Mercury Musical Developments (MMD) and Musical Theatre Network (MTN) work in close partnership with each other but are two separate organisations. We receive joint Arts Council England funding as a Sector Support Organisation which enables us to run individual projects and a number of projects jointly. These include the BEAM Showcase (our bi-annual showcase of new musical theatre), a bi-annual UK Industry Musical Theatre Conference (in ‘non-BEAM’ years), the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme and a number of training and networking events.

Both MTN and MMD are membership organisations, and our names sound a bit similar. All of which can make it a bit confusing for people wanting to work with us, or thinking about becoming a member of one or the other organisation. So we have written this explanation to clarify things:

What’s the difference between MMD & MTN?

MMD is all about nurturing new musical theatre writing and our membership is, therefore, open to writers. We know that writing musicals is hard and can often be a lonely business. So our members have access to a range of showcasing and development initiatives to help further their craft and their careers as bookwriters, lyricists and composers. We offer workshops, masterclasses, seminars and writer groups designed to support those who are new to the genre, emerging talents or seasoned professionals. We actively seek out commissions, build professional networks and are ambassadors on behalf of all our members. We have a growing community of over 400 writers both across the UK and internationally, and our community is a supportive and friendly one. MMD exists to champion and nurture the writers who are shaping the future of British musical theatre.

MTN is all about creating the environment that allows new musical theatre to flourish. Membership is open to anyone working professionally in musical theatre but is primarily made up of producers, venues, directors, agents and educational institutions. This is because the support they offer is really about the business end of putting on a musical – they run events on things like fundraising, touring your show and theatre tax relief, as well as working nationally to build connections and use their networks to enhance what their members can do. MTN looks at the sector overall in order to identify and then fill the gaps – creating initiatives to bring a diverse range of artists into the artform, encourage experimentation with new ways of making work, and find new ways by which that work can be seen more widely. MTN do have writers and composers as members; these tend to be those who are producing their own work and who are interested in the connections MTN can help them make.

So which one should I join?
If you want to write musicals, or if you are already writing musicals, then your first port of call should be MMD. No matter your level of experience, MMD membership is open to bookwriters, lyricists and composers. If you are working professionally in musical theatre, or are interested in working professionally in musical theatre in a capacity other than as a writer, then MTN should be your first port of call. But look forward to working with you – through whichever route we meet you.

To learn more about the benefits of MMD Membership, and the work we do, click here or contact Ellen Burgin, Joint Membership & Communications Manager at To learn more about MTN click here.