MORE regional theatres should be set up to showcase new work before it appears in the West End.
This is the view of Arts Council England which is calling for the development of new musicals to be more structured to increase their chances of a successful transition to the West End stage.
It is concerned over the number of American musicals currently dominating London theatres and has begun a consultation process to discover how to support home grown talent.
Head of theatre Emma Stenning said: "It's apparent there is a lot of talent in England but not enough structure to support it.
"Although it's unlikely any initiative coming out of the consultation will include large-scale funding, we do hope to identify how to best use our resources to address the needs of the sector.
"What the industry needs is more regional venues that can premiere new work. At present, there is nothing between the seed commission of a show and a West End run. We need a better development system to allow musicals such as Jerry Springer the Opera to progress out of fringe theatre."
However Emma also said there have been success stories such as Bad Girls, by the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Moon Landing, produced by Derby Playhouse which have both transferred to the West End.
She added: "In certain areas there is some brilliant work taking place. We need to better capitalise on these individual efforts and build a strong network of development across the country.
"There is a large pool of talent in the UK and what we would like to look at is how best to make sure there are pathways and networks that allow for musical theatre to make it out of the fringe."