve wanted to see Memphis since it arrived in the West End, the soundtrack is flawless and the moment Beverely Knight performed Coloured Woman on stage at West End Live, my whole body was consumed with goosebumps. Her performance was spectacular and it really moved me. I am usually quite skeptical about leading roles in the West End being played by ‘popstars’ but she was impeccable. Memphis is top of my list of West End shows to see this year.
Beautiful, The Carole King Musical
Beautiful came to my attention after it won two Olivier’s and had eight nominations. I brought the soundtrack and I was surprised by how much I loved it. The cast provided an excellent performance at West End Live and Katie Breyben delivered an electric performance with so much passion and energy. It is a story I’d love to learn more about and I definitely need to catch it whilst Katie is still the leading lady.
Miss Saigon is an emotional rollercoaster of a show. I saw the show in December and it moved me to tears because the cast were exceptional. When Hugh Maynard who plays John took to the stage with the ensemble singing a capella, I was mesmerised and I’d completely forgotten how emotive the show is. It’s a masterpiece of a show with probably the best casting of a musical I’ve ever seen. I need to see this show again very soon.
Les Mis is a show I’ve seen numerous times and it just never gets old. I haven’t seen it in a few years but I frequently listen to the cast recording. Their set included I Dreamed a Dream, Bring Him Home and One Day More, each of which were stunning. The atmosphere they created was indescribable and I feel it has been too long, I must be reunited with this show very soon.
I actually missed Gypsy at West End Live because they were on very late in the day, but I wanted to include them in my post because of all the incredible things I have heard about it. It performs to sell out audiences and will most likely continue to be a success for a long time. It’s an iconic show and Imelda Staunton is said to provide a remarkable performance. My friends went to see it recently and described it as “the best show they’ve ever seen.” This is another show I am desperate to see before a cast change.
I vlogged my whole day at West End Live and you can watch that video to experience what it’s like to be at such a fantastic event full of free accessible theatre.