Sheffield & Greenwich Hail New Plays & MusicalsDate: 20 May 2003
Greenwich Theatre today launches its annual Musical Futures event. Taking place this year over three successive nights - 20, 21 and 23 May 2003 - the celebration of musical theatre, now in its fourth year, will feature eight new show chosen, from unsolicited submissions, by a panel of industry professionals.
The selected shows include: Farm!, another new offering from Robbie Hudson and Susannah Pearson whose Out Damn Spot appeared at last year's event; the Edinburgh hit Tricks, with lyrics by Karlton Parris and music by Luisa Jay; and Gay Poets in Mud, a journey around the globe during World War I.
Commenting on the need for Musical Futures, Greenwich Theatre's executive director Hilary Strong said: "The audience for musical theatre is always changing, and it's important that the writers and composers working today stay in touch with that audience. Musical Futures offers them a unique chance to gather comments and gauge reactions to unfinished work - as well as giving audiences a sneak previews of the musicals of tomorrow."
Meanwhile, in Sheffield, the Crucible tomorrow (21 May 2003) launches Sheffield First, a month-long season of four new plays - three written by rising playwrights Steve Waters, Jeff Noon and Simon Stephens and the fourth devised by acclaimed touring troupe Unlimited Theatre, in collaboration with Chris Goode.
The season begins in the Studio theatre with Unlimited's Could It Be Magic - which imagines a lighthouse, a man's body on a seabed, a museum display and much more - runs from 21 to 31 May. It's followed by Stephens' One Minute in which police struggle to make sense of witness statements in a missing child case. Directed by Gordon Anderson and co-produced with ATC, it runs from 4 to 21 June 2003.
In Sheffield's main house auditorium, Waters' World Music, in which troubled relations between Europe and Africa spill over into the personal lives and loves of two generations, runs from 28 May to 7 June, directed by Josie Rourke. And finally, Robert Delamere's production of Noon's The Modernists, recreating the world of the 1950s teenage dandies known as "Mods", runs from 11 to 21 June 2003, winding up the Sheffield First season.
- by Terri Paddock