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WhatsOnStage helps find the best musicals at Edinburgh 2013, sponsors MTN awards

Musical theatre makes up 4% of the overall programme for the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe. How many of those are award-worthy shows? We've partnered with the Musical Theatre Network Awards to find out

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WhatsOnStage.com is delighted to announced today our renewed partnership with the Musical Theatre Network (formerly Musical Theatre Matters) and its seventh annual awards at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The Musical Theatre Network Awards are the only awards at the world's largest arts festival that specifically reward the very best in musical theatre, thereby raising the profile of the work and the artists making it.

Previous winners – who include Michael Bruce (now Donmar Warehouse composer in residence), Arthur Darvill, Barbershopera and Hamlet the Musical - have gone on to great success, with their work being seen around the world including in New York, London and on national tour. And there are high hopes amongst the 50+ eligible shows at this year's Fringe.

WhatsOnStage.com has signed up as Official Media Partner of the Musical Theatre Network Awards 2013, having previously partnered with the awards during the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringes.

We're working closely with MTN's team of assessors, who will be seeing all of the eligible shows from the official start of the Fringe this Friday (2 August 2013) – look out for some of their reviews and blogs in the coming days – and will be reporting fully on this year's shortlists (announced on Thursday 15 August) and, of course, the winners (announced on Thursday 22 August).

Caroline Routh, Executive Producer of Musical Theatre Network, said: "It's fantastic to have WhatsOnStage working with us again on this year's awards. With their support, we'll be able to provide a real boost to the profile of the winners and nominees and help them take their work to a new audience."

Terri Paddock, Managing Director of WhatsOnStage.com, added: "We know how popular musical theatre is with our audiences so this is a great opportunity for us to be able to bring the work of new and exciting artists to their attention (plus give them some insider stories on how it all comes together)."

Musical Theatre Network was set up in 2005 to meet an identified need for a forum to champion musical theatre and provide a resource for all those working in the genre. Since that point, the company has grown into an organisation that has attracted members from the largest theatre owners and producers through independent directors and producers to educational establishments and the most adventurous Fringe theatre spaces.

In 2012, in partnership with Mercury Musical Developments, Musical Theatre Network became part of the Arts Council of England's National Portfolio. The companies are now working to create a national infrastructure supporting and producing challenging, innovative new musical theatre, offering training sessions, networking events and the development and facilitation of a range of collaborations. This work will feed into a Festival of New Musical Theatre, taking place in 2015 and creating the perfect opportunity to showcase British musical theatre to both a national and international audience.

For more information on MTN and its work, visit www.musicaltheatrenetwork.com.