Barking good time had by all at West End Woofs
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
London’s first charity event of its kind was hosted by Elaine Paige and Bernadette Peters
Following the success of ongoing ‘Broadway Barks’, musical legends Bernadette Peters and Elaine Paige hosted the first live ‘West End Woofs (and Meows)’ charity concert at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, earlier this month. The event, on 18 November, began with a ‘meet and greet’ with all the adoptable animals followed by performances from stars of Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends, the show in which Peters currently stars – Lea Salonga, Bonnie Langford, Jac Yarrow, Janie Dee and Gavin Lee. The concert ended, appropriately enough, with a special performance of ‘Old Friends’ from Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along.
Bernadette Peters with a new friend (photo: Matt Crockett)
Proceeds went to various animal charities across the UK (and Europe), all of which prioritise rescuing unwanted, abandoned and neglected dogs and cats. After the event, Yarrow, himself a proud dog owner and known for his starring role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, said it had been the ‘best morning ever’. West End Woofs UK later officially announced that the occasion had been a huge success: ‘What a smashing success our first West End Woofs was. Thank you to all the shelters, participants, attendees, and of course our cost-hosts Elaine Paige and Bernadette Peters. See you next year!’
As for Peters, who was awarded a Tony in 2012 for her pioneering work with Broadway Barks (which she co-founded), and who was also instrumental in establishing West End Woofs, she was delighted at the overall response: ‘We’re all so thrilled about the triumph of our inaugural West End Woofs,’ she said. ‘Over 300 people came out to The Actors Church to look for a new member of the family… Approximately 70% of the animals that were up for adoption have found forever homes. West End Woofs would not have happened without the help of my pal Elaine Paige who also understands the importance of getting these beautiful animals seen. We are so happy with this success and hope to continue our partnership year after year. Also, I cannot begin to express my gratitude and appreciation for all the support from the theatre community and of course, my castmates from Old Friends.’
For more information, visit: westendwoofs.dog