As previously reported, the seventh annual event, the world's largest free theatre festival, has moved from its traditional home in Leicester Square due to renovation work.
Organisers Westminster City Council and the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) expect 500,000 visitors to attend - potentially twice as many as previous years.
Last year’s event was reported to have generated £3 million for the local economy, with local businesses reporting a 20% increase in revenue compared to the weekend before the event.
The shows taking place in the event include the West End's Betty Blue Eyes, Billy Elliot, Chicago, Disney’s The Lion King, , Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde The Musical, Lend Me a Tenor The Musical, Love Never Dies, Mamma Mia!, Million Dollar Quartet, Potted Potter, Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical, Stomp, Thriller Live, War Horse, The Flying Karamazov Brothers, We Will Rock You, Wicked and The Wizard of Oz.
There are also expected to be sneak peaks of shows which have still to receive their London debut's including the Open Air Theatre Regent's Park's Crazy for You which doesn't start perviews until 28 July, Broadway transfer Rock of Ages which opens at the Shaftesbury Theatre in September and Ghost The Musical which starts its London previews the week after the event (previews from 24 June 2011).
Other on-stage entertainment will be provided by the Udderbelly's Free Run, The Gleeks, West End Gospel Choir, London Gay Men’s Chorus, Polka Theatre, Bob The Builder, Music from The Royal Albert Hall Ignite Series, Sylvia Young Theatre School, National Youth Music Theatre, West End Kids and Mark Jermin Theatre School.
Councillor Robert Davis, deputy leader of Westminster Council who originally proposed the event, said today: “West End Live not only offers a fabulous opportunity to sample some of the very best family entertainment and theatre the West End has to offer but it also provides an opportunity to truly understand what makes London’s West End such a world-renowned destination for the millions of visitors who flock here each year."
The Society of London Theatre have also announced they will build on the relationship with financial services giant MasterCard - which saw the organisations “revitalise” the Olivier Awards earlier this year - with sponsorship for West End Live.
SOLT chief executive Julian Bird said of the move: “I am delighted that we are working even more closely with West End Live this year and developing our growing relationship with MasterCard to create an unrivalled, theatrical spectacle on a greater scale than ever before.”
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