Due to the pandemic, the annual West End Bares, benefiting Make a Difference Trust, takes place virtually January 10 at 8 PM GMT (3 PM ET). Filmed in accordance with COVID safety guidelines, West End Bares: Turned On is helmed by Will Lucas, with choreography from Jenny Legg (9 to 5), Aaron Jenkins (Wicked), Fletcher Dobinson (Cats), and David Grewcock (Singin’ in the Rain).
Viewers can expect guest appearances from Graham Norton, Michelle Visage, Tom Allen, Todrick Hall, Michael Auger, and Amy Hart.
West End Bares normally raises funds for those living with or affected by HIV and AIDS. This year, the charity repurposed its hardship fund into the COVID-19 Emergency Fund, providing Emergency Hardship Grants for those on stage and off struggling financially due to theatre closures. Money raised will go to this Emergency Fund as well as to fund HIV work.
Based on Jerry Mitchell's Broadway Bares, the annual strip-a-thon has raised over £350,000 (over $475,000) since its debut in 2010.
“With all our fundraising shows canceled this year, this is an important chance for the Make a Difference Trust to be able to share something truly spectacular with as many people as possible whilst raising funds and awareness," says Make a Difference Trust Chair Melanie Tranter. "The majority of the performers have been out of work since theatres closed in March, and they have no idea when they will work again. But still they come together, supporting the Make a Difference Trust’s philosophy of community making a difference. Working together, the theatre community use their skills and talents to help both their own colleagues and others. Their generosity is humbling.”
For tickets, priced £5 ($6.80), click here.