Southampton's Mayflower offers open-air Voices of the West End

Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre is promoting a weekend of outdoor concerts to be held at Broadlands in Romsey called Voices of the West End.
Earl CarpenterEarl Carpenter
Earl Carpenter

These will be the first proper outdoor concerts of their kind in the area: they won’t be drive-in events, but instead will offer roped-off pitches for up to four members of a household bubble to sit and watch.

The show has been created by Earl Carpenter, and will have Earl, John Owen-Jones, Kerry Ellis and Katie Hall performing.

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For over nine years between them, Earl Carpenter and John Owen-Jones brought down the chandelier at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End playing the lead role in Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s The Phantom Of the Opera. Now, in the wake of the greatest crisis their industry has ever faced, Earl Carpenter and John Owen-Jones have found a way of taking down the barriers to enjoying a night out at the theatre – by going open air.

The two ex-Phantoms have combined to develop an innovative new production Voices Of The West End that will bring the magic of the musicals live to audiences once again in a new, safe way from Friday, September 4 to Sunday, September 6 in Broadlands Park, Romsey.

Three-metre-square roped-off picnic pitches will ensure lovers of live performance can again enjoy four of the West End’s finest voices perform with live musicians in a safe environment.

John said: “This has been inspired by so many friends and fans messaging both of us and saying one of the things they have missed the most is a trip to the theatre. Much has been written about the crisis facing live performers, so we wanted to do something positive in the face of that.”

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Earl and John have developed an evening designed to celebrate the joy of musical theatre, as John puts it “Everyone knows one of the happiest and most joyful escapes can be a trip to see your favourite musical performed live and we felt a slice of that is exactly what was needed right now. We’ve all had enough of only looking at screens!”

By creating separate picnic plots marked out for you and your family or loved ones to sit together outside and enjoy the show at a safe distance from other attendees, Earl has developed a production that beats the confines of closed-down theatres.

“I’m hoping people will bring their own deckchairs or picnic or even dress up as their favourite musical characters!” John added.

Earl said: “I’m overwhelmed by the extraordinary support we’ve had from all the venues we’re visiting and the theatre box offices we’re partnering with. They’ve all commented on how positive this project is for their own teams. Rather than constantly refunding cancelled shows, they can positively sell tickets to these events.”

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Michael Ockwell, Mayflower Theatre chief executive, added, “Voices of the West End was originally going to be performed on our stage in July. Whilst the current government restrictions do not allow for performances to be held inside the theatre, we are delighted to be able to be associated with and sell tickets for this very special and unique concert at Broadlands. Mayflower Theatre audiences and indeed musical audiences will be able to get their fix of listening to the very best performers in the business perform their favourite songs from the shows.”

Tickets are based on up to four people exclusively from two households or support bubbles sharing a post and roped pitch that is allocated on arrival:

Prices - General Admission

ZONE A £185.00 Total number of 66 pitches

ZONE B £140.00 Total number of 144 pitches

ZONES C £110.00 Total number of 270 pitches


Friday, September 4 – Performance time: 7pm

Saturday, September 5 – Performance times: 2pm and 7pm

Sunday, September 6 – Performance time: 6pm

Tickets on sale from Monday, August 3 online only at

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