x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Enchanted evening of stage music with West End to Broadway at Ductac

The onstage production West End to Broadway is coming to Ductac Mall of the Emirates this week, presenting hit songs from the world's most famous musicals.

Kate Coysten helped put the cast together. Photo by Derek Johnson
Kate Coysten helped put the cast together. Photo by Derek Johnson

West End to Broadway is set to be a "musical extravaganza", according to the newly Dubai-based Meiac Events. We get more details from the British actress Kate Coysten and the event's organisers.

On stage

Following its success in London and Australia, the stage hit West End to Broadway is coming to the Emirates for one night only, presenting favourite numbers from classic productions such as Les Misérables, Rock of Ages, Footloose, Chicago and The Phantom of the Opera.

The family-friendly event features four singers and three musicians, all of whom have a "wealth of experience", says the cast member Kate Coysten, who has starred in Les Misérables, My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music.

The actors joining her on stage are Ian McLarnon (Sweeney Todd, Les Misérables), Tania Newton (Wicked, Cats) and Stephen Weller (Blood Brothers, The Producers).

While presenting hits from popular musicals including Miss Saigon, The Lion King, Oliver and Mamma Mia, the two-hour show works to engage the audience, says Rumana Jilla, the event manager for Meiac Events, which is headquartered in London. The company plans to bring up to eight shows to the UAE through 2013.

"Dubai is a competitive market so what we bring will be different," says Jilla. "UAE audiences love to go out and experience theatre shows and we have extensive experience with live shows in London."

From theatre to big screen

West End to Broadway covers songs from the golden era of Hollywood film to today's blockbuster musicals and all the hits along the way.

Big-screen adaptations of stage productions - most recently the Academy Award-nominated Les Misérables - have helped boost the show's popularity, Coysten says.

"Les Misérables has always been the world's most popular musical as it evokes so much emotion through the story and music. I think it appeals to many people as it's a story of hope and striving against the odds," says Coysten.

"Hopefully once people have seen the films they'll want to go and buy a ticket for the show, thus keeping the world of musical theatre alive."

Keeping theatre alive is the main objective for Meiac events, says Sunny Braich, the company's promoter: "West End to Broadway is the first of many events for us. It offers something for everyone. We are also bringing kids shows this year and introducing sports shows beginning next year."

Love of entertainment

Coysten's interest in musical theatre was triggered when she went to see Starlight Express as a child.

"I thought it was so much fun and loved the music," she says.

"Along with my fellow performers, we hope to bring Dubai an evening to remember and may it be the first of many."

West End to Broadway is on Thursday at 7.30pm at Ductac Mall of the Emirates. Tickets cost Dh160 and are available through Time Out Tickets or the Ductac box office. For more information visit www.meiac-uk.com or www.ductac.org

melshoush@thenational.ae