Perfect Pitch, the showcase for developing homegrown musicals, will graduate to the West End this winter. After two years at Fringe venue Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate (See News, 25 Sep 2007), the third annual event - supported for a second year by Whatsonstage.com - will take place in November (exact dates tbc) at Trafalgar Studios, where six new musicals will be performed by an array of West End performers.

The company has also received funding from Arts Council England to expand its new development network, which was originally established to provide more workshop time for several previously featured shows with high potential. Through the scheme, a variety of partners – including London and regional venues, training academies, partners and agents – are brought together to offer their combined resources to talented musical writers’ projects.

Producer Andy Barnes commented: “The scheme is all about developing the material and the writers’ skills rather than creating new productions. We hope at the end of the development period to have created new work that we are proud to present in the showcase, and which will be seen as attractive to other commercial producers.” Barnes states, “There are really only two main criteria for a partner – they have a resource that can be made available to the programme and a desire to develop new musical theatre.”

Two shows from previous Perfect Pitch showcases are now going on to full-fledged productions. Betwixt! (formerly called Enchanted) premieres on 13 May 2008 (previews form 6 May) starring Abi Finley, as part of the King’s Head’s new season of in-house productions (See News, 24 Apr 2008). And Departure Lounge, an audience favourite at this year’s inaugural Whatsonstage Awards Concert (See Photos, 25 Feb 2008), will be seen at the new Musicals @ George Square venue during this summer’s Edinburgh Fringe.

Submissions are now being accepted for the November showcase at Trafalgar Studios. For more information, visit www.perfectpitchmusicals.com.

- by Terri Paddock