Celebrated screen writer Paul Abbott is reportedly planning a stage musical about the rise of racial tensions in his home town of Burnley, Lancashire, under the working title of BNP: The Musical. The creator of Northern-based dramas Shameless and Clocking Off will explore how the race riots of 2001 started, in a similar way to the recent production of David Edgar’s Playing with Fire at the National Theatre, only with “big and outlandish” musical numbers. Highly-charged politics may seem an unlikely topic for a musical, but with Billy Elliot scoring so well with audiences and critics alike - the musical won this year’s Evening Standard Award for Best New Musical and has received ten nominations, including Best New Musical, in this year’s Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards (See News, 30 Nov 2005) - perhaps political musicals set in the north of England are the way forward?