The Musical Theatre Network Awards have been running since 2007 and through them we profile a wide range of new work that approaches the genre in a multitude of ways. We are looking for high quality work – from the traditional book, music and lyrics stable through to work that is advancing the form and experimenting with the idea of what musical theatre can be. Our criteria are deliberately broad as we want to be sure that we don’t miss out on something that might not consider itself as fitting within the more traditional form of musical theatre but that still uses song and narrative in a dramatic way.
For the first time this year our awards will not be made in specific categories of best book, music or lyrics; instead a small number of shows will simply be given a Musical Theatre Network Award. These shows will be the ones we feel are bringing something exceptional to the artform, and when we make the award we will publicly recognise what that “something” is. We want this to encourage a different way of looking at work that does not necessarily fit into the traditional way of creating a musical, and to demonstrate that there are many different ways of making great work
We will be accepting registrations for our awards up to 25th July; if you have a show that you think might be eligible then please do get in touch. The eligibility criteria are as follows:
We are conscious of the cost of bringing work to Edinburgh and so want to do our best to build in the flexibility that will allow us to see shows that are only there for a short run. Our requirement therefore is that, to be eligible, a show must be available to be seen by at least two assessors by 2am on 16th August and by our judges between 16th – 21st August. This may require some careful planning on our part but we are keen that not being able to afford to be in Edinburgh for the majority of the fringe is not a bar to work being considered.
Award winners from previous years have gone onto great success: Dougal Irvine’s show Departure Lounge – winning Best Music in 2008 – went on to a sell-out run at the Summer Play Festival in New York, a fully staged London run in 2010 and a nomination for Best Musical in What’sOnStage.com awards in 2011; the company RashDash – winner of Innovation and Best Book in 2011 – was nominated again in 2012 and has gone on to create work with Lyric Hammersmith, Live Theatre, Royal & Derngate and Latitude 2012; and Barbershopera – winners in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 – have toured their work nationally as well as appearing three times on London’s West End.
We’re delighted to have played a part in supporting the development of this work and can’t wait to see where this year’s winners might end up.