Ten new musicals have been selected for inclusion in the second annual Perfect Pitch, the event established in 2006 for the development of homegrown musical theatre and supported this year by Whatsonstage.com (See News, 6 Mar 2007).

Launched as a platform to help emerging 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 theatre in Highgate, north London – takes place from 15 to 28 October 2007.

From over a 125 submitted manuscripts, ten exciting new pieces have been selected for this year’s showcase. They include: Guilt, the latest offering from Dougal Irvine, whose Departure Lounge was picked up after last year’s Perfect Pitch; Richard Silver and Sean Hoskyn Hume’s Boys in the Front Room about the doomed relationship between playwright Joe Orton and his lover, and murderer, Kenneth Halliwell; Slow Motion Suicide, in which the work-life balance is tipped by the award-winning writers of Failed States, Andrew Taylor and Desmond O’Connor; and Dave Anderson’s semi-autobiographical Tir Nan Og, winner of the Dress Circle Best New Musical prize at the inaugural Musical Theatre Matters Awards at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe (See News, 24 Aug 2007).

The other five new musicals in Perfect Pitch 2007 are: Jared Dubrowski and Susannah Pearse’s Lost Boy, Shrubshall & Free’s Mac Bitch, John Manders and Matt Brind’s Tickledom, Matt Board’s Two’s a Crowd and Youth Music Theatre: UK's Force 9 ½, developed over 9.5 days with young people.

During Perfect Pitch, several pieces of work at different stages of development, performed by an array of West End actors, are shown on the same evening, so an audience member sees a mixture of work in its earliest stages alongside more finished pieces.

Event producer Andy Barnes said: “This year’s event has seen twice as many applications and a huge amount of support from the industry. The opportunity for people to see and become involved with new musicals in the early stages is very exciting. I am now working with several organisations, theatres and training establishments to help find further opportunities for these works to continue their development and ultimately compete with established musicals for a spot on the musical theatre landscape.”

As part of Whatsonstage.com’s involvement in Perfect Pitch, members of the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Club can take part in the development of the new musicals first hand with exclusive ticket giveaways (click here & log in for details). Website visitors also have the chance to attend the exclusive industry launch night where a cabaret of songs from those taking part is performed (click here to enter).

For further details about the programme at this year’s event, visit our WOS-sponsored blog or www.perfectpitchmusicals.com. The fortnight is also sponsored by Dress Circle and presented in association with MTM:UK and Ovation Theatres. Tickets cost £10 and can be booked on 020 8340 3488.

- by Terri Paddock