Wednesday, July 6

The Show Must Go On! Live – The Palace Theatre

Who would have thought that a song released 30 years ago this year, would have been so relevant today, and even become the mantra/motto of theatres, shows and performers over the last 18 months?!

The Theatre Support Fund was set up in March 2020 by Chris Marcus and Damien Stanton, as a direct response to the pandemic. They work alongside Acting For Others and The Fleabag Support Fund, to provide much needed funds and support to the Theatre community with their ‘The Show Must Go On campaign’. Following on from the success of the t-shirts, posters, notebooks sales (other items are also available); Marcus and Stanton put on a concert celebrating the West End’s fabulous talent and wonderful musical productions, when the restrictions were eased in June. If you missed out on tickets or forgot that it was available to watch on YouTube for 7 days after the event (just like me!) then Sky Arts has your back.

Starting with an announcement that shows how well the theatres have responded to the current restrictions/guidelines, we then opened with the evening’s hosts; Bonnie Langford and Trevor Dion Nicholas singing a new song by Stiles and Drew, aptly called ‘The Show Must Go On!’ describing how the last year has been for many in the Theatre Industry and Theatre fans alike.

The concert was well thought out and put together, the only issue I found was trying to decide which show I’d missed most and wanted to see before any of the others! With a range of shows showcased; there was something for everyone; from home-grown shows such as Six, & Juliet and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie; to American transfers like Hamilton and Pretty woman and the classics we all know and love like Phantom and Les Mis, a lot of shows and talent was able to be on display.

It was a fabulous evening that shows how resilient the industry is and having Sadiq Khan at the end show recognition to how important the Theatres are to London, made it feel more special. It was a joy to be able to watch household names such as John Owen Jones, Mazz Murray and Alice Fearn, share the stage with talent to keep an eye on, like Jordan Luke Gage, Lucy St Louis and Marcus Harman. What made it extra-special was the use of the 2020 graduates as the choir, giving them the West End debuts, they’d been denied last year. They added harmonies and depth to the performances and I, for one, cannot wait to see them shine on the stage in the years to come!

The evening was an awesome celebration of everything us fans love about the theatre, and we can’t wait to be back to more normality in the safety of theatres soon!

For more information and to donate to the Theatre Support Fund+ visit www.theatresupportfund.co.uk

Reviewer: Jenn McKean

Reviewed: 18th July 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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