West End Live took place this weekend in London’s historic Trafalgar Square. In its 7th year the annual event which showcases the best of the West End Musical scene still attracted thousands of visitors despite the best of the British weather.
Shows represented included Jersey Boys, The Lion King, Chicago, Priscilla Queen of The Desert and Mamma Mia. Performing alongside the well established newcomers were new shows Shrek the Musical, Rock of Ages and Ghost.
Rock of Ages, staring X Factor winner Shayne Ward drew loud screams from the teenage girls in the crowd but some technical hitches in their performance did show that they had a bit of a way to go before their opening at the end of the summer.
Ghost the Musical which is based on the hit film opens at The Piccadilly Theatre just next week and a show-stopping performance from Sharon D Clarke (who plays Oda Mae Brown) caused laughter and cheers on Saturday afternoon. If that is anything to go by then this is a show not to be missed. The show’s leading couple Richard Fleeshman and Caissie Levy also took to the stage on Sunday afternoon to do a spot of presenting.
The only disappointment for me came from Shrek. Anyone hoping to see Amanda Holden in her role as Princess Fiona were left disappointed. The show sent Richard Blackwood and Landi Oshinowo to perform a number. Landi, who plays the dragon’s amazing voice didn’t quite make up for the lack of costumes and magic we expected from this new musical.
For me the girl who stole the show was Danielle Hope, who as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz has been drawing in the crowds since the show opened early this year. Her rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” was truly beautiful. She was then joined on stage by Tinman, Lion and Scarecrow for “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”. The Wizard of Oz showcase finished with a short appearance from Toto the dog who of course got a large cheer.
The organizers of West End Live have promised an even bigger and better show next year when it moves back to its normal home of Leicester Square.