Theatre News

Plans for BEAM2025, a showcase for new musicals, announced

The event is due to return next spring

Sam Tutty and Dujonna Gift, © Marc Brenner
Sam Tutty and Dujonna Gift, © Marc Brenner

Mercury Musical Developments (MMD) and Musical Theatre Network (MTN) have announced the details for BEAM2025, a major showcase for new musical theatre.

The event will be held on 15 and 16 May 2025 at Birmingham Hippodrome. Prior to the main event, a series of pitching days will take place across the UK from September to December 2024 to identify new works and artists.

In partnership with theatres and arts organisations, 21 pitching days will be held in 12 towns and cities. Over 300 new musicals are expected to be pitched, with each team or individual given ten minutes to present their ideas to an industry panel. Up to 40 musicals will be selected for BEAM2025.

The pitching panels will include around 50 industry experts, such as producers and programmers of new musicals.

Participating venues for the pitching dates include Cecil Sharp House, Southwark Playhouse, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Mercury Theatre Colchester, MAST Mayflower Studios, Northcott Theatre in Exeter, York Theatre Royal, Kiln Theatre, Birmingham Hippodrome, The Lowry, Wales Millennium Centre, Donmar Warehouse, The Other Palace, Rockvilla (overseen by National Theatre of Scotland), Watford Palace Theatre, Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Fairfield Halls, and Everyman Theatre, Liverpool. Each pitching team will receive bespoke development feedback, supported by funding from PRS Foundation.

BEAM aims to encourage and develop musical theatre across the UK by connecting practitioners and finding champions for original work. More than 60 per cent of the musicals showcased at previous BEAM events have gone on to be fully staged or received further development support. Notable successes include the award-winning Operation Mincemeat and Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York), both currently playing in the West End.

An online event will be held on Wednesday 4 September, featuring an expert panel offering advice on the pitching process. The panel includes Matthew Eames (head of theatres, the Lowry), Kate Golledge (BEAM pitching facilitator/director), Suzanne Gorman (writer/producer), and Kiki Stevenson (programme manager, The Other Palace). Registration for this event is open now via the Mercury Musical Developments website.

Natalia Scorer from Mercury Musical Developments said today: “The BEAM pitching process is the most wide-reaching development opportunity for new musical theatre in the UK. We are delighted to be providing each team with feedback so that this is a useful experience for everyone, regardless of the showcase selection.

“We are really looking forward to meeting artists from around the country and finding the most exciting new work out there.”

Producer Tim Johanson, who discovered Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York) at BEAM2018, continued: “BEAM plays a crucial role in the development of the UK musical theatre artform. It unites the entire industry to create and promote new musicals from the ground up. Personally, I am producing two BEAM shows, including Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York), which I discovered at BEAM2018 and is now playing in the West End.”

BEAM is co-produced by Musical Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments, with funding support from Arts Council England and PRS Foundation.