Contact Us

“The UK’s largest and most important advocate of new musicals” Musical Theatre Review

Musical theatre is a complex and thrilling art form. A musical combines many forms of storytelling and has a unique ability to astonish and delight. But writing a musical is very difficult and new musicals require a great deal of developmental support. We are dedicated to supporting writers and nurturing outstanding new musicals.

We are part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio, working in partnership with Musical Theatre Network. We are the only organisations in the Portfolio focused on the development of the musical theatre sector.

As well as our year-round programme of opportunities, together with Musical Theatre Network we produce BEAM, the UK’s largest showcase of musical theatre, and the UK Musical Theatre Conference.

Our Mission

Our mission is simple: to help our writers write their best possible musical. We want to see our members at the forefront of new writing – ensuring the UK continues to be the home of excellent and innovative musical theatre.

Our programmes deliver to one or more of our key areas of focus:


Developing writers’ individual skills and improving the quality of musical writing in the UK overall


Giving advice, facilitating connections, increasing knowledge of how the industry works and how to maintain a career


Bringing writers together, developing collaborations, creating a vibrant and inclusive musical theatre ecology

Become a member

MMD has been so crucial in supporting me, and opening doors that I never thought would be opened so quickly. There’s a very clear change in my journey as a writer from the moment I joined MMD, and I would recommend it highly to anyone with the slightest of an idea for a musical. If my experience has shone light on anything, it is there is a group of people who are already on your side, even if you don’t know it yet.

Omar Baroud, MMD member

Our History

The beginnings

Mercury Musical Developments was born 1992 when a group of 8 writers, including George Stiles, Anthony Drewe, Howard Goodall and Charles Hart among others, who studied with Stephen Sondheim at Oxford University during his tenure as the inaugural Cameron Mackintosh Professor of Contemporary Theatre in 1990, went on to form the Mercury Workshop, an informal composers’ salon for writers to give each other feedback and support, led by Ed Hardy and including founding MMD board members Stiles and Drewe.

Merge with New Musicals Alliance

Over time Mercury expanded and in 1999 merged with the New Musicals Alliance, run by Chris Grady, to become Mercury Musical Developments. Under the leadership of Georgina Bexon the organization grew, forged links with writers and other musical theatre aficionados in the US and became the place producers began to look to when commissioning new work. In 2008 Neil Marcus took over the helm and brought much needed profile and funding to the organization. MMD writers began to have shows produced in regional theatres and the West End and were represented in New York’s annual new musicals showcasing at NAMT.

Entering the National Portfolio

In 2012, MMD became part of the Arts Council England National Portfolio, in partnership with Musical Theatre Network (MTN) a membership organisation for venues, colleges, producers and creatives (other than writers) dedicated to producing new musical theatre. This was the first time musical theatre had received long term public funding and it enabled the organization to take significant steps towards nurturing new musical theatre writing in the UK and enabled MMD to provide a number of exciting new initiatives for our members. In 2015 Victoria Saxton took over the role of Executive Director and in 2019 she was succeeded by Emily Gray.

BEAM Showcase

2016 saw the inaugural BEAM Showcase; a two-day industry event highlighting the breadth of work and talent within the genre from right across the UK. It was jointly presented by MMD and MTN at the Park Theatre, London and is now a bi-annual event. Subsequent BEAM showcases have taken place at Theatre Royal Stratford East (2018), Hackney Empire (2021) and Oxford Playhouse (2023). To date, over 35 shows presented at BEAM have gone on to be fully staged and it is the largest showcase of new musical theatre in the UK.

An all-round programme of support

MMD has now grown from it’s original 25 members to a thriving organisation of more than 400 members. Membership consists of writers from across the UK and internationally, from those writing their first few songs to those with productions playing in the West End. During the Covid-19 pandemic MMD supported its members with the Keep Writing Fund, and since 2021 has run a new programme of initiatives to address the gender imbalance in writers of musicals.

Member Spotlight

Caitlyn Burt

Lyricist and Librettist Caitlyn Burt is an award-winning lyricist and librettist who, along with Amir Shoenfeld, was recently named the… Read more

Visit Website

Caitlyn Burt

Lyricist and Librettist

Caitlyn Burt is an award-winning lyricist and librettist who, along with Amir Shoenfeld, was recently named the first Cameron Mackintosh resident writing team, and were based at Theatr Clwyd throughout 2022. The pair recently presented their new musical ‘Otto Weidt’s Brush and Broom Workshop for the Blind’ at the UK’s biggest showcase for new musical theatre, BEAM 2023 with an extended slot. Their song, ‘Looking at the Moon’ won the Song for our Time contest, selected from over 260 entries by Tony Award-winner, Jason Robert Brown.

Caitlyn has taught and directed at APO Arts Academy, and between 2013-2016 was the Director of Performing Miracles in Melbourne. She is a member of BML (Book, Music & Lyrics), the UK’s leading workshop for musical theatre creators, and her work can be found on New UK Musicals.

Geraint Owen

Composer, Writer, Musical Director Geraint is an award-winning composer, writer, musical director and pianist from Cardiff. He studied at the… Read more

Visit Website

Geraint Owen

Composer, Writer, Musical Director

Geraint is an award-winning composer, writer, musical director and pianist from Cardiff. He studied at the University of Cambridge, and has received training at the Young Vic, the National Theatre, and piano tuition at the Birmingham Conservatoire. He is also an accomplished music transcriber, and accompanist for classical, choral, and musical theatre repertoire.

Geraint recently won the 'Voice, Vision & Potential' Award at the Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Prize, which recognises an outstanding song from a new musical. His song, 'Bio', was from Queerway, a song cycle derived from interviews with queer peopel living in Rhondda Cynon Taf. The show was commissioned by Leeway Productions for a debut run at the Wales Millennium Centre in February 2023.

Equal Opportunities

MMD is committed to being an Equal Opportunities employer. We recognise that the provision of equal opportunities in all our activities will benefit the organisation. We also recognise that diversity within our membership and activities will make a valuable contribution towards the development of the artform we support, pushing creative boundaries and ensuring that the greatest possible range of voices is reflected in the work created.