Whatsonstage.com Award-winning playwright Richard Bean will join a panel including Jack Bradley, literary Associate at Sonia Friedman Productions, chief executive of the Society of London Theatre Julian Bird and Guardian theatre critic Lyn Gardner at The Heart of the West End conference at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket this weekend.

The panel, which will covered live and subsequently released as a podcast by Whatsonstage.com, is part of a two-day event jointly organised by the Department of Drama & Theatre at Royal Holloway in association with the Theatre Royal, Haymarket and the V&A.

The Heart of the West End conference is a two-day multi-disciplinary conference on the past, present and future of London’s Commercial Theatre in the West End.

It takes place at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket - currently home to Bean's adaptation of Carlo Goldoni's classic 18th-century Italian comedy The Servant of Two Masters, One Man, Two Guvnors - and will bring together some of the UK’s leading academics, theatre owners, makers, managers, performers for industry-lead round-table discussions and a variety of academic papers.

Sunday 25 March 2012 focuses on the West End’s history, with academic papers encompassing topics as diverse as Oscar Wilde, pantomime, James Winston’s part in the founding the Garrick Club and the Gatti family’s virtual monopoly on providing electricity to light the West End stage.

The following day (26 March 2012) will tackle the West End today with discussions asking questions including: "What makes the West End special?", "What do audiences want from their ‘good night out’?" and “How important is Theatreland to the future of the West End?"

Whatsonstage.com will be live-tweeting a panel, chaired by Variety critic and academic Karen Fricker, titled "The Future of the West End". Audio from the panel will subsequently be released as a podcast on Whatsonstage.com.

Richard Bean won the Best New Comedy prize at the 2012 Whatsonstage.com Award for One Man, Two Guvnors which transferred to the Theatre Royal, Haymarket on 13 March (previews from 2 March 2012) following an acclaimed run at the National Theatre, a national tour and a West End transfer to the Adelphi.

The production picked up a total of three prizes at the 2012 Whatsonstage.com Awards - James Corden picking up the gong for Best Actor in a Play while Oliver Chris took home Best Supporting Actor.