We’re delighted to have four multiple award-winning creatives as our Patrons: legendary composer Howard Goodall, Sharon D Clarke, MBE leading theatre and musical performer; and Broadway producer Barbara Whitman.

Howard Goodall is one of Britain’s best-known composers of choral music, stage musicals, TV and film scores and is also a distinguished music historian and broadcaster. He has composed some of the best-known TV theme tunes of the last 40 years. His choral music has been commissioned to mark many national and international ceremonies and memorials.

Howard’s first West End musical, The Hired Man, based on Melvyn Bragg’s book, opened in the West End in 1984, when he was 24. It has since been performed all over the world and won many international awards. His other West End musicals include Girlfriends (1987), The Kissing-Dance (1998), the dreaming (2001), Love Story (2010), and in 2015-6, Bend it Like Beckham, adapted from Gurinder Chadha’s iconic 2002 filmwhich was seen by a quarter of a million people at the Phoenix Theatre and has since had Austrian and Canadian premières. Since its London opening, Love Story has been premièred in the USA, The Russian Federation, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, South Africa, South Korea and Brazil, where it was produced in Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 Olympiad. Musicals currently in development include Stunners, with Joanne Harris, which was premièred at London’s Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in 2019.

For the past 30 years he has written and presented his own TV documentary series on the theory and history of music. His books been translated and published in over 20 countries. For his TV series he has been honoured with a BAFTA, an RTS Judges’ Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Education in Broadcasting and over a dozen other international broadcast awards. He was England’s first National Ambassador for Singing and Classic fm’s Composer-in-Residence from 2009 to 2016. He was appointed CBE in 2011 for services to music education.

sharon-d-clarke-04 Sharon D Clarke, MBE is a three time Oliver Award winner – for Best Actress in a Play for Death of a Salesman, for Best Actress in a Musical for Caroline Or Change and for Best Supporting Actress for The Amen Corner at the National Theatre. Sharon appeared at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in Porgy and Bess, and on the West End, her appearances have included We Will Rock You, Ghost, Once on this Island, Guys and Dolls, Mama I want to Sing, Rent, The Lion King, Chicago, Hairspray, Soho Cinders, The Life and Blues in the Night. Sharon has achieved acclaimed chart success as a singer and has also worked as a Musical Director, Recording and Voice-Over Artist and Radio DJ. Sharon has worked extensively in television, including performances in Doctor Who, Waking The Dead, Soldier Soldier, Between The Lines and a long run as ‘Lola Griffin’ in Holby City.

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Barbara Whitman made her Broadway debut producing A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, and Sanaa Lathan. Other Broadway credits include Good Night, Oscar starring Sean Hayes, A Strange Loop (Tony and Drama Desk Awards, Best Musical; Pulitzer Prize) Diana – The MusicalBurn This starring Adam Driver and Keri Russell, Angels in America (Tony and Drama Desk Award, Best Play Revival), 1984The Glass Menagerie starring Sally Fields, War Paint starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, The Humans (Tony Award, Best Play), Oh, Hello starring Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, Fully Committed starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Fun Home (Tony Award, Best Musical), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Tony and Drama Desk Awards, Best Musical Revival), Of Mice and Men starring James Franco, If/Then starring Idina Menzel, Hands on a HardbodyRed (Tony and Drama Desk Awards, Best Play), Next to Normal (Pulitzer Prize), Hamlet starring Jude Law, 33 Variations starring Jane Fonda, Mary StuartLegally Blonde – The MusicalThe 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,  and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. US National tours include Fun HomeHedwig and the Angry InchIf/ThenMurder for TwoNext to NormalLegally Blonde – The Musical…Spelling BeeDirty Rotten Scoundrels and Frost/Nixon. Upcoming productions include A Strange Loop at the Barbican Theatre (Summer 2023).



Joe Smith, Old Vic Productions
"The Musical Theatre Network/Mercury Musical Developments partnership project is exactly what we all need to stimulate everyone interested in creating new musicals to come together and forge new ways of working".
Joe Smith, Old Vic Productions


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