Now in its 17th year and with tickets already on sale, this February will once again see the return of the popular charity cultural variety show: East Meets West.
Presented by Imperial College Union's very own Indian Society, the show first began as a small student fashion show held annually in lecture theatres around Charing Cross Hospital. Originally it only featured 20 participants and fewer than 100 audience members, a far cry from the 1500 sell-out last year! As the popularity of the event increased, the show started to diversify and widen by adding dance and music from Indian and Western cultures. This unique yet simple concept of merging the best of both cultures and blending traditional acts with contemporary ones was a phenomenal success and in 2003, East Meets West was held in the Hammersmith Apollo, the first year that the show had taken place in a venue other than Imperial?s Great Hall. Since then, to accommodate for the ever-increasing audience and mark its ascending acclaim, the show has taken place in a number of prestigious venues in the heart of London, including the London Barbican, Shaftsbury Theatre and London Palladium. Over the years, the show has also progressed to feature more cultures from all over the world, such as Chinese Wu Shu, Russian Ballet and Afrogala, and the variety of acts has included drama, comedy, singing, catwalk, dance and live performances from special celebrity guests on the night.
From its humble beginnings to what it is today: the largest show in Imperial and the longest running student show in the UK, East Meets West 2009 promises to be even more spectacular and memorable. This year's line-up of scintillating acts boasts of the finest student talent from universities across London, as well the best from Imperial College. In particular not to be missed are the amazing performances by IC Funkology and also bhangra by IC?s 'Groundshaker' who were runners up in The Bhangra Showdown. Following last year's immense success at the London Palladium, the show returns to the West End again at the Theatre Royal and the evening will be hosted by legendary comedian and household name, Nina Wadia, of 'Goodness Gracious Me' and 'All About Me'.
Last year the show raised around £10,000 for charitable organisations and they are hoping, with the help of students from Imperial who decide to attend the show, to top that amount this year. East Meets West is proud to support three worthy causes through raising awareness and money for Save the Children, Care Education Trust India and Africa and The Winnicott Foundation for neonates. The essence of the show has been in transcending all barriers and uniting people from all ages and backgrounds to celebrate the glory of every culture. By staying true to this ethos, East Meets West continues to grow from strength to strength.
East Meets West takes place on Sunday 22nd February 2009 at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Tickets are £15 or £20 in advance and can be bought every lunchtime in SAF or watch out for event flyers around campus.