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New fund to support development of new British musical theatre

Adam Lenson. Photo: Lidia Crisafulli

A new initiative is being launched to support musical theatre artists to write new work.

Adam Lenson Productions is behind the Amplify fund, which aims to address “a clear lack of opportunity for artist-led development of new British musicals”.

The company aims to raise £5,000 for the fund in 2019 and give ten artists either a fully paid writing residency or a micro-commission lasting a week. If more money is raised, more commissions will be given.

The fund follows the launch of a quarterly concert series called Signal by Adam Lenson Productions in 2017 to showcase new British musical theatre.

Revenue for the fund will be generated through donations in lieu of selling ticket at Signal and other events, a public crowd funding webpage [1] and campaign Just One Week, which asks those who have worked on musicals to donate a week of their royalties to the fund.

Adam Lenson Productions will provide artists with in-kind support including rehearsal space and access to theatres and offices, alongside the financial backing.

There is no set outcome for the writers, and the only requirement is that they “write work they care about”.

Lenson said: “For the past few years I have watched people ask where the British Hamilton or Dear Evan Hansen is, despite the fact we stubbornly refuse to support musical theatre writers the way America does.

“We often don’t seem to respect the medium or support skilled, devoted artists in the same way. If we want better musicals, I believe we need to start respecting those who write them and enable them to make work their way.

“Signal began a journey of allowing artists to write and showcase material that they believed in and the Amplify fund carries that forward.”

Artists who are interested in the fund are asked to contact Adam Lenson Productions via the company’s website or email. Micro commissions will be allocated by a panel of industry experts.

Amplify is being launched at Signal 6 on June 25 at the H Club in London.