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Royal & Derngate to launch new musical theatre consortium

The venue is celebrating ten years since its reopening

Royal & Derngate

Royal & Derngate artistic director James Dacre has announced a new consortium aimed at commissioning, developing and supporting new music theatre.

To mark ten years since the reopening of the venue, the Royal & Derngate will collaborate with partners including Scottish Opera, Musical Theatre Network, Perfect Pitch, Improbable, China Plate and Underbelly, to work on new opera and musical theatre projects. The new work will be presented in a festival format, in Northampton as well as UK and international festivals.

They are also working in conjunction with Studio Three Sixty - the designers of Paines Plough's Roundabout space – who have created a portable theatre venue called The Mix.

On the new initiative, Dacre said: "For a long time we have felt that the scale and demands of new musicals and operas exclude theatres and organisations like ours, which lack the finances and resources to realise them.

"So we are interested in a new model for creating music-theatre that can liberate writers, composers and creators from the barriers they've previously faced in originating new work and still be audience-friendly, locally relevant, collaborative and deeply imaginative."

Studio Three Sixty directors Lucy Osborne and Emma Chapman added: "With The Mix we aim to create a venue that is capable of touring anywhere without compromising high artistic standards and the quality of the audience experience."

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