Capital Theatres and Pitlochry Festival Theatre to develop new Scottish musicals

Sunshine on Leith.

Sunshine on Leith / credit: Manuel Harlan

The Musical Commissioning Hub will solicit pitches and work with writers, artists and musicians to develop new works

As starved as we currently are for live performance under lockdown, Capital Theatres and Pitlochry Festival Theatre are already planning for the future with the announcement of their new Musical Commissioning Hub – the first step of a new strategy that sees the companies work with musicians, writers and artists to develop a new generation of Scottish musicals to be enjoyed once the curtains rise again.

Scottish musicals have a history of being well-received both at home and abroad, whether they're beloved classics such as The Steamie or Sunshine on Leith; Fringe favourite My Left/Right Foot; or musical television drama Glasgow Girls. With the aim of reaffirming and strengthening this tradition post-pandemic, the Musical Commissioning Hub will be soliciting pitches and details of previous work from interested parties until Tue 15 Dec.

Application will then be reviewed by a panel of industry experts, including the likes of composer Howard Goodall; Barbara Dickson; Deacon Blue frontman Ricky Ross, the Lyceum's Director, David Greig; producer of SIX: The Musical, Kenny Wax; and many more. The winning submission will then be invited to produce a scratch performance at Capital Theatres' The Studio in the spring of 2021, and Pitlochry Festival Theatre's new Studio Theatre in summer 2021.

David Greig.

David Greig, Artistic Director at the Lyceum / credit: Aly Wight

'Music is such an important part of Scotland's heritage,' says Fiona Gibson, CEO of Capital Theatres. 'As we emerge through lockdown and social distancing, we believe Scottish audiences have an appetite for new musicals celebrating Scotland's culture, spirit and humour. This unprecedented period of our venues being closed provides a unique window of opportunity to progress new Scottish works at a time when enjoyment and entertainment has never been more necessary

Scotland has a rich history of creating high quality stories that we want to bring to life through performance. As the impact of COVID-19 deepens within our society, there is a real risk that new talent, and new creative content, will not come to the fore. This will not only result in a dearth of new work to be presented on our stages, and those of our comparators around the country, in the years to come, but will diminish the pool of creative Scottish talent that we seek to support and highlight. This Commissioning Hub presents us with the opportunity to invest in and develop the quality and diversity of works here, placing Capital Theatres and Pitlochry Festival Theatre at the heart of cultural richness in Scotland.'

For more information about submitting to the Musical Commissioning Hub, please visit Deadline is Tue 15 Dec.