Masterclasses, Seminars & Workshops

At MMD we provide long-term development support for our writers. We offer a range of development opportunities from seminars and workshops, to masterclasses and industry placements. All are designed to provide support for writers developing the craft of writing musical theatre, increasing knowledge of the art form, and enhancing understanding of the business of working in professional musical theatre. To find out more, click on a title below.


The scheme pairs emerging musical theatre composers with a venue, and gives 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. Previous venues have included Royal & Derngate, Northampton; Finborough Theatre, London; Soho Theatre, London; Bristol Old Vic; the Watermill, Newbury; Mercury Theatre, Colchester; New Wolsey, Ipswich; Leeds Playhouse; Royal Shakespeare Company; Curve Leicester; Lyrics Hammersmith; Dundee Rep; The Lowry, Salford and Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester. Applications for the next placement, including one for a composer/librettist team, will open in 2021.

The successful recipient receives an all-inclusive fee of £11,000. The scheme is generously funded by the Cameron Mackintosh Foundation and managed by Mercury Musical Developments (MMD) and Musical Theatre Network (MTN).



The Lionel Bart Memorial Masterclass series, supported by the Lionel Bart Foundation provides an opportunity for MMD members to present a piece of work-in-progress and receive individual constructive feedback from distinguished industry practitioners in front of a friendly and supportive audience of other members. The critique session is followed by a Q&A with the practitioners about their own careers and working processes.

Previous guest practitioners have included Steve Brown, John Bucchino, Hannah Chissick, Elliot Davis, Nikolai Foster, Howard Goodall, Caroline Humphris, Catherine Jayes, Grant Olding, Richard Thomas, Sarah Travis, Lotte Wakeham, Nick Winston, Jeremy Sams and Jen Whyte.


The Nuts & Bolts Workshop series explores issues pertinent to the craft of book-writing, composing and lyric writing. Visiting industry practitioners analyse and share their craft process either in a seminar or workshop format. We will soon be introducing peer-to-peer skill share sessions, where members of MMD can share their knowledge of the craft with one another.

Events are live-streamed via our Facebook page and members can access audio recordings of most past events in our MMD Audio Archives via the backstage area of the MMD website.


Advanced Lab 1:

A development ‘laboratory’ for Professional Writer Associates facilitated by Teresa Howard.  Writers meet once a month to share and critique their work in a safe and supportive environment. Participation is by invitation only however new members are added on an annual basis. For more information, contact Ellen Burgin at

Current Advanced Lab 1 members are: Rebecca Applin, Chris Ash, Michael Conley, Tim Connor, Steve Edis, Marc Folan, Ben Glasstone, Teresa Howard, Alex Loveless, James Lovelock, Carl Miller, Sue Pearse, Victoria Saxton, Darren Clark, Rhys Jennings

Read Teresa’s Advanced Lab Blog

Advanced Lab 2:

A second Advanced Lab was established in 2017 facilitated by Sue Pearse. As with Lab 1, writers meet once a month to share and critique their work in a safe and supportive environment. Participation is by invitation however new members are added on an annual basis.

Please go to our events calendar to see what other seminars, masterclasses and workshops are coming up.

We are constantly evolving our offerings to meet the changing needs of our membership so please get in touch and let us know how we can help you. Likewise, do tell us if there are any topics you’d like to see covered in our developmental programmes.