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Summer Strallen, Jerry Mitchell and more on why West End Bares is so important

The event returns for a seventh year next weekend

Beverley Knight at last year's West End Bares
© Darren Bell

West End Bares: Excalibare runs at the Novello Theatre on Sunday 25 September. Below, some of the people involved tell us why they think it's so important to get involved.

Click here for more info and to book tickets.

Jerry Mitchell, choreographer

"I can't wait for West End Bares when Excalibare hits the stage on Sunday 25 September. It's amazing to think that what I started 26 years ago in New York has made its way to London and is bigger and barer than ever for 2016.

"I thought it would be hard to top last year's Take Off but this year's theme is HUGE and you really don't want to miss it. And they're taking over the Novello Theatre which is the PERFECT place for the West End community to come together and go full out as they bare all this year to help beat HIV/AIDS."


Gina Beck

What are you most looking forward to at West End Bares?

I'm looking forward to seeing what it's all about! I'm also looking forward to hearing Summer Strallen and David Bedella singing, and to being on stage with my boyfriend, Ben Freeman, as we haven't done that since Wicked!

What does West End Bares mean to you?

A celebration of the immense beauty of the talented people in our industry, all for a brilliant cause.

Why is it important to have an event like West End Bares?

It's sort of a night for people to let off steam, and different to a normal, more serious, concert. A night for people to have fun, raise money and to see everyone in a different light!

Summer Strallen

What are you most looking forward to at West End Bares?

Seeing all my friends and colleagues but also seeing if we can beat the amount of money that was raised last year.

What does West End Bares mean to you?

I am always keen to be a part of this wonderful night as it brings the West End community together to let down all the inhibitions that life imposes for a great cause.

It pushes the boundaries of our society which is what we as artists are always trying to do. It is a beautiful celebration of dance, art, body, spirit, love and generosity, all things that are sometimes lacking in the world today.

Why is it important to have an event like West End Bares?

AWARENESS! That is a word very close to my heart. Awareness again is something we as a people are starved of. If I can help to raise awareness for people who are less fortunate than so many then I will.

Ramin Karimloo

What are you most looking forward to at West End Bares?

I've been to two events so far. Both have been so much fun! It's really such a great night and the show itself is incredible to watch and take part in. Stunning dancing and of course it's super sexy.

What does West End Bares mean to you?

It's a fun and exciting way to raise money for the MAD Trust. It's a night of celebration, diversity and acceptance. Also, a wonderful way to lose some inhibitions it would seem.

Why is it important to have an event like West End Bares?

It's always great to see a community come together, diverse, talented, and tolerant. To work together and raise money and awareness for the charity. A lot of good and financial help comes from these events and this celebration.

David Grewcock

What are you most looking forward to at West End Bares?

It's going to have everything people love about Bares, only BIGGER - incredible dancers, huge spectacle, all the glitter, amazing hosts and some brilliant surprises on the night. The choreographers have gone to town with their numbers and I can't wait to see them on the stage with the video design.

What does West End Bares mean to you?

I went to see the first West End Bares and the atmosphere was electric - it's like nothing else in the UK, there is nothing that matches it.

I've performed in the show and choreographed for a few years and I feel very lucky and proud to be directing the show again this year. By taking our kit off onstage for one night of the year, we are raising money that will change people's lives. If just one person goes and gets tested after seeing the show, then we've done our job.

Why is it important to have an event like West End Bares?

Jerry sums it up perfectly by saying "What we do together, really does make a difference" and that's the core of it - realising that by being a small part of a much bigger community, we have the power to do incredible things for others.

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