Musical Theatre Darkroom Residency

Written by Susan
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4th May 2022

We are delighted to announce the successful applicants for our 2022 Musical Theatre Darkroom Residency.

This year’s Musical Theatre Darkroom will take place as a weeklong workshop-residency at Royal & Derngate, Northampton. The residency will be led by composer Fred Carl and lyricist and librettist Robert Lee – both experienced musical theatre practitioners and specialist tutors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

The teams will have the opportunity to pitch their work at the BEAM2023 Showcase in Spring 2023.

Find out a bit more about the teams and their musicals below…

Nemo Martin, Seashore Yuánfèn 海缘

Co-writer: Zhui Ning Chang
Composer: Nimrita Kaur

Nemo Martin is a British-Japanese writer. Both their fictional and non-fictional work explores how colonial thought is embedded in 19th-century natural sciences, literature and popular thought, as well as how this is received by 21st-century audiences.

Seashore Yuánfèn 海缘 is a queer romantic comedy that seeks to present a world with care and active kindness for queer people of colour. The musical aims to merge the epic and joyful flair of Western rom-com musicals like Mamma Mia with the contemporary romance of films like Ek Ladki ko Dekha toh aisa laga and the queer longing of The Untamed. They were initially inspired by musical podcasts 36 Questions and Bubble Boy.

Maya Productions, Benny and the Greycats

Writer/Director/Artistic Director: Suzanne Gorman
Co-Composer: Riz Maslen
Co-Composer: Mike Gorman

Maya Productions are a female led, Anglo-Indian writing/composing team making a piece for an entirely British South-Asian cast. Benny and the Greycats is rooted in working-class Northern culture and informed by stories of migration. It was inspired by writer Suzanne Gorman’s and composer Mike Gorman’s family – who played in the Madras Jazz group in South India before playing in 60s pop combos in working men’s clubs in Sheffield.

The piece depicts the struggles faced by those who migrated during this period and tried to integrate into an often unwelcoming environment. It explores what happens to families, when they lose their sense of belonging, and have to plant roots in a new place. It challenges audiences to examine Britain’s colonial history and its relationship to the experiences of migrant communities.

Thabo Stuck, #50Days

Creator/Writer (Book and Lyrics): Thabo Stuck
Composer/Musical Director: Amiir Saleem
Beatbox Composer: Nadine Rose Johnson

Thabo Stuck is an Artist and History Teacher from South London.

#50Days is a Grime Musical that tells the story of the 50-day period that leads up to the outbreak of the 17th Century British Civil Wars. Using Grime music, this show aims to give underrepresented Brits a voice in telling the story of one of our most integral but often misunderstood narratives where the country, politically fraught and in the shadow of a plague, was left well and truly divided.

With parallels to Brexit, questions about the monarchy, a grime soundtrack and a little bit of fake news – #50Days is an interpretation of British history told through the eyes of underrepresented Brits today.

Musical Theatre Darkroom is presented by China Plate, Birmingham Hippodrome, Musical Theatre Network, Mercury Musical Developments and Royal & Derngate, Northampton.

It is a ground-breaking laboratory programme that supports the development of original new musicals. As part of this programme’s commitment to championing diverse voices within musical theatre, this opportunity was targeted specifically at new musicals by artists from the global majority.