Interview with Shanay Holmes

This summer the West End Musical Drive-In brings West End superstars direct to your cars, with Kerry Ellis, Alice Fearn and Jon Robyns set to launch the outdoor performance spectacular this Saturday. I spoke with Shanay Holmes, one half of the creative team making this event possible, to find out more.  

How did you first get into musical theatre?

I went to an open casting for Lion King and was spotted, and 3 months later I landed my first role on the West End in the hit musical Thriller Live and I haven’t stopped working ever since. I’m very grateful for that first opportunity.

Can you tell me more about the Musical Theatre Drive-In?

The West End Musical Drive-In is a brand new way to experience live musical theatre. It’s a chance for audiences to see their favourite west end stars perform songs from some of the biggest musicals live in a completely safe environment.

How did the idea come about?

Lockdown has been extremely hard for everybody. From the very beginning we wanted to stay connected to our audiences so we immediately moved our brunch event online, and began to try to think of how we were going to return to live performances safely – enter West End Musical Drive-In

What can audiences expect?

Audiences will get the chance to see the biggest stars perform live whilst also being projected onto three huge screens. You’ll be able to listen in the comfort of your car via a private FM frequency, or party with us outside in your own private bay. Expect immersive musical twists too.

What support do you think theatres need right now to get them through these difficult times?

Support from the government and from you the audience – we need your support as much as ever! Alongside that we need innovation, we are living through unprecedented times but to regain our industry we’re going to have to start thinking of new and exciting ways to experience theatre.

How can the public help?

Buying tickets, donating what you can when you watch a live stream, buying the “Acting For others” charity t-shirt – literally we need you to do everything you can to save our wonderful community so we can come back bigger and better than ever before.

What are your hopes for the Musical Theatre Drive-In?

I hope it’s a huge success. I hope that it brings our community together. I am so proud that we will be giving artists the chance to perform live on stage safely whilst supporting them and at the same time allowing musical theatre-starved audiences the chance to  be a part of something exciting, new and unique.

West End Musical Drive-In takes place from Saturday 25 July – Saturday 12 September

Photo credit: Wolf Marlow

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