Society Diary: This week our favourite fundraising event is West End Woofs  

16 Oct 2020 Voices

Diary’s exact location must remain top secret for, well, reasons, but along with half the country we are now classified as “tier two”, also known as “society is open, but you can only enjoy it with your household”. 

Diary fears that the rest of our household is going to get fed up of hanging out with us quite quickly, but is obviously complying without a grumble because it is clear that the government has got a real handle on the problem and everything will be just fine very soon. 

This week we take a look at how musical theatre stars are supporting animal charities and share the latest missive from Danny Kruger.

Show tunes for animal charities 

If there is one thing that Diary loves as much as animals and charities, then it surely must be belting out a good-old show tune in the shower. Don’t worry, we aren’t about to inflict that upon you, dear reader.

Instead, imagine our delight when we came across something that merges all three of our passions, namely West End Woofs!

This is a new musical star-studded virtual event designed to help charities that rehome cats and dogs, including Staffie & Stray Rescue, Forever Hounds and Leicester Animal Aid. 

It is the UK version of Broadway Barks, which was established by Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore in New York in 1998.

Peters will be co-hosting the UK event with Elaine Page at 7pm on Monday 9 November. It will be livestreamed on, as well as available on YouTube afterwards, and promises to feature “a whole host of beloved West End performers and other well-known faces”.

Now, Diary is completely impartial when it comes to the age-old “are you a dog or a cat person?” question, but it does seem the chorus of canine champions had the upper hand in naming the event – Musical Meows, anybody?

But perhaps that is fair; after all cats already have a hit musical named after them. No, no that one…we meant the Phantom of Op-purr-ra. 

Dispatches from Toryshire 

Most MPs produce some kind of weekly newsletter for constituents. These are usually to boast about the questions they’ve been asking in Westminster about important local issues and to demonstrate that they have been working very hard and are definitely deserving of that pay rise. 

These can be a treasure trove of entertaining anecdotes for politics obsessives, and this one from chief charity champion Danny Kruger is no exception. Here he reported on his experiences of a virtual conference experience. 

“We held the Conservative Party Conference this week, albeit drearily on Zoom,” begins Danny, before quickly conceding that online meetings are efficient (and y’know, you won’t catch or spread a deadly virus). 

“But the point of Party Conference is the drinking, the gossiping, and the plotting,” he moans.

Without the “drinking, gossiping and plotting”, he spent Tory conference discussing “addiction services and also the future of high streets”. Whatever next, policy formation?

Now Diary has had the dubious honour/punishment of being sent to Tory conference in search of charity news, and we have had a very different experience to Danny.

For an intrepid charity reporter, it is three days of getting lost in a conference hall, desperately hoping someone, anyone, will say something about charities – all washed down with stale coffee or warm white wine.

The highlight was the poverty session a few years ago where attendees were offered gin and tonic. 


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