2020 has been a year where we’ve needed the arts more than ever. They’ve been our distractions, our entertainment, and our solace through a truly terrible time. However, 2020 has also been a year where one of the biggest sources of this – theatres – have been closed. With people desperate for the west end to return, but unsure of what the future holds, things haven’t been easy.
Fortunately, while there’s still no definitive date for when theatres will reopen, that hasn’t stopped the acting community from creating joy and happiness for the nation. Recorded performances of multiple spectacular shows, such as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, the National Opera’s Frankenstein, and Phoebe Waller Bridge’s Fleabag, have definitely kept spirits up. They’ve also helped raise money for theatre workers who lost their source of income this year.
Britain’s Got Theatrical Talent
On the 10th of October, a monumental performance occurred during one of the live shows for Britain’s Got Talent. The cast of Les Misérables, Mary Poppins, and Phantom of the Opera, all took to the stage for a musical extravaganza. The 9-minute performance showed the best of what these musicals have to offer, and it culminated in a glorious chorus of Les Misérables‘ One Day More (altered to One Show More).
Not only did this special performance remind viewers of their love for the theatre, but it also coincided with several special anniversaries. Les Misérables recently celebrated its 35th birthday, while Phantom of the Opera had its 34th. No wonder the Britain’s Got Talent performance was a truly joyous and mesmerising watch.
Return of the West End
Following the BGT spectacle, Sir Cameron Mackintosh announced that Les Misérables: The All-Star Staged Concert will return to the West End in November. This incredible news received a roar of excitement from the crowd, with many of the scheduled performances later selling out. It’s now set to run for eight weeks – it was initially six! – but we wouldn’t be surprised if more shows were announced in the future.
Les Misérables joins the likes of Six, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and other musicals that plan to return in November. If their runs are successful, it could mean a hopeful return to form for theatres in 2021.
So, for any theatre lovers out there, it shouldn’t be too long until you’re back in the crowd ready to see one show more. We for one cannot wait.