This hasn’t been the greatest year for West End musicals, what with the whole society-shutting-down thing, and while Theatreland is now tentatively starting to reopen, the fact of the matter is that ‘Six’, ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ and a concert version of ‘Les Misérables’ are liable to be the only London long-runners to reopen in 2020.
However, all is not lost for musical-theatre lovers. There’s obviously a huge number of very talented actors out of work at the moment, and six socially distanced concerts entitled ‘The Show Must Go On! Live at the Palace Theatre’ (November 13 to 15) will help them doubly: by providing employment to out-of-work performers, and by raising money for theatrical charities, namely Acting for Others and The Fleabag Support Fund.
The concerts should be a straight-up joy. Taking place in a socially distanced Palace Theatre (in happier times home to ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’), it’s basically just wall-to-wall highlights from the musicals you can’t currently see, from some of the biggest out-of-work names: Aisha Jawando from ‘Tina – The Tina Turner Musical’, Sam Tutty reprising his Olivier-winning role from ‘Dear Evan Hansen’, Layton Williams doing the honours for ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Collette Guitart and Hana Stewart from ‘Six’, Gavin Spokes doing the hons for ‘Hamilton’, Dom Simpson and Tom Xander for ‘The Book of Mormon’, Helen Woolfe and Laura Pick for ‘Wicked’, Tilly-Raye Bayer, Imogen Cole, Alyssa D’Souza, Alex Munden and Carly Thoms for ‘Matilda’, Jordan Luke Gage for ‘& Juliet’, Shan Ako and Frances Ruffelle for ‘Les Misérables’, various cast members in a performance from ‘The Lion King’, Christine Allado and Alexia Khadime for ‘The Prince of Egypt’, Alice Fearn for ‘Come From Away’, Holly-Anne Hull and Rhys Whitfield for ‘The Phantom Of The Opera’, Zizi Strallen for ‘Mary Poppins’ and Mazz Murray in a performance from ‘Mamma Mia!’.
If ever there were a night to help you pretend 2020 doesn’t exist, this sounds like it.
‘The Show Must Go On! Live at the Palace Theatre’ is happening across six performances on Nov 11-15. Tickets start from £22.50 and are available here.