Applications Open: Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer at Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Mercury Musical Developments (MMD) and Musical Theatre Network (MTN) have been awarded funding from the Cameron Mackintosh Foundation to support five placements as part of The Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme over 2023-2025.  We are delighted to announce the next placement will be hosted by Octagon Theatre, Bolton.  

Through this scheme, professional musical theatre composers are paired with a company and given the opportunity to be involved in a range of work which could include composing assignments on the host company’s projects, setting text to music or working on development of their own musical theatre material. Recent hosts have included the Royal Shakespeare Company; Theatr Clwyd; Dundee Rep; Hope Mill Theatre; The Lowry; and British Youth Music Theatre. 

The placement is expected to cover October 2023 to March/April 2024 and applicants should be free to commit throughout that period. The successful recipient receives a fee calculated to cover six months of a composer’s time, sometimes spread over a longer period with gaps if by mutual agreement. The exact timetable and the projects to be worked on will be agreed in consultation between the composer and Octagon Theatre, Bolton. The opportunity is open to any applicant resident in the UK. It’s expected the successful applicant will be based at Octagon Theatre, Bolton for at least a significant portion of the six-month placement. Octagon Theatre, Bolton, MMD and MTN are committed to diversifying voices in new musical theatre writing and broadening the art form, and composers from a background which is under-represented in musical theatre writing are encouraged to consider applying. 

The successful recipient will receive an all-inclusive fee of £13,000, thanks to the generous support of The Cameron Mackintosh Foundation. 

 “I’m absolutely thrilled that we are collaborating with our friends at MTN and MMD to host a Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer. It will be brilliant to support a musical theatre composer in our building, following on from our recent successful new musical productions of The Book Thief and A Christmas Carol. I’m passionate about the development of new musicals and can’t wait to welcome this artist to join the team at the Octagon.”

Lotte Wakeham, Artistic Director of Bolton Octagon

“The Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer placements provide a fantastic opportunity for musical theatre composers to become embedded in a producing theatre and to learn from all departments, as well as having valuable time to develop their own work. For this next placement we are delighted to be working with Octagon Theatre, Bolton, a really exciting venue committed to new musical theatre and artist development.” 

Natalia Scorer, Executive Director of Mercury Musical Developments

This placement will consist of a range of bespoke professional development opportunities at Bolton Octagon which may include: 

  • Observe the musical direction/composition aspects of new musical ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, culminating in a production at Octagon Theatre, Bolton in Nov 2023. 
  • Potential opportunity to compose for a new production of a play which the Octagon will be co-producing in Jan 2024 (likely to be a schools set text). 
  • Opportunity to compose for a world premiere co-production of a new play adaptation. 
  • Composing for creative engagement productions. 
  • Time and space for writing and/or research and development at the venue. 

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). By musical theatre, we mean any theatre which significantly features characters singing (not including work which is defined as opera by its context or creatives). You must be resident in the UK. We are looking for a clear on-going commitment to working in musical theatre. We encourage applicants from the broadest diversity of backgrounds, cultural heritages and identities. Overall, applicants will need to be self-sufficient, adaptable, and able to take the initiative to make the most of working within a busy producing theatre. 

How to apply: if you are interested in applying, please complete the anonymised online application form. 

You will be asked to upload examples of your work (three sound files of no more than 6 minutes each, including at least two songs) that reflect your writing for musical theatre and the diversity of your work. If you have any questions about your application, you can email or he can be reached on 020 7395 5461. Five applicants will be shortlisted for interview, and asked to complete a practical composing exercise, with £150 paid towards time spent on this exercise.  

Timetable: All applications must be received by midnight on Monday 12th June 2023.

If you have been shortlisted, we will aim to let you know by 30th July.  

At this stage we expect interviews to take place during late August in London. 

Please note the above is subject to change, but we will keep you updated at all times. 

The successful recipient will need to be a member of Mercury Musical Developments in order to receive the grant; however, you do not need to be a member to apply. You can read about the experiences of past recipients of Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer placements here 

We look forward to hearing from you.