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Pamela Raith

London Theatre this Summer

4 June 2015 Kate Stanbury

June means many things. Barbecues, Wimbledon, even the World Naked Bike Ride (apparently!). But for musical theatre fans, June means only one thing; West End LIVE!

June means many things. Barbecues, Wimbledon, even the World Naked Bike Ride (apparently!). But for musical theatre fans, June means only one thing: West End LIVE, the free annual festival bringing all the music and glitz of the West End to Trafalgar Square. Yes, you heard us, we’re talking about the chance to see all your favourite London shows – Les Misérables, Billy Elliot The Musical, Disney’s The Lion King, Memphis The Musical, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Sunny Afternoon plus many more – for the bank balance-friendly price of absolutely nothing. The dates of this musical extravaganza? 20 and 21 June, so keep the weekend free if you want to join in on the glorious festival of theatrical fun.

Already decided you’re attending? Good. To make the West End LIVE experience even better, you can also pop up the road to Leicester Square, where for the second year running there will be a fabulous pop-up theatre experience packed with activities for all the family. Whether you want to pet one of Dinosaur Zoo’s vicious Jurassic reptiles, take a selfie with an Olivier Award statuette or see some of the West End’s most dazzling costumes up close, this is the place to be.

No matter which London square you choose to be in on 20 and 21 June – sorry, Granary and Russell aren’t an option – Official London Theatre’s ticket booth TKTS will be on hand to help you with all your show ticket needs. Okay, so you may have to part with SOME cash for this part but with an amazing range of prices on an incredible number of London shows, you’re sure to be getting the best deal around.

Should you not get your fill of London theatre at this incredible weekend event, there is, of course, a whole lot happening in actual theatres this month, with several classic tales returning to the West End stage. Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan’s grisly take on George Orwell’s 1984 will be back at the Playhouse Theatre from 12 June, giving theatregoers – or anyone brave enough to enter the terrifying realm of Room 101 – another chance to see the Olivier Award nominated hit. Then there’s The Importance Of Being Earnest… starring David Suchet… dressed in a corset… playing a ruthless Victorian social climber. Need we say anymore? That one will be at the Vaudeville Theatre from 24 June.

Some theatre lovers may already be enjoying what the musical stage adaptation of Bend It Like Beckham has to offer at the Phoenix Theatre. Since its first preview on 15 May, we’ve heard on the grapevine (Twitter) of “awesome music”, “stunning costumes” and amazing times being had. The show opens officially on 24 June and will, judging by the Tweets, be hitting the ball out of the park until October.

Another date for your diary this month arrives on 16 June, when thousands of free children’s tickets for London’s most popular shows go on sale through Kids Week. Get your hands on one (or 10) by heading to www.kidsweek.co.uk. For every full priced ticket purchased, a child goes free, plus you can get up to two more tickets at half price.

Looking ahead, the past month’s news has also provided us with plenty to look forward to later in the year. We discovered that Stephen Campbell Moore – that’s Irwin in The History Boys for those who didn’t know – will be joining Nicole Kidman – that’s... no, no need? – in Photograph 51. Kidman and Campbell Moore will play a pair of pioneering scientists in Anna Ziegler’s drama when it receives its UK premiere in September.

Anyone already craving the return of Britain’s Got Talent after this weekend’s final can find some comfort in The 3 Little Pigs. The new family musical stars semi-finalist Alison Jiear – the backing singer who knocked the judges’ socks off to move very much to the front – and premieres at the Palace Theatre this summer with Taofique Folarin, Leanne Jones and Gareth Gates as the three performing porkers – Bar, Bee and Q – and Blue’s Simon Webbe as that huffing and puffing Big Bad Wolf. One more treat before we go. Until 15 June you can take advantage of an early booker’s discount for The 3 Little Pigs here.

This post was provided by www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk, the capital’s leading theatre news and show listings website.

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