If access to virtual concerts and live streams has helped you through these unprecedented and strange times, we've got a corker for you: West End musical stars are performing live from L-Acoustics every Wednesday evening (BST), and you can watch it.
Every week until 30th September, a dazzling line-up of the West End’s most celebrated singers will perform alongside some of theatre’s top musicians in West End Unplugged – a series of four 45-minute charity concerts, live from L-Acoustics Creations' unique venue in Highgate, London.
Before lockdown, What Hi-Fi? was lucky enough to attend Pitchblack Playback at L-Acoustics – a ticketed event at the high-end Highgate facility. Everyone involved in West End Unplugged – from the performers to all of the technicians and technical equipment suppliers – has come together and given their time for free to mount these concerts.
COVID-19 has dealt a devastating blow to the theatre community across the UK, with shows closed across London’s West End and around the country since March. They are still closed for the foreseeable future, leaving those involved with little to no income. This series of shows has been produced to help raise funds for three charities that help the most in need across the entertainment industry.
Featuring top Olivier Award-winning talent from hit productions such as We Will Rock You, Wicked, Beautiful, Come From Away, The Tina Turner Musical, the concerts will feature a mixture of show tunes and some of the performers’ personal favourite songs.
The series is presented by choreographer Anthony Van Last and Music Director Ben Goddard and promises to be a joyful mix of music and relaxed chat.
Guests stars include the brilliant Mazz Murray, Alice Fearn, Sandra Marvin, Hugh Maynard, Aisha Jawando, Richard Fleeshman and Celinde Schoenmaker, Tim Howar, Siobhan McCarthy, Joe Stilgoe, Hannah Waddingham, David Bedella, Cavin Cornwall and Katie Brayben.
“All funds raised on the day will benefit three charities: Backup – The Technical Entertainment Charity, Help Musicians UK, and Theatre Artists Fund,” said theatre sound designer and the shows’ producer, Bobby Aitken. “We feel that between them, these three charities best represent everyone in our theatre family.”
The concerts are free to watch, with the hope and expectation that those viewing will respond to the appeal for donations.
How do you watch it? Set a note in your diaries for Wednesday 16th September. All concerts will be streamed as live at 7.30pm (GMT).