Britain’s Got Talent viewers were left in “floods of tears” after the casts of various West End musicals performed a medley of classic musical theatre songs during the talent show’s final last night.
The 11-minute musical mash-up saw 60 performers from productions of Mary Poppins, The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables – The Staged Concert transport the West End to the Britain’s Got Talent final after seven months of total theatre shutdown.
Opening with a rendition of Mary Poppins’ Step in Time, the number then saw The Phantom of the Opera cast belt the musical’s titular song before ending with a moving performance of One Day More by Les Miserables actors, which included stage legends Michael Ball, Matt Lucas and Carrie Hope Fletcher.
After the medley, musical producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh joined Ant and Dec on stage to campaign for the reopening of theatres.
“I can’t tell you how emotional this is for me and for all of us, I cannot believe that these performers and great friends of mine have not performed before tonight for seven months, it is extraordinary,” he said.
Speaking to Ant and Dec, he continued: “You two are extraordinary because you’ve opened the Chancellor’s handbag tonight – I think if you’re so inspirational to the Chancellor, this company and what they’re doing tonight, showing the county what they’re missing, let’s hope this is inspirational to the government to reopen our theatres by next Spring.”
West End star Michael Ball jokingly added, “But I don’t want to wait that long,” before announcing that the cast of Les Miserables will be reuniting for a concert edition of the musical in December.
Viewers took to Twitter to praise the musical medley, with one fan calling the performance “inspirational”, while another wrote: “In floods of tears watching BGT! I miss theatre too much! Didn’t think I’d be as affected as much as that!”
Watched Britain’s got Talent and I realise I so miss going to the theatre to watch musicals. They are so uplifting. Please reopen our theatres. Hats off to Cameron Mackintosh, Michael Ball and the rest of the casts. ❤️❤️❤️xxx
— angela cockburn (@dollysmother) October 10, 2020
“Just watched the musical theatre performance on BGT and got a bit emotional,” one viewer tweeted. “If there’s still theatre to go to then I can’t wait to go back.”
Very emotional seeing the casts of Mary Poppins, Les Miserable & Phantom of the Opera on the TV tonight!
We soo wish we could be back on stage again! ????
— TakeABow Kilmarnock (@Takeabow_kk) October 10, 2020
And that is why we need the performers and the arts! Excellent work @BGT and the fantastic casts from Mary Poppins, Phantom and Les Miserable! Beautiful work you amazing people xx
— Tony Stott (@tonystottphotos) October 10, 2020
“And that is why we need the performers and the arts!” another user wrote. “Excellent work @BGT and the fantastic casts from Mary Poppins, Phantom and Les Miserable [sic]! Beautiful work you amazing people xx.”
In floods of tears watching BGT! I miss theatre too much! Didn’t think I’d be as affected as much as that! Well done to everyone involved in that fantastic performance, you did our industry proud! #marypoppins #phantomoftheopera #lesmiserable #BGT
— N A T H A N • R Y L E S (@NathanRyles) October 10, 2020
Last night’s final of Britain’s Got Talent saw musical comedian Jon Courtenay crowned the competition’s 14th winner after wowing the public with his comical ode to 2020.