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Theatre should be in the Olympics: Here’s what the competition would look like

17 February 2022 by Sophie Thomas
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Every four years, the world is glued to the Olympics. Thousands of top athletes from around the world compete in hundreds of events, all pinning their hopes and dreams on standing on top of the Olympic podium. But of course, the Olympic Games aren’t just a chance to watch sporting stars and suddenly become an expert in new events that you’d never heard of before. It’s also a chance to see live theatre in action.

Yes, sports are theatre. The cheering crowds. The palpible silence before an event starts. Singing the national anthem when an athlete from your country wins an event. Here’s some theatre moments both on and off-stage that deserve to be recognised as an Olympic event.

Performing dance routines

Whether you prefer to be the one on stage, or you prefer to sit in the audience, you’ll know a dance routine can make or break or show. A show-stopping dance number in a musical is guaranteed to make audiences cheer. If you don’t think dancing is an Olympic sport, just look at both the summer Olympics and winter Olympics for inspiration.

In the summer games, Olympic gymnasts strut their stuff during a floor routine. And in the winter games, ice dancers compete long and short routines that can last for four minutes. In fact, some competitors at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing danced to songs from musicals. The Ukrainian pair, Oleksandra Nazarova and Maksym Nikitin, danced to “Backstage Romance” from Moulin Rouge! The Musical. And the British pair, Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson, skated to a medley of songs from The Lion King.

Securing Rush tickets to a show

Watching any Olympic event can send your heart racing. Securing Rush tickets for West End and Broadway shows on the TodayTix app can be just as exciting too.

Each performance day at 10:00am in their respective time zones, a number of West End and Broadway shows will release Rush tickets. Rush tickets are day seats for same-day afternoon and evening performances, and you can often see shows at a fraction of the price. Before you can secure Rush tickets, you’ll need to unlock tickets and share on social media.

Being ready to buy Rush tickets is a similar feeling to Olympic athletes preparing to sprint in the 100 metre finale. They win a gold medal, you score Rush tickets to the show of your choosing. Both outcomes end in a good result. 

Here’s how to get Rush tickets in London.
Here’s how to get Rush tickets in New York.

Seeing two shows in one day

Some athletes don’t just compete in one sport. They train as pentathletes and heptathletes, taking part in up to seven events as part of their competition. If you’ve ever watched more than one show in a day, you’ll know how it feels to hop, skip, and jump around London or New York for a full day of theatre. Forget athletes and mathletes, you’d be a theatre-lete.

The “Stomp” ensemble. (Photographed by Nina Duncan)

Playing all the non-traditional musical instruments in Stomp

At first listen, it may seem as though Stomp is just a cacophony of undistinguishable sounds. But it takes skill to perfect the art of creating music out of garbage can lids, brooms, and sticks. Stomp is one hour and 45 minutes of non-stop energy. If there were an Olympic medal for most unique New York show, Stomp would take gold. 


Elsa’s quick change in “Let It Go” in Frozen 

Getting ready in a split second in the wings is its own art form. But getting changed quickly in front of thousands equates to an Olympic level of sportsmanship. Like the Olympic athletes taking off their tracksuits before competing, Frozen‘s Elsa knows how to switch outfits quickly too. Watch out for the split-second costume change during “Let It Go.”


Elphaba flying in “Defying Gravity” in Wicked

Forget doing the high jump, it’s now time to do the high fly. Elphaba in Wicked has mastered the art of flying through the air in “Defying Gravity.” During the act one closer, Elphaba seemingly soars above the skies to command the crowds below. 

Photo Credit: Deen Van Meer

The magic carpet ride in Aladdin

Instead of a long jump, get ready to witness a long magic carpet ride in Aladdin. During “A Whole New World,” Aladdin and Jasmine go on an unbelievable journey together as they profess their love to one another. “A Whole New World” really is a magical musical number; it’s just as exciting as seeing your country take gold.

Photo Credit: The Lion King

Running away from the stampede in The Lion King

Running a marathon is no mean feat. Olympic athletes spend their entire lives training for 26 miles to achieve world domination. And when Simba runs away from a wildebeest stampede in The Lion King, Simba could keep running like his life depended on it.