Whatsonstage.com has signed up as the exclusive media partner for this year’s Perfect Pitch, the event established in 2006 for the development of new homegrown musical theatre.

Launched as a platform to help new British writers and creatives present their work to both an industry and public audience, Perfect Pitch 2006 proved highly successful, with several of the musicals moving to further development and productions. The 2007 event – which will once again be held at the 128-seat Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate – will take place from 15 to 28 October 2007. Submissions are now being considered for inclusion in the showcase.

Commenting on the new media partnership, Perfect Pitch producer Andy Barnes said: “I am absolutely delighted that Whatsonstage.com has come on board to support this event. This shows their commitment to musical theatre in the UK, and I look forward to working with them to develop this event to become a hunting ground for the musicals of the future. Whatsonstage.com and What’s On Stage Magazine have become vital resources in the theatre industry, and as I have similar aspirations for Perfect Pitch, it seemed a natural partnership to form.”

The Perfect Pitch event aims to show several pieces of work at different stages of development, on the same evening, so an audience member will see a mixture of work in its earliest stages alongside a more finished piece. It runs for two weeks and last year incorporated 12 new shows.

This year Whatsonstage.com readers will be able to follow preparations in the lead-up to Perfect Pitch as well as day-to-day progress throughout the fortnight, via a dedicated, sponsored multimedia blog on this site. In addition, members of the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Club can take part in the development of the new musicals first hand with exclusive ticket giveaways and the chance to attend the exclusive industry launch night where a cabaret of songs from those taking part is performed.

Terri Paddock, editorial director of Whatsonstage.com, commented: “There’s a tremendous buzz around musical theatre at the moment, with the West End riding high after an unprecedented number of arrivals over the past year. However, most of these new shows were either revivals or Broadway transfers. We hope that, through supporting events like Perfect Pitch, we can help in developing the home-grown hits of the future.”

According to Barnes, with the demise of the Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre meaning even fewer opportunities for writers and creators of new musicals to be seen (See News, 18 Jan 2007), this Perfect Pitch announcement has come at the right time for UK musical theatre. He said: “I am actively seeking writers, directors, producers and other creatives who believe they have great ideas for new musicals to submit their work to me for consideration. The event aims to help those wanting to show their abilities in a way far cheaper than doing it so in isolation.”

Perfect Pitch is also supported by organisation MTM:UK (Musical Theatre Matters), which has launched an award to support a production from this summer’s Edinburgh Fringe to take part in the October showcase. “This award will help expand the scope of the work both Perfect Pitch and MTM:UK are doing and to develop the landscape of musical theatre writing in the UK,” said Barnes. “A panel of judges will look at all the new musicals at the festival and pick the one we believe has the most potential for success. This support, alongside the partnership deal with Whatsonstage.com, will ensure Perfect Pitch can become stronger this year and aim for more of the shows to have a future life.”

Last year’s hit Departure Lounge - re-titled Unzipped! The Ultimate Package Musical - is one of the shows to have such a new life. It’s gearing up for a short run at the Arts Theatre on 22 and 23 March 2007 intent on a full-scale production in late 2007 or early 2008. ** DON’T MISS the chance to get UNZIPPED! tickets for only £10 – valid on 22 & 23 March 2007 only - click here for more details! **

Barnes added: “I hope this partnership with Whatsonstage.com and the assurance of the event taking place again this year will add a boost to those developing new musicals in this country.”

Submissions are now open for writers/creators to submit their work for consideration in the 2007 event, full details of which can be found at www.perfectpitchmusicals.com. Perfect Pitch is presented in association with MTM:UK and Ovation Theatres.