The conference was introduced by Laurie Sansom and Mark Shenton lead a fascinating interview with with Phelim McDermott, who described the importance of creating a safe atmosphere in a rehearsal room in order to 'play' and really develop a piece - how the danger is that the first good idea becomes set in stone too early - when the process needs to keep evolving. Also,the importance of accepting the danger, the fear of the process and not allowing that fear to lead creative decisions - how producers need to recognise the financial gambles and be prepared to accept that it is a gamble, without impacting negatively on a rehearsal process. True.
Panellists were from a number of different platforms - Kerry Michael (AD of Stratford East) Adam Cork (composer of London Road) - Lotte Wakeham (Associate Director on Mathilde), Dougal Irvine (writer of Departure Lounge), Andy Barnes (Perfect Pitch), Elliott Davis (writer of Loserville), Niraj Chag (Buzz-Erk Music), Simon Greiff (Director), Louise Blackwell (Fuel), James Brining (West Yorkshire Playhouse) - the list goes on.
It really was a well attended conference and following an amazing concert on Sunday night, it felt that for the first time in decades there really is a creative community working together to develop new musical theatre in this country - and that things will grow from this initiative.