In the last couple of years, musical theatre in the UK has been hit financially due to the pandemic and people having stricter budgets. Shanay Holmes, the “mother” of Musical Con, has created an elaborate two-day convention to bring the musical community together.
The excitement of the day simply starts from the queue, where guests are welcomed by the West End Musical Choir. The non-audition choir’s energy and song selection is infectious and will make the guests sing along while they wait for the doors to open. Once the doors open, hundreds of guests flood in, and are exposed to the hustle and bustle of Musical Con. Shanay launches the show on the Main Stage by singing “Pure Imagination”, where you can feel the amount of care and effort she and her team have put into making this event a reality.
During the day, there are plenty of things to do. . Guests have the opportunity to watch a variety of performances on the Main Stage (such as Heathers the Musical), have Q&As with West End performers and witness dance showcases from performing arts colleges such as CAPA. Similarly, on the more intimate Backstage platform, guests can sit through various panel interviews from people behind the scenes. While all of this is going on, guests can go visit the many stalls they have available, such as having an energy-filled walk of the venue with the Silent Disco Walking Tour. For the younger generations and those who wish to start a career in arts, the exhibition offers an opportunity to talk to the leading dance and acting schools. There is also the option to attend meet & greets with West End stars and attend dance workshops.
The purpose of Musical Con is clear: to bring the musical theatre community together, give them more of a voice and learn something from each other. It achieved exactly that. Especially in these financially desperate times, the ticket price starting from £45 can be steep, but it is worth saving up for.
It is a rare occasion for fans to celebrate their love for theatre while enriching their knowledge about the industry.
It runs until 23rd October
Reviewer: Ramsey Baghdadi