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BEAM2020: UK’s leading industry showcase of new musical theatre comes to Royal & Derngate

Musical Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments, in partnership with Royal & Derngate, Northampton, today announce that BEAM2020, the third presentation of their biennial industry showcase of new British musical theatre will take place outside London for the first time at Royal & Derngate on Thursday 26 & Friday 27 March 2020.

The decision for BEAM2020, a key fixture within the development of new musical theatre in the UK, to happen in Northampton reflects the nation-wide re-balancing of where new musicals are developed and discovered, with the vast majority of new British musicals first staged outside London, and regionally produced premieres responsible for most British musicals playing in the West End. To date over 20 of the musicals shared at BEAM have gone on to be fully staged, and writers have found producers, venue partners, investors, agents and development partners as direct results from their presentations at BEAM.

Alongside presentations of around 35 new musicals in development, BEAM includes masterclasses, networking opportunities, and panel discussions. It’s the largest marketplace of its kind – bringing together key industry figures and talent.  BEAM will contribute to three years of developing new musical theatre by a consortium led by Royal & Derngate, funded by an Ambition for Excellence grant from Arts Council England.

What sets BEAM aside from other showcases of new work is that the producers travel around the UK to find promising new writing talent and musicals. The first stage of BEAM is made up of 17 pitching days spread across venues around the UK where creative teams developing new musicals can pitch their ideas. From these a nationally representative selection will be offered financial assistance to present their work to the industry at the BEAM2020 showcase at Royal & Derngate on 26th and 27th March 2020.

MMD and MTN want to hear from anyone with an idea for a new musical, or who is already developing one, to pitch for inclusion in BEAM2020. The only eligibility criteria is that at least 50% of the writing team must be resident in the UK, and at least one of the writers must have a track record as a professional artist – but no previous experience of developing a musical is necessary. Please see below for full information on locations and dates of pitching days. More information and online registration forms to pitch can be found at http://www.mercurymusicals.com/what-we-do/beam-2020/ to apply before 9th September. The organisations are also holding two free ‘How to Pitch Masterclasses’ in Manchester on 23rd July and in London on 10th September.

James Dacre, Artistic Director of Royal & Derngate, said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Musical Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments to be welcoming BEAM2020 to Royal & Derngate, Northampton as part of our wider commitment to developing and premiering original musical theatre for mid-scale touring. This marks the first time BEAM has taken place outside London, reflecting the key role regional producing theatres throughout the UK play in developing and staging new musicals and championing new musical theatre voices. BEAM is a truly national endeavour with dozens of pitching days taking place all across the country and hundreds of industry professionals giving up their time to ensure the widest possible range of work is represented. We at Royal & Derngate can vouch for the value and quality of work found through this nationwide search: we first became aware of The Season by Jim Barne and East Midlands writer Kit Buchan when it was showcased at BEAM2018 and less than a year later were able to announce that it will premiere here at Royal & Derngate in November.

Tickets for BEAM2020 can be booked by calling Royal & Derngate Box Office on 01604 624811 or online by clicking here.