BIG names from the worlds of theatre and music are joining forces in a unique collaboration to bring Somerset's performing arts out of lockdown.

As many theatres remain shut and festivals are cancelled until next year, the county will showcase its best professional talent at a star-studded evening, set at the famous Glastonbury Abbey.

Raising funds for groups and organisations which have supported local communities through the coronavirus pandemic, including the local NHS, the One Enchanted Evening event is the brainchild of West End choreographer and director Andrew Wright, who hails from Street.

He has been joined by Glastonbury Festival founder and organiser Michael Eavis and worldwide theatre producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh, both Somerset natives.

On Sunday, August 30, the county’s professional theatre and music talent will perform a one-off show in Glastonbury to demonstrate that the lockdown won’t stop the arts from staying alive, and proving that with just a few weeks' preparation and the dedicated talent of performers who are eager to return to the stage, the sector can still provide a world class night of music and dance.

Singers, dancers and performers, most of whom have been unable to work because of the coronavirus crisis will pack the two-hour, West End-style show with tunes and dance numbers from some of the world’s most famous musicals as a thank you to key workers.

One Enchanted Evening director, Andrew Wright, said: “2020 has seen an unprecedented situation in the history of theatre, leading to nearly all creative industries across the globe being shut down. As a country we have lost a world renowned asset.

“Audiences have been deprived in a way that none of them have known before. Musical theatre can lift spirits, and we want to prove that with only a few weeks and dedication from performers who are itching to get back on stage, we can provide an amazing night of music and dance.

“While the government’s support has been welcomed, its advice on when the arts can restart has been slow to come, and we want to prove that if we can’t perform inside, we’ll take it outside to the masses instead, and what better place to do it than one of the most historic locations in the town that gave the world’s most famous music festival its name.

“Many might consider Somerset a sleepy, tucked away county in the south west, but we pack a punch when it comes to the arts.

"Whether it’s music, live performance or the creative arts, Somerset should be firmly placed on the map of places to come to see some of the UK’s best talent."

Among those performing at One Enchanted Evening are: star of hit West End show Waitress and BBC’s Casualty Evelyn Hoskins from Yeovil; Jess Michelmore from Wells who wowed audiences at BBC Prom’s West Side Story and Magic at the Musicals at the Royal Albert Hall; Weston-super-Mare’s Jacob Fisher whose latest roles include Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat; Tim Bonser from Bridgwater who played lead guitar for Sir Cliff Richard on his 75th birthday tour and performed in the West End’s South Pacific; Kody Mortimer from Yatton who is set to perform at London’s Coliseum in Hairspray alongside musical royalty Michael Ball; Harry Winchester from Bridgwater who starred in Peter Pan at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre; Lauren Hampton from Bristol who is starring in Mamma Mia in the West End; Glastonbury’s Joanna Woodward, star of the West End’s Pretty Woman and lead role in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical; and Royal Ballet dancer Leanne Cope from Bath who was lead in American in Paris in London and Broadway.

Speaking about his support for the project, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, who is allowing the event to use music from his shows for free, said: “Some of Somerset‘s finest talents are going to hit the heights with a spectacular musical evening to celebrate how much we are missing live musical theatre - featuring some of the greatest show-stopping numbers of recent times.

"Rest assured your favourite musicals will be back as soon as the government says the shows can go on in their full glory. Meanwhile, Let the People Sing.”

And Glastonbury Festival founder Mr Eavis added: “Our 50th anniversary Glastonbury Festival was postponed this year due to the coronavirus, and the annual Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza also had to be cancelled after a run of 22 years.

"So it’s so marvellous that Janet Bell, the director at the Abbey has been able to gain the support of Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Wright from the theatre world to help put on a wonderful selection of songs from his shows as well as many others.

"What a treat for what we’re calling One Enchanted Evening in the most romantic of settings.”

Many local people and organisations are offering their products and services for free so as much money as possible can be raised for good causes, and social distancing rules will be adhered to at the event.

Andrew Wright, who received well over 600 messages from performers wanting to be involved, said: “This night isn’t just about the performers, it’s about everybody who has generously offered their time, skills and services to get this show up and running.

"It’s amazing what we have already achieved within just a few weeks, and we still have a month to go until the big night.

"This show will truly be a Somerset show, for the people of the county to thank those in Somerset who have worked so hard to keep us safe and well through the months of lockdown, and into the future.”

Tickets for One Enchanted Evening are limited and cost £25 each, and are being sold online via Glastonbury Abbey -

Anyone without internet access can buy tickets at Glastonbury Information Centre, which is open each day between 10am and 3pm in St Dunstan’s House, Magdalene Street, Glastonbury.

Once minimal costs are subtracted, all proceeds from ticket sales are being shared between a handful of local causes; League of Friends at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton and Friends of Yeovil District Hospital, which have both treated Covid-19 patients, and Somerset Community Foundation which has made grants to charities and food banks.