Trafalgar Square marks 350 years of West End theatre

Exterior view of the London Pavilion, 1923
Image caption The current London Pavilion Theatre was opened in November 1885
Exterior view of crowds queuing outside the Empire Theatre, Leicester Square to see Razzle Dazzle, 1917
Image caption Crowds queuing outside the Empire Theatre, Leicester Square, to see Razzle Dazzle, in 1917
Savoy Theatre programme cover for "HMS Pinafore", 10 Mar 1888
Image caption Wyndham's Theatre, on Charing Cross Road, showed The Boy Friend in 1954

Jersey Boys and Les Miserables have been announced as shows performing free songs to the public to coincide with 350 years of West End theatre.

West End Live - the annual festival of musical and theatre, now in its ninth year - will be staged in Trafalgar Square on 22 and 23 June.

Performances will coincide with 350 years since a theatre was built on the site of Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Sir Tim Rice's new musical From Here to Eternity will be previewed at the show.

He collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar.

'Roar of the greasepaint'

From Here to Eternity, which opens in the autumn, is set on the Hawaiian island of Oahu in 1941, before and during the attack on Pearl Harbour.

Image caption Stomp's cast will perform in the ninth West End Live

West End Live, organised by Westminster City Council and the Society of London Theatre, attracted over half a million people last year,

Cast members from Billy Elliot The Musical, Jersey Boys, Disney's The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, and Matilda The Musical will be among those featuring in this year's line-up.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "West End Live brings the roar of the greasepaint to the heart of the capital and all for free.

"From curtain up, to the encore, London Theatreland is unbeatable and this is a fabulous way to sample some of the most exciting shows to be seen anywhere in the world."

Westminster City Councillor Robert Davis said: "This will be the largest West End Live we have ever produced - with more shows taking part than ever before."

Society of London Theatre chief Julian Bird said: "West End Live is a chance to showcase the quality and range of shows the London stage has to offer, as well as putting on a great free event for the public to enjoy."

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