Resident Composer Scheme



Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme


We are delighted that Mercury Musical Developments (MMD) and Musical Theatre Network (MTN) has again been awarded funding to support five placements as part of the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme over 2018-2021.

Through this scheme emerging professional musical theatre composers are paired with a venue, and given the opportunity to be involved in a range of work which could include underscoring plays, setting text to music or working on development of their own musical theatre material. Recent venues have included Soho Theatre, London; Bristol Old Vic; Watermill, Newbury; Mercury Theatre, Colchester; New Wolsey, Ipswich; West Yorkshire Playhouse; the Royal Shakespeare Company and Curve Leicester.

This scheme is generously funded by the Cameron Mackintosh Foundation and managed by Musical Theatre Network (MTN) and Mercury Musical Developments (MMD).




We are thrilled that the next placement will be with The Lowry and Hope Mill Theatre. The placement will begin in April 2020. The fee is calculated to cover 6 months of a Composer’s time, but this can sometimes be spread across a longer intermittent period. The exact timetable and the projects to be worked on will be agreed in consultation between the composer and the venues’ artistic planning teams. While the opportunity is open to any applicant resident in the UK, it’s expected the successful applicant will be based in Manchester/Salford for a significant portion of at least six months.

Matthew Eames, Senior Theatres Programmer and Producer at The Lowry, said: “We are delighted to partner with Hope Mill Theatre to host a placement for the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme. As the two premier venues for musical theatre in Greater Manchester and keen supporters of the development of new musicals we feel we can jointly offer a series of varied and diverse opportunities that span the subsidised and commercial sectors. Between us we host musicals of all shapes and sizes, we produce and commission new work and we mentor and develop artists – we feel the recipient will get a great understanding of where their work sits and how they can engage commissioners and audiences in the future.”

Joseph Houston and William Whelton of Hope Mill Theatre said: “We are thrilled to be hosting the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer placement in partnership with The Lowry. Both venues share the ethos that it is vital to support and nurture emerging talent. We also have a shared ambition in developing new musicals and are passionate about home grown talent. It is so exciting that this scheme is looking to the Regions and I couldn’t think of two better venues to co-host such a placement, as front runners in musical development in the North West. We look forward to working alongside our Resident Composer as they lay the foundations for their future career and hopefully become one of the great musical theatre writers of tomorrow.”

This joint placement will allow a musical theatre composer to benefit from a unique range of bespoke coaching and mentoring alongside more practical craft and career opportunities at both a large and smaller-scale venue. Key opportunities may include:

At Hope Mill Theatre:

  • Opportunity to compose an original score for an all-female staging of a Shakespeare play at Hope Mill.
  • A ‘showcase evening’ or similar sharing of your work at Hope Mill, using singers from the in-house musical. Marketing and publicity to be provided.
  • Be involved either as composer or musical director for a fundraising evening at the Palace Theatre.
  • Working with Hope Aria academy students (a part time musical theatre course) to workshop ideas.
  • Shadowing musical directors on in-house musicals during rehearsal and casting process.
  • Be involved in the development of new shows to be premiered at Hope Mill.
  • Free tickets to all shows.

At The Lowry:

  • Three weeks of R&D space / residency time to develop your own project. Possibility of extra financial support to recruit cast if needed.
  • A slot to test the work in Musical ReWrites festival in October (either as a relaxed scratch or a more developed work in progress depending on what’s appropriate).
  • A bespoke package of professional development support including coaching, mentoring, access to a wide array of Class Of workshops with the residency being part of The Lowry’s ‘Associate Artist Programme’.
  • Introductions and networking opportunities with visiting musical theatre companies and producers.
  • Free tickets to everything across our programme, including all visiting musical theatre work.

The successful recipient will receive an all-inclusive fee of £11,000, plus £500 towards travel expenses, thanks to the generous support of The Cameron Mackintosh Foundation.

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). You must be resident in the UK. We are looking for a clear on-going commitment to working in musical theatre. By musical theatre, we mean anything where music and song drive narrative. We encourage applicants from the broadest diversity of cultural heritages.

How to apply: If you are interested in applying please complete the 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. Applications are now open. Please click here for more information and to apply for the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme.

If you have any questions about your application you can email or he can be reached on 020 7395 5461.

If you are selected for the second stage of the selection process, you will be contacted and asked to complete two short tasks. Between 4-8 composers will then be invited for interview.



Previous Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composers

Former Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composers, Becky Applin and Dougal Irvine reflect on their placements at Mercury Theatre Colchester/New Wolsey Ipswich and at Royal & Derngate Northampton respectively. For any composers considering applying for future residencies this is essential reading. As you will see, the residencies have had a profound impact on both Becky and Dougal’s careers.

 Rebecca Applin (Mercury Theatre, Colchester and New Wolsey, Ipswich 2015)

“Through the Resident Composer Scheme I have worked on an amazing variety of types of shows and platforms.  Meeting and working with lots of different directors and creatives has been incredibly valuable and I hope has been the start of collaborations that will carry on into the future 

Read Becky’s blog about her Resident Composer placement HERE


Dougal Irvine (Royal and Derngate, Northampton 2012)

“I owe a huge amount to the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme. It pretty much kept me in the business”. 

Read Dougal’s blog about his Resident Composer placement HERE



Rebecca Applin
"Through the Resident Composer Scheme I have worked on an amazing variety of types of shows and platforms.  Meeting and working with lots of different directors and creatives has been incredibly valuable and I hope the start of collaborations that will carry on into the future."
Rebecca Applin


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