A new initiative that seeks to bridge the gap between relaxed performances in the West End has launched, offering young people with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds an “inside look” into the industry.
West End Wish List is a collaboration between director Jordan Murphy and actor Dominic Owen, in association with Mousetrap Theatre Projects.
It will create a series of online videos, featuring high-profile theatre figures talking about their careers, as well as performances. The first release features Laura Pitt-Pulford.
Murphy said he hoped the videos would showcase the West End to people who do not always have the opportunity to see shows, including those with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The idea was formed after he witnessed audiences at relaxed performances.
“Watching people with disabilities, social anxiety and people who can finally afford the tickets because of discounts, blew me away – it was so uplifting, the smiles on their faces and the joy of the parents being able to relax and not have to shush their children was very moving. I’ve found that most shows only do one relaxed performance a year and it broke my heart,” he said.
He added: “As a filler in between these relaxed performances I wanted to create content that people could watch. They could learn about the actors behind some of the biggest West End shows, what they do and how they do it. I think, with ticket prices being so high, it will give audiences an inside look into the industry without having to leave the comfort of their own home.”
Ultimately, he said the aim was to hold a gala in the West End, to raise money for Mousetrap Theatre Projects, that will feature actors from the video content.
“We plan to discount tickets to the gala so that anyone will be able to afford to see the show and support,” he said.