Watch Les Misérables, Mary Poppins and Phantom of the Opera casts perform in Britain’s Got Talent final

11 October 2020, 19:27 | Updated: 11 October 2020, 19:35

Les Mis, Mary Poppins and Phantom casts perform in ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ final
Les Mis, Mary Poppins and Phantom casts perform in ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ final. Picture: ITV/Britain's Got Talent

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

In a musical plea to save Britain’s theatre industry, the casts of three major West End shows graced our screens for Saturday’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ final – reminding us all of the thrill of live performance.

It’s been seven months since many of our most talented actors, musicians, backstage hands and dancers have worked, after theatres went into total shutdown in March.

In a plea for better support for performing arts workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, the casts of three major West End productions – The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables: The Staged Concert and Mary Poppins – appeared in the final of Britain’s Got Talent on ITV, on Saturday 10 October.

The show (watch below) was a celebration of the UK’s world-famous theatre industry. 60 performers took to the stage including Michael Ball, Matt Lucas, Carrie Hope Fletcher, John Owen-Jones, Shan Ako, Killian Donnelly, Zizi Strallen and Charlie Stemp.

It coincided with the 35th anniversary of Les Misérables, and 34 years of The Phantom of the Opera.

Read more: ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ 25th anniversary to stream free online again >

During the same episode, 10 finalists performed for the judges and competed for the final prize of £250,000. Comedy singer and performer, Jon Courtenay, was finally crowned the winner.

Every act prerecorded their performance for safety reasons, organisers said.

The West End spectacular was presented by musicals producers Cameron Mackintosh, who recently announced that Les Mis, Mary Poppins, Phantom and Hamilton will not be returning to London’s West End before 2021.

At the time, he described the decision as “heart-breaking”.

There has been increasing anxiety among performing arts workers, many of whom say they are not receiving the support they need during the pandemic. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, many venues are unable to open, leaving workers ineligible for the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s latest wage top-up scheme, and potentially without work for an entire year.

Read more: Chancellor appears to suggest struggling musicians should get a new job >

On Saturday’s performance, Mackintosh said: “Britain’s theatrical talent is the best in the world so it is a wonderful opportunity after seven months of enforced lockdown to be invited by Britain’s Got Talent to showcase three of my greatest British musical hits with their fabulous West End casts all bursting to perform again and remind audiences what an unforgettable thrill it is to enjoy the exhilaration of a live show.

Read more: Chineke! combines Beethoven with Bruno Mars in BGT mash-up >

"Several years ago, Susan Boyle Dreamed her Dream and set the world alight and we are both eager and anxious to be told when we can fully reopen again next year so that we can all properly get on with our lives and celebrate the world beating talents of our amazing culture.”

Watch the final of Britain’s Got Talent on ITV Player.