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 decided to dedicate our Nuts & Bolts events over 2017 (and beyond!) 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. Members are welcome to attend every session, or only the sessions which meet their specific requirements and interests. 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 in the series. 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

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

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

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.


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

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)


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

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:

  • 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.



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

Course Leader Bios: HERE