Musical theatre festival to start in Birmingham

Published: 20 March 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

A rock opera about the former Prime Minister is one of the new musicals in MTFestUK

Birmingham Hippodrome, The Turbine Theatre and Paul Taylor-Mills have formed a partnership which will present an annual festival of new musical theatre, MTFestUK 2021.

The online streamed performances of eight new musicals will be part of a nationwide “digital tour” as the festival sets out to showcase new musicals to UK audiences with a view to their being turned into full productions.

Taylor-Mills was behind the inaugural MTFestUK at The Other Palace, London in 2019 which was followed in 2020 by a season at The Turbine Theatre, Battersea power station.

The 2021 festival line-up comprises Far From Heaven, #50days, The Man In the Ceiling, Millennials, HouseFire, Cake, Daisy and Tony! (The Tony Blair Rock Opera).

Creative talent involved in the festival includes Tasha Taylor-Johnson, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Jack McManus, Drew McConie, Caroline Kay, Matt White, Thabo Stuck, Scott Frankel and Poppy Burton Morgan.

Taylor-Mills, artistic director of Turbine Theatre, said, "it goes without saying that the past year has brought immense challenges. At The Turbine Theatre, we've tried our best to be resilient and use this time to redefine the way we work. This has involved exploring how we can extend our reach and bolster our commitment to developing new work.

“It was important that when we came back, we came back with an even louder bang. With this in mind, I'm so thrilled to share that MTFestUK will be going on a digital tour after its two-week run at The Turbine. All eight musicals will be filmed at The Turbine and will then live on digitally at 11 of the UK's leading venues, including Birmingham Hippodrome.”

The Hippodrome’s director of artistic programme Chris Sudworth commented, "I'd truly encourage people to join us online and experience these exciting new works for themselves. Who knows, you could be one of the first to see the next musical hit before it makes its way to the Birmingham Hippodrome stage in the future."

MTFestUK 2021 will run from Monday 31 May until Sunday 6 June.