A pair of the West End's hardest-to-get tickets (for Madonna in Up for Grabs) are on offer to whomever raises the most money in a sponsored walk for AIDS organized by long-standing AIDS charity Crusaid. Numerous other prizes are also available for those who raise significant amounts of money on the day.
The ten-kilometer walk begins on the South Bank of the Thames at the Royal Festival Hall and ends at the parade ground of the Honorable Artillery Company (one of the country's oldest regiments) in the City of London. The walk, which will take place on June 23, has been supported by Madonna, who is a patron of the charity, as is Dame Judi Dench.
Called "Walk For Life," the purpose of the walk is to raise awareness of AIDS, and the fact that, despite vast improvements in drug treatment (though this is a case of suppression rather than cure), the disease has not gone away, and is ravaging much of Africa.
AIDS had a devastating effect on the theatrical community in New York in the 1980's and also took its toll — though less dramatically — in London, so the West End has always been closely associated with AIDS charities, and with Crusaid in particular.
—By Paul Webb Theatrenow