I’ve Written A Musical – Now What?

The most frequently asked question by members of MMD is: “I’ve written a musical! Now what?” So, we’ve decided to dedicate our Nuts & Bolts events over 2017 to answering this question. As you will see below, we’ve designed the talks to follow on from one another, tracing the writing process from page to stage and beyond! You are welcome to attend every single session, or only the sessions which meet your specific requirements and interest. No one road leads to Rome, and the process from page to stage is different for everyone and every project. But please join us to learn some different routes, tips and techniques from a wide rage of industry professionals.

Below are details of the first four sessions. The rest of the series will cover what happens when you’re ‘Into Production’; Agents – when you need one and how to get one; Licensing and life after your first production. The overall aim of these sessions is to de-mystify the process of writing a musical, but also to demonstrate that there is no ‘right’ way to getting a musical produced or staged. We will get expert industry advice but always remember you must be creative, entrepreneurial and that you are the best advocate of your own show. You cannot expect others to do all the hard work for you. Our hope is that having completed this course you’ll have a better idea of what to do when you’ve written (and re-written) that musical!

Session 1: From first draft to second draft – what to do when you think you’re finished

Thursday 16th February 2017 – 7.00pm – 9.00pm

Space 8, Jerwood Space – Led by Elliot Davis.

Writer Elliot Davis talks us through what happens when you think you’ve finished your first draft. Often, you haven’t. Elliot will talk through the process from re-writes to workshops and how to put together a ‘pitch’ packet when the piece is ready to be shared. We will also discuss who to send early material to – and how.


Session 2: Feedback – giving and receiving constructive critique

Thursday 9th March 2017 – 7.00pm – 9.00pm

Space 8, Jerwood Space – Led by Victoria Saxton, Carl Miller & Fadi ‘Sevan’ Tavoukdjian

As writers, a large part of our world is receiving and giving feedback. Knowing how to receive and respond to feedback can be tricky. Whose advice do you listen to? How do you process it? What is useful and what can be harmful? Likewise, knowing how to constructively critique the work of others can have a huge positive impact on your own work. Victoria Saxton, Carl Miller and Fadi ‘Sevan’ Tavoukdjian will talk through different approaches to feedback, including the Liz Lerman Method, and look at practical ways for ourselves as writers to take control of how the process affects our work.


Session 3: The Producers Perspective I – The Money: what you need, how to raise it & where to spend it

Thursday 11th May 2017 – 7.00pm – 9.00pm

Space 8, Jerwood Space. Led by Vicky Graham 

For those of us making musical theatre, an artistic decision is a financial decision, and a financial decision is an artistic decision. Independent producer Vicky Graham will help demystify budgeting, fundraising and some first principles of self-producing for writers.

This is an MMD event and is free to MMD members. MTN members are also welcome to attend for a £5 fee payable on the door, cash only.

Session 4: The Producers Perspective II – The Audience: who might they be & how might you reach them?

Thursday 18th May 2017 – 7.00pm – 9.00pm

Space 8, Jerwood Space. Led by Vicky Graham 

This session will explore how artists might consider and engage audiences, venues and a variety of media from the beginning of a process. Guests from the worlds of programming, press and marketing include:

Daisy Bowie-Sell – Managing Editor, WhatsOnStage.com

Dawn Farrow – Founder & Managing Director, Boom Ents

Tamara Harvey – Artistic Director, Theatr Clwyd

Adam Lenson – Director and Producer/Host, Dischord (podcast)

This is a joint MMD and MTN event and is free to members of both organisations.

Session 5: From Workshop to Production – approaching producers and agents, getting into workshops and your place in the rehearsal room

Thursday 2nd November 2017 – 7.00pm – 9.00pm

Club Theatre, RADA Studios. Led by Elliot Davis.

Writer Elliot Davis talks us through the writer’s process from workshop to production. He will be joined by bookwriter and lyricist Jake Brunger (The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, Prodigy).

From Workshop to Production will cover the following:

  • What can you expect from your workshop?
  • How to mount a workshop…
  • Who to invite…
  • How to re-write after a workshop…
  • Whose notes do you listen to?
  • Entering into production…
  • Staying in control
  • Working through previews…

Jake Brunger (book and lyrics) and Pippa Cleary (music and lyrics) are a London-based musical theatre writing partnership. They met at Bristol University in 2008, where they were studying Drama and Music respectively.

Their musicals together include: Jet Set Go! (Edinburgh Fringe, Theatre 503 and Jermyn Street Theatre; licensed by Music Theatre International), The Great British Soap Opera (Edinburgh Fringe and Jermyn Street Theatre), Red Riding Hood (Singapore Repertory Theatre, Pleasance Theatre in London and Edinburgh, Middle East tour, El Repertorio in Mexico City and Casa Mañana in Texas, USA; licensed by Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals), the stage musical adaptation of Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾(Leicester Curve), Prodigy (National Youth Music Theatre at St James Theatre; upcoming licensing by Music Theatre International) and Treasure Island (Singapore Repertory Theatre).

Upcoming work includes a new adaptation of Chicken Little for Singapore Repertory Theatre, who are also preparing for the Mandarin language translation of Red Riding Hood, which opens in July, also at Singapore Repertory Theatre.

Jake and Pippa’s additional credits include music and lyrics for the Rose Theatre, Kingston’s 2013 Christmas show The Snow Gorilla, a song for the musical revue A Song Cycle for Cycle (Soho Theatre) and the opening number for 2014’s West End Bares

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ was nominated for the 2015 UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and Young People and Treasure Island was nominated for the 2016 The Singapore Life Theatre Award for Best Show for the Young. Pippa was the recipient of the 2013 Arts Foundation Fellowship for Musical Theatre Composition, supported by the Lionel Bart Foundation, and they have twice been finalists for The Stiles and Drewe Prize.

In addition to their work together Jake’s credits as a playwright include Four Play (Old Vic New Voices Festival and Theatre 503, published and licensed by Nick Hern Books), Pub Quiz (Manchester Royal Exchange Studio, which he also directed), ‘Ave It (Old Vic Tunnels), Chavs (Lyric Hammersmith Studio) and People Like Us (Vineyard Theatre, New York / Pleasance Theatre London). Jake was recently named as one of the writers-to-watch on the 2017 BBC New Talent ‘Hotlist’ and he has numerous TV and film projects in development with companies including Hillbilly Films, Blueprint Pictures, Inflammable Films and BBC Studios.


(Please note: most of these sessions are free to MMD members, but there will be a fee for some sessions to help cover costs.)

MMD Members can listen to audio recordings of the previous events via Dropbox HERE.

Course Leader Bios – Click HERE