Bookless Musical Futures re-launched

Published November 6, 2008

Musical Futures, Greenwich Theatre’s annual festival of new music theatre, will re-launch this weekend, with a twist; this year’s offerings leave the traditional idea of a ‘book’ musical on the back burner to explore new forms of music theatre.

Created in partnership with Nitro, this year’s Musical Futures festival promises to explore how skills including circus, a cappella song and contemporary dance fit into the evolving world of music theatre. Among the companies and artists joining with young, emerging writers as part of the festival are Upswing Aerial, Irven Lewis Dance Company, Two’s Company, Bridewell Theatre Company, NEGUS Sixth Form Centre, Barb Jungr and Tamasha.

The festival, which takes place on 8 and 9 November at both Greenwich Theatre and Greenwich Dance Agency, has a history of producing material with potential for a longer life. Both 2002’s Sadly Solo Joe and 2006’s A Model Girl have gone on to be given full productions at Greenwich theatre and further afield. In an attempt to make this important showcase of new musical theatre as accessible as possible, audiences can see nearly all of this year’s productions entirely free of charge.

Speaking about this year’s Musical Futures, Greenwich Theatre Director James Haddrell said: “Musical Futures has long been an important platform for this country’s historically under-represented musical theatre writers. However, with the increasing contribution made by organisations like Musical Theatre Matters and events like Perfect Pitch, I am delighted to now be moving Musical Futures on to a new level. Perceptions of music theatre, from industry and audiences alike, have traditionally been founded on the expectation that the next big musical will always follow the book format. Musical Futures offers the perfect vehicle to challenge that preconception.”

MA