Theatre News

Live Aid musical Just For One Day to premiere at the Old Vic

The show is directed by Luke Sheppard (& Juliet, The Little Big Things) 

A new musical, Just For One Day, will bring the story of Live Aid to the stage.

The huge moment in music history saw 70 artists perform, for free, in London and Philadelphia – in the process raising $127 million for famine relief. Created with permission from the Band Aid Charitable Trust, the piece will delve behind-the-scenes to show how Live Aid came to be.

It features the songs of Bob Dylan, David Bowie, The Who, U2, Queen, The Police, Elton John, Paul McCartney, The Pretenders, The Cars, Status Quo, Paul Weller, Sade, The Boomtown Rats, Bryan Adams, Diana Ross, Ultravox and more.

The jukebox show is written by best-selling author John O’Farrell (Mrs Doubtfire, Something Rotten!) and directed by Luke Sheppard (& Juliet, The Little Big Things) in a limited run from 26 January to 30 March 2024, with a press performance on Tuesday 13 February 2024.

Ten per cent from the sale of every ticket for Just For One Day will be donated to the Band Aid Trust to support their ongoing global relief efforts.The Old Vic will also work with 79 school and community groups to offer free tickets and workshops during the production.

Initial casting and the creative team for the show has been revealed – you can find out more here.

Matthew Warchus, artistic director of The Old Vic, said: “I had the pleasure of working with Luke Sheppard on Matilda The Musical and I have always admired the witty brilliance of John O’Farrell’s writing – I am thrilled to have these two great forces uniting on the Old Vic stage alongside an excellently talented company.

“For those of us who were around in the ‘80s, Saturday 13 July 1985 I’m sure will be one of those days that is forever etched in our memories. We all remember where we watched Live Aid, who we watched it with, and the pure amazement at the feat that was unfolding before our eyes. It’s these memories and individual stories that are the beating heart of Just For One Day, and I can’t wait for audiences to share in a moment that galvanised the globe once again.”

Bob Geldof added: “From seeing Just For One Day throughout its development, if this musical encourages just one person to have a positive impact for the better, then it will be a job well done. I’m looking forward to seeing it at the Old Vic… it better not be s**t!”

The show is supported by Jamie Wilson Productions, Kevin McCollum, Sonia Friedman Productions, Gavin Kalin Productions, Kenny Wax Ltd and the Ambassador Theatre Group.

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Just for One Day

Final performance: 30 March 2024