Musical Theatre - BEAM 2023, a two-day event this May dedicated to new musical theatre, is to showcase 29 musicals-in-development. Running across 25-26 May at the Oxford Playhouse, BEAM will showcase new musicals and host workshops and panel discussions on musical theatre. Musical Theatre Network, Mercury Musical Developments and Oxford Playhouse are producing the event.
Shows to be featured at BEAM 2023 include Song of the Far Isles, an actor-musician musical by Matt Borgatti; Ratburger, a musical adaptation of the David Walliams book of the same title by Robert White; Once Upon a Carnival by Leian John-Baptiste, Perry Melius and Triniboi Joocie; and Scholl by Ella Grace.
Mercury Musical Developments executive director Natalia Scorer said: "BEAM is a vital platform for exciting new shows to be discovered. These 29 new musicals have been chosen from 265 pitches from around the UK and we are really looking forward to sharing this content and talent with the wider industry. BEAM is an excellent chance to bring the industry together to have important conversations about opportunities and pathways to developing new work, and to spark ideas and collaborations."
Early Finish - A performance of musical The Bodyguard was unable to finish after disruptive audience members resulted in the police being called. Police attended the performance on 7 April at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, following reports that a “mini riot” broke out at the theatre because of audience members singing along. A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: "Officers were called to the Palace Theatre last night (7 April 2023) after staff reported a number of people in the audience causing a disturbance. Two people removed by security staff were spoken to by police and a decision about any further action will be made once the evidence has been reviewed."
Farewell - Abba have paid tribute to long-serving guitarist Lasse Wellander, saying his "musical brilliance" played "an integral role in the Abba story". Wellander first worked with the Swedish quartet as a session musician on their self-titled 1975 album and became the main guitarist on their subsequent LPs. He can be heard on hits such as Knowing Me, Knowing You, Thank You for the Music and The Winner Takes It All. "Lasse was a dear friend, a fun guy and a superb guitarist," Abba said. He died on Friday at the age of 70.
(Jim Evans)
11 April 2023

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