BEAM2020 Showcase

Mercury Musical Developments and Musical Theatre Network, in partnership with Royal & Derngate, Northampton, present BEAM2020 on Thursday 26th & Friday 27th March 2020.

What is BEAM?
BEAM is the UK’s leading showcase of new British musical theatre, happening biennially, and outside London for the first time in 2020 – at Royal & Derngate, Northampton.

What is it for?
BEAM brings together presentations of around 35 new musicals in development, masterclasses, networking opportunities, and panel discussions. It is designed for anyone with an interest in new musical theatre, or in a position to help develop and stage new British musicals.

What does it do?
What sets BEAM aside from other showcases of new work is that the producers travel around the UK to find the most exciting talent and emerging musical theatre projects, and bring them together in one place – this time in Northampton, giving a unique overview of new musical theatre from throughout the country. It’s the largest event of its kind in the UK – gathering together musical theatre writers, producers, directors, supporters and enthusiasts. To date over 20 of the musicals shared at BEAM have gone on to be fully staged, and writers have found producers, venue partners, investors, agents and development partners as direct results from their presentations at BEAM.

BEAM is co-produced by Mercury Musical Developments and Musical Theatre Network, in partnership with Royal & Derngate. It will contribute to three years of developing new musical theatre by a consortium led by Royal & Derngate, funded by an Ambition for Excellence grant from Arts Council England.

How do I book to attend BEAM?
Tickets are now on sale via Royal & Derngate’s website. Early bird discounted prices are currently available and all tickets give access to the full two day showcase.

How do I pitch for my new musical in development to be included in BEAM?
There are 17 BEAM pitching days to be held around the UK, listed below. Simply fill out a registration form to express your interest in pitching, including your first and second choices of pitching days.

What we’re looking for?
We’re looking to showcase a cross section of the best and most diverse new musicals being developed from around the UK. We’re interested in all stories, approaches and music styles, from hip hop to jazz to folk, from verbatim to traditional book musicals. We encourage expressions of interest from writers of colour/BAME heritage and writers living with a disability. There is no need to have previously written a musical, but we seek those pitching to have past professional experience as an artist.

A full FAQ section can be found here so please make sure you read this thoroughly, alongside a timeline for the whole BEAM process.

There are two deadlines.
Expressions of interest must reach us before midnight on Monday 26th August 2019 if either of your preferred pitching days is in September. If both your preferred pitching days are in October or November the deadline is midnight on Monday 9th September 2019.

BEAM2020 PITCHING APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.

Pitching Venues
Wednesday 18th September 2019 – Bush Theatre, London
Friday 20th September 2019 – Nuffield Theatres Southampton
Wednesday 25th September – The Other Palace, London – Day #1
Wednesday 2nd October 2019 – Soho Theatre, London – Day #1
Monday 7th October 2019 – Birmingham Hippodrome
Wednesday 9th October 2019 – Soho Theatre, London – Day #2
Friday 11th October 2019 – Hackney Empire, London
Monday 14th October 2019 – New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
Thursday 17th October 2019 – Watford Palace Theatre, Watford
Saturday 19th October 2019 – Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Cardiff
Monday 21st October 2019 – Leeds Playhouse
Wednesday 23rd October 2019 – The Other Palace – Day #2
Friday 25th October 2019 – Curve, Leicester
Wednesday 30th October 2019 – National Theatre of Scotland, Glasgow
Wednesday 6th November 2019 – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
Friday 8th November 2019 – Cecil Sharp House, London
Monday 11th November 2019 –  Royal & Derngate, Northampton
15th November 2019 – GRAEAE (Bradbury Studios), London


To support BEAM 2020 please visit our BEAM sponsorship page.

Our second BEAM was held at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in March 2018. Here are quotes from two writing teams who participated on their experience and how BEAM helped the development of their work:

“After our showcase of ‘The Season’ at BEAM 2018 we found ourselves in conversation with several theatres and producers – conversations we could otherwise never have hoped to hold. As a result, two independent producers agreed to collaborate on the show, which will now receive its first production at Royal & Derngate, Northampton, and New Wolsey, Ipswich, in November 2019. We also secured an agent off the back of the event and subsequently won the Stiles & Drewe Mentorship Award 2018 – a monumental injection of energy which we might not have even applied for without the confidence and encouragement we derived from BEAM. It is almost impossible to exaggerate the significance that moment had on our careers. BEAM has inspired much-needed confidence in the potential of our material, and our ability to produce professional, individual work.” – Jim Barne & Kit Buchan, writers of ‘The Season’

“BEAM 2018 gave our new musical adaptation of William Nicholson’s ‘The Wind Singer’ a shop window in the musical theatre marketplace, at a very early stage, and before we knew it there were producers and publishers interested. The Royal Shakespeare Company have given us research and development time and the Hosking Houses Trust gave us somewhere to stay in Stratford – that’s the kind of incentive every writer needs. We are also now working with director Lotte Wakeham and will be doing a closed workshop for the RSC. Thank you BEAM!” – Teresa Howard & Sarah Llewellyn, writers of ‘The Wind Singer’

(Photos: David Ovenden)