West End Flea Market
Rating: ★★★★★
Venue: St Paul's Church, Covent Garden
Cast: Michael Ball, Christopher Biggins, Golda Rosheuvel, Jordan Luke Gage, Alice Fearn, Miriam-Teak Lee, the cast of Six the Musical

West End shows set up a variety of uniquely designed stalls offering theatrical memorabilia, signed posters, bric-a-brac and special items for theatre fans!

The public are invited to come and cheer on their favourite show and the winner will be announced at the event. In addition, there will be signings, a theatrical tombola, auctions and all sorts of exciting theatrical memorabilia up for grabs as well as the chance to meet stars from hit shows!

Today was my first time visiting the West End Flea Market - and it was an incredible experience, from start to finish. The first West End Flea Market was in 2019, but due to the ongoing pandemic, the next few years were cancelled. This year, there were some huge shows hosting stalls - from Hamilton, to Les Miserables, to Phantom of the Opera, to Six the Musical; there was a stall for everyone. As well as shows hosting their own stalls, they also had tombolas, raffles, auctions, interactive games - all manners of ways to win amazing theatrical memorabilia. And of course, the autograph tent; which was without a doubt the busiest part of the day.

The doors opened at 10:30am, and the event was set in motion with a fabulous mariachi band. At 10:45am, the wonderful Christopher Biggins officially opened the 2022 West End Flea Market. I headed straight to the tombola, where we bought 18 tickets between three of us (I couldn't refuse a £5 for 6 offer!). We won x2 tickets to Life of Pi, a Mousetrap mug and a Lion King mug - it was a fantastic start.

It's worth noting that it was extremely busy, but as long as you were patient - you could easily visit every stall. Each stall is clearly labelled, and easy to find. If you were struggling, they were handing out maps at the entrance of the market to help you navigate which stalls you were most keen on visiting.

I thought the Hamilton stall was the star of the show (despite Only Fools and Horses nabbing that award). They had some one-of-a-kind memorabilia such as signed programmes, signed tote bags, signed tickets and signed song sheets; all at reasonable prices. I was gutted that Bonnie & Clyde weren't able to attend due to unforeseen circumstances, as I can only imagine the treats the stall would have held. At the Six stall, you were able to meet the current West End cast of Six the Musical for just £6, which was a great experience - and they were all lovely. 

After I'd visited the stalls, I headed to the Autograph Tent to meet Jordan Luke Gage and Alice Fearn. Unfortunately, we just missed Miriam Teak-Lee who arrived later, but the tent was well organised and I personally couldn't fault it. It all ran very smoothly, and the posters for the event were utterly gorgeous, and look fantastic signed.

I must admit, at the auction - I almost spent £350 on backstage passes for Hamilton, a signed piece of Hamilton clothing from the West End production and a signed Lin-Manuel Miranda poster...but alas, I had some restraint! The auction had some fabulous prizes. In all honesty, it was just fantastic to see so many theatre goers in one place, celebrating a community we've been starved from for the past few years. It made me feel quite emotional. 

A special mention must go to Tasha from Acting for Others. I have some access needs, and she made the day so incredibly easy for me - and it simply wouldn't have been possible without her. She was so kind and patient; a real asset to the event.

As a whole, it's a brilliant event - and perfect for any theatre lover. If it goes ahead next year, I would advise getting there as early as you can, prepare to be stood in crowds...and take lots of water! It's a small venue, so I'm hoping they upgrade to a larger venue next year; as it reached maximum capacity fairly quickly. Bring on next year - a perfect celebration of current theatre

No comments