UK Musical Theatre Conference

Mercury Musical Developments, in partnership with Musical Theatre Network, hosts a biennial UK Musical Theatre Conference to debate and discuss issues pertaining to the current state and future of musical theatre in the UK.

The 2019 Conference focused on Touring Mid-Scale New British Musical Theatre. The day featured eight strategic discussions, including panels and provocations, each featuring industry leaders and leading musical theatre artists, examining different aspects of the opportunities and challenges for touring new British musical theatre on the mid-scale. The discussion topics below were of interest to anyone involved in writing, developing or staging new musical theatre – as well as to anyone involved in touring musicals.

Anyone is welcome to attend the conference; to network, think about possibilities, identify opportunities, and get inspired about future improvements.

Conference Programme 2019    Conference Delegates 2019


The 2017 conference, titled ‘High Flying, Adored? Redefining success in new musical theatre in the UK’ was held at Lyric Hammersmith. The day featured six case studies of new British musicals, exploring their business models, and how they navigated a development path to success. Producers and creatives behind these productions shared insights, followed by questions and discussion. A panel of industry experts also discussed audience development and marketing specifically for new British musicals, and there were plenty of networking opportunities throughout the day.

The 2015 conference, titled ‘Putting it Together’ was held at the Arcola Theatre. Panellists and speakers included Samuel Adamson (The Light Princess, National Theatre), Rebecca Applin (Cameron Mackintosh resident composer), Wendy Gadian (principal lecturer and course leader, Musical Theatre BA at RCSSD), Rupert Gould (Artistic Director, Almeida Theatre), Pravesh Kumar (Artistic Director, Rifco), Susie McKenna (Creative Director, Hackney Empire), Jenny Sealey (Artistic Director, Graeae Theatre), and Danielle Tarento (freelance producer and casting director).

Previous conference venues have also included the Almeida Theatre, where speakers included Richard Thomas (Jerry Springer the Opera, Made in Dagenham), Libby Purves (writer and broadcaster), David Babani (Artistic Director, Menier Chocolate Factory), Cora Bissett (director, actor and musician, Glasgow Girls), Gurinder Chadha (director and writer, Bend It Like Beckham) and Sarah Travis (Tony Award-winning orchestrator and musical supervisor), and Soho Theatre where speakers included Phelim McDermott (Artistic Director, Improbable).

Just wanted to say thank you for a brilliant day. It has given me such a lot to think about. Excellent organisation, super food, stimulating – nay inspirational speakers.  And great networking. You did a fantastic job.
– MMD Member

It was a great day and we both left buzzing with excitement. Well done!
– MTN Member

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