West End Musical Drive-In: The socially distanced musical theatre concert brings Shaftesbury Avenue to you, all within the comfort of your car
Sukhmani Sethi speaks with director Chris Steward
The same team that brought us West End Musical Brunch, are back with West End Musical Drive-in: An “entirely contact-free concert experience”, bringing you live performances from the biggest West End stars They will be transforming Brent Cross Shopping Centre car park and giving you a totally immersive experience to safely enjoy the glitz and glamour of the West End from the comfort of your car.
How do you feel about Oliver Dowden’s announcement of £1.57 billion for the arts? Do you think that the government has done enough?
I think it is a very positive step forward and is certainly a very large number, but I am awaiting further detail to see how these funds are going to find their way into the accounts of the casts and creatives who are the lifeblood of our industry.
What do you expect will be the biggest challenges to face for theatre?
The difficulty is it’s not just a matter of getting back, it’s a matter of getting back to profitability. That requires bums on seats, and with social distancing in place that is going to be difficult, but even without it there are other stumbling blocks such as consumer confidence and the lack of tourism.
Do you think that even after things go back to ‘normal’ that events such as this will remain popular?
Absolutely! As the producers of West End Musical, we are always creating new and innovative ways to experience musical theatre. Our events are incredibly popular with our flagship event, West End Musical Brunch selling out months in advance.
What positive things/experiences do you expect to come out of newly adapted events such as this for theatre?
A totally new experience for audiences which is what we are all about as a business. As always, our aim to bring fans together for a celebration of musical theatre and the stars, shows and songs they love.
How will you be keeping people safe at the event?
The event is totally socially distanced and contact-free. The facilities are sanitised frequently and handwashing and hand sanitiser are provided.
Tell us how this works.
The music is provided directly to your car on a dedicated FM frequency which sounds amazing. You will also see the performances on stage and projected onto a large screen, so everyone has a great view. There is contactless food delivery through your app direct to your car throughout the performance and the interval.
Many regular theatregoers will certainly be missing the glitz and glamour of the west end. How will the carpark be adapted in order to make theatregoers feel at home?
All our venues are themed to ensure total immersion. Put it this way, you will feel like Danny in Grease singing stranded at the drive-in. At West End Musical we always include some immersive elements too so keep an eye open.
What do you want theatregoers to take away from the event?
A renewed love for all things musical theatre. A belly full of food, drink, and entertainment. And a desire to support the Arts and attend future West End Musical productions including West End Musical Brunch when it reopens.
Should we expect more of these events in the future?
We are just about to announce dates running throughout August so watch this space.
West End Musical Drive-In will be running from 26th July – late August at Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Stadium car park, Stadium Road, NW4 3FP
For more information, visit www.westendmusicaldrivein.co.uk
Produced by Neighbourhood Events Ltd