Monday, 23 June 2014

Fosse, gay puppets and crotch-watching in the sunshine

It was certainly a camp way to spend a Sunday afternoon - watching a succession of snippets from some of Theatreland's most lauded musicals, on stage in Trafalgar Square, in the sunshine, free of charge!

West End Live has (remarkably) been going for ten years now, and yet this was the first time (to my chagrin) I had ever been! So when Paul suggested we pop along for a bit of alfresco entertainment, I jumped at the chance to get away from boxes, boxes and more boxes everywhere in our slowly-emptying house.

It was great fun, as we caught the "Ten from Ten" slot that formed the run-up to the two-day event's grand finalé - ten classic shows that are not currently in the West End (some perhaps on tour) by ten leading performers/ensembles. Among the highlights were Leanne Jones singing Good Morning Baltimore from Hairspray, Caroline Sheen singing numbers from Mary Poppins, Charlotte Wakefield singing The Sound of Music, and Vivienne Carlyle and Stuart Boother from another sadly-missed show Blood Brothers.

A particular fave was the ebullient Jodie Prenger (a good mate of Paul O'Grady; she often sits in to present his Radio 2 show when he's away) with As Long As He Needs Me from Oliver and Secret Love from her forthcoming show Calamity Jane. [There was a mad flurry of excitement later when Miss Prenger arrived at Halfway to Heaven to catch the drag show by Crystal d'Canter and Kelly Mild!]

Oh - and the sing-along-a-Sound of Music slot, when we, and the assembled thousands in the audience, got a chance to exercise our tonsils with Do-Re-Mi was great fun, too.

Among the very best of the best, however, were the rather gorgeous Daniel Boys performing Any Dream Will Do and Close Every Door from Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat. [Never mind the songs, get yer kit off!]

...and the sexy totty brilliant cast of (birthday boy Bob Fosse's) Chicago:

...and Avenue Q:

...and Priscilla Queen of the Desert:

Campness abounds!

I shall certainly not be missing this wonderful free entertainment next year.

West End Live

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