The Greatest Showman Experience Is Coming to Lillie Road

Plans unveiled for 'world’s first' interactive production based on cult film

Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman

May 27, 2024

Plans have been unveiled to bring an interactive production called The Greatest Showman Experience to the Earls Court development site north of Fulham’s Lillie Road.

A company called Great Show Productions has applied to Hammersmith & Fulham Council to take over the temporary building which formerly housed the BBC Earth Experience.

This immersive exhibition opened in spring 2023 and was expected to run for two years. However, it faced criticism for its high ticket prices which made it unaffordable for many families and it closed ahead of schedule at the beginning of this year.

Since then the Dalkin Centre, described as a “purpose built, demountable venue” has remained empty, with local people wondering about its future. It now looks set to be transformed into a new “theatrical set” where guests can find out more about the film’s story and themes before enjoying a circus style stage production.

The application, which is open for comments and can be seen in full on the council’s website using the reference 2024/01054/NMAT, is as follows:

Non-Material Amendment to the extant permission (ref: 2022/02045/FUL) dated 8 November 2022, amending the description of development to: Installation of a temporary building for the purposes of a 'live entertainment' use for a 2-year period (excluding installation de-installation) and together with other associated and enabling works to include a gift shop, back of house and support facilities, external landscaping, boundary fencing, plant and vehicle servicing access and cycle parking arrangements. Together with an amendment to the approved Operational Management Plan (Condition 3) and variation to Condition 5 to permit an increase in the capacity of the building from 650 to 700 guests / visitors in total at any one time.

The Daikin Centre
The Daikin Centre

A covering letter from planning consultants DP9 describes the Greatest Showman Experience, or TGSE, as “ a world’s first”.

It says: “ It is proposed that the existing buildings and associated spaces are used to present an interactive theatrical set to facilitate a live production of now worldwide hit, The Greatest Showman.

“ It will comprise a ticketed guest experience that will follow the key themes of the film and navigate guests through the theatrical set comprised of different areas within the space culminating in the seated ‘circus-style’ experience which ends the guest’s visit.

“ Whilst the content is clearly different to the previous BBC Earth Experience, the key principles of an immersive and interactive visitor attraction as a beneficial meanwhile use on the site remains.

“ Importantly, this is also an important sustainability approach in utilising and retrofitting an existing building and structures rather than seeing them dismantled with the associated embodied carbon impacts.”

The letter adds: “ It is important to note that the applicant will be preparing a new temporary application to secure the site for TGSE beyond the current April 2025 deadline but this is not the subject of this current amendment ap

The Greatest Showman, first released in 2017, was an all-singing, all-dancing retelling of the life of the legendary 19th-century American showman, PT Barnum, played in the film by Hugh Jackman, whose circus was seen as the birth of showbusiness as we know it today.

Though many critics dismissed the film at the time, it has gone on to become a cult favourite, with singalong screenings proving popular in cinemas around the world.


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