West End LIVE 2023 in pictures and numbers: over 65,000 theatre fans come together in Trafalgar Square for weekend of world-class theatre
An estimated 65-70,000 people flocked to London’s Trafalgar Square this weekend (Sat 17 & Sun 18 June) for West End LIVE, Europe’s biggest free theatre festival. Theatre fans travelled from all over the UK and even further afield for this hotly anticipated highlight of the theatrical calendar.
The weekend was packed with 11 hours of performances from 48 top London shows, featuring over 500 performers.
Musicals on the bill included West End LIVE favourites Back To The Future The Musical, The Barricade Boys, The Book Of Mormon, Cabaret, The Choir Of Man, Disney’s Frozen, Grease The Musical, Hamilton, Heathers The Musical, I Wish My Life Were A Musical, Jersey Boys, Disney’s The Lion King, Magic Mike Live, Mamma Mia!, RSC’s Matilda The Musical, Les Misérables, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, The Phantom Of The Opera, Queenz: The Show With Balls!, Six, Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, Roles We’ll Never Play, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, Treason, We Will Rock You, and Wicked.
These shows were joined by new hit productions making their West End LIVE debuts, including 42nd Street, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life And Times Of The Temptations, Aspects Of Love, Annie Get Your Gun, Babies The Musical, La Bamba!, Crazy For You, Death Note: The Musical, Divas, Glory Ride, The Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image The Musical, The Little Big Things, Lizzie The Musical, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, Operation Mincemeat, Ride, The SpongeBob Musical, A Strange Loop, Tarantino Live, Then, Now & Next, The Time Travellers Wife and The Wizard Of Oz.
There were also special performances from vocal quartet G4, rock trio Vocal Xtr3me, plus West End stars Leanne Jones, Lucie Jones and Khiyon Hursey, with Westway Music hosting a special slot from their exciting roster of theatre performers. Tim Minchin also surprised delighted West End LIVE attendees by closing the show on Saturday with a performance of ‘Playing Nancy’ from his hit musical, Groundhog Day.
Saturday’s West End LIVE attendees were treated to a spectacular view of the military flypast in celebration of the birthday of His Majesty King Charles III, which reached Trafalgar Square in perfect time to be introduced by Hamilton’s King George. Watch the moment on the Official London Theatre YouTube channel.
Videos of the performances posted to the Official London Theatre YouTube channel accumulated 657,000 views over the weekend, with a watch time of 30,000 minutes. Overall, the West End LIVE and Official London Theatre social channels had a reach of over 7.8million across the weekend.
West End LIVE would not be possible without the ongoing partnership between Westminster City Council and Society of London Theatre. The annual event embodies the community spirit of London theatre, and that was exemplified this year, as key theatre owners and organisations came together as sponsors (Ambassador Theatre Group, Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, Disney Theatrical Group, LW Theatres, Nimax Theatres, Theatre Royal Haymarket and Trafalgar Entertainment).
Much like the theatre sector, key establishments in the West End came together once again to support the event, including Edwardian Hotels, Shaftesbury Capital, Ontix, Art of London, The Crown Estate, FM Conway, Regent St and St James’s, Veolia, New West End Company, The Northbank BID and Shaftesbury Capital.