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Festival of new musical theatre to be staged at London’s Other Palace

Paul Taylor-Mills Paul Taylor-Mills. Photo: Darren Bell
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A two-week festival dedicated to showcasing new musical theatre will run next year at the Other Palace in London, including a new piece by Jerry Springer the Opera writer Richard Thomas.

MT Fest UK is produced by Paul Taylor-Mills, and will run from February 11 to 23. At its centre will be a series called Taster Menu, which will showcase eight new musicals, ranging from new commissions to reworked Broadway shows. Each will be presented as a 45-minute semi-staged production.

One of the Taster Menu shows will be Thomas’ AA, set within an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, while Nerds is a musical about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. This has music by Hal Goldberg, with book and lyrics by Jordan Allen-Dutton and Erik Weiner. The show was due to run in New York in 2016 but was cancelled.

Alongside the Taster Menu will be other strands, including Tea for Two, a programme featuring “some of the industry’s most celebrated musical theatre practitioners” in conversation.

MT Fest UK will also include BEAM Brunches, which will showcase new writers in partnership with Musical Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments, and Night Caps, late-night concerts that will see musical theatre stars talking about the songs that influenced them.

Taylor-Mills said: “Over the years I’ve been fortunate to meet writers and composers from all over the world, and this festival is about putting their work front and centre and celebrating the process of creating new musicals.”

He added: “It’s vital to ensure the musicals seen on our stages in years to come remain relevant, entertaining and boundary-pushing, and this means giving writers the opportunity to put their work in front of audiences. So MT Fest UK will open the doors to the process of creating new musicals, allowing audiences to see pieces from across the world at various stages in their journeys.”

Other shows in the Taster Menu series include But I’m a Cheerleader, by Bill Augustin and Andrew Abrams, and First Date by Austin Winsberg, Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner.

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