Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme



Mercury Musical Developments, Musical Theatre Network & the Royal Shakespeare Company are delighted to announce that Sarah Llewellyn will be The Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer at the Royal Shakespeare Company, commencing March 2017.

(Photograph: Leah Llewellyn)

I’m inspired by such a wonderful opportunity to work as resident composer with the RSC. The scope and breadth of this position is impressive; composing for two new plays, exploring work with the education department, collaborating on a Shakespeare production in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and further developing an original musical idea of my own. I’m very excited to be working with such exceptional creatives and see this as a unique opportunity to make some long-term meaningful connections and partnerships.” – Sarah Llewellyn, Composer

I’m delighted that Sarah is the chosen candidate for the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme, which will be hosted this year by the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Sarah will be composing music for new plays as part of our Mischief Festival at The Other Pace, as well as for Education projects, and assisting the composer for a Shakespeare play in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.  She will also have the opportunity to develop her own music theatre work and experience the integral process of music at the RSC. Sarah is an exciting composer who has the experience and theatrical instinct to gain a huge amount from the residency and make further progress within her career, and we are really looking forward to working with her.” – Bruce O’Neil, Head of Music, Royal Shakespeare Company 

Through this scheme musical theatre composers are paired with a venue, and given the opportunity to be involved in a range of work which could include underscoring plays, setting text to music or creating their own piece of new work. Recent venues have included West Yorkshire Playhouse, Bristol Old Vic, the Mercury, Colchester and New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich. Sarah Llewellyn is the third of five placements that MTN and MMD will be facilitating over 2015-18 thanks to the generosity of the Cameron Mackintosh Foundation.

James Hadley                                                               Victoria Saxton

Executive Director, MTN                                           Executive Director, MMD            

Sarah Llewellyn

Sarah is a composer, sound designer and music director who writes for theatre, film and circus in the UK and internationally. She trained at the GSMD conservatoire and is the founder/director of Tonal Music Company. Sarah’s work includes films: A Short Epic Love About Love and Oscar and Jim. Original scores for Giffords Circus; War and Peace @ the Circus, The Saturday Book, Yasmine a Musical and Caravan. Her extensive work for theatre includes A Tale of Two Cities (Hong Kong & Ed Fringe), Britannicus (Wilton’s), Who Will Carry the Word (Courtyard) Weapons of Happiness (Finborough) King Arthur  (Arcola) Much Ado About Nothing and The Fall of Man (Red Shift theatre), Antony and Cleopatra, Much Ado About Nothing and Henry the V (Fairbanks Shakespeare Alaska).

The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world.  We produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.

Everyone at the RSC – from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians – plays a part in creating the world you see on stage.  All our productions begin life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we bring them to the widest possible audience through our touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. So wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work made in Shakespeare’s home town.

We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. We encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre.  We reach over 500,000 children and young people annually through our education work, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online.  Registered charity no. 212481

Through the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer scheme emerging musical theatre composers are paired with a venue, and given the opportunity to be involved in a range of work which could include underscoring plays, setting text to music or creating their own piece of new work. This opportunity gives valuable experience of working within a venue environment, building working relationships with a range of venues based professionals. Recent venues have included Soho Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Watermill, Newbury, Mercury Theatre, Colchester, New Wolsey, Ipswich and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

To be eligible to apply: you will need to be a musical theatre composer who has already had some work professionally produced (which can include paid work for a drama college or other training institute). We are also looking for a clear commitment to working in musical theatre. By musical theatre, we mean anything where music and song drive narrative. Ideally, the successful applicant will be based in the local area for the duration of the placement. Applicants already based locally will be particularly welcome but applicants from across the UK are eligible.

The successful recipient will receive an all-inclusive fee of £11,000.

For more information please contact Martin Jackson on or call on 020 7395 5461.

This scheme is generously funded by the Cameron Mackintosh Foundation and managed by Musical Theatre Network (MTN) and Mercury Musical Developments (MMD).

As the final interviews approach for the latest placement of our Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Becky Applin reflects on her time as Resident Composer at Mercury Theatre Colchester/New Wolsey Ipswich and Dougal Irvine on his at Royal & Derngate. For any composers considering applying for future residencies this is essential reading. As you will see, the residencies have had a profound impact on both Becky and Dougal’s careers. In fact, before he applied Dougal was considering leaving musical theatre altogether…


Rebecca Applin (Mercury Theatre, Colchester and New Wolsey, Ipswich 2015)Rebecca Applin

“Through the Resident Composer Scheme I have worked on an amazing variety of types of shows and platforms.  Meeting and working with lots of different directors and creatives has been incredibly valuable and I hope has been the start of collaborations that will carry on into the future 

Read Becky’s blog about her Resident Composer placement HERE



Dougal Irvine (Royal and Derngate, Northampton 2012)AcousticOvertures45coolWeb

“I owe a huge amount to the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme. It pretty much kept me in the business”. 

Read Dougal’s blog about his Resident Composer placement HERE