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Musicalsbury Festival

October 2, 2013

I’ve just finished “The Guts,” the fourth in the “Barrytown Trilogy” (the first being “The Commitments.” Anyway, mathematical illiteracy aside, the final scenario of the book took place at a massive Glastonbury-style music festival in Ireland. Many different stages, many different styles of music… but not, of course, my favourite type, “show tunes.”

Musical theatre generates billions worldwide, so why can’t we have “Musicalsbury.” Different stages for different genres of show tune – classic, “golden age,” “rock opera,” “jukebox” (if we must!), even “World” for shows presented in other languages. A mix of full performances and cabaret appearances. Side tents for masterclasses and interviews from the greatest names in the business. Stalls selling show memorabilia etc.

Of course, “Musicalsbury” would have a few slight changes. For a kick off, no ‘mud, tents and bathrooms grimmer than those you remember from high school with dread.” I’m thinking musical theatre fans are more civilised, so let’s use one of the many happy ‘holiday parks’ the UK has. Caravan, chalet and (for those who enjoy) ‘lurking within tent” facilities with concrete pathways between.

Even better, the parks all have fully equipped show venues already, plus space to pitch extra marquees as required. Resident entertainment teams are often musical theatre trained, and of course the centres have their own musicians available.

Make it an “open” festival to the industry, so that it becomes a veritable “Edinburgh Fringe” of new companies and established talent.

Could we be onto a winner? If I had the cash, I’d be tempted to find out…

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