UK Musical Theatre Conference

 ‘Road Show’
UK Musical Theatre Conference 2019

Royal & Derngate – Friday 15th March 

The UK Musical Theatre Conference 2019 was co-produced by Musical Theatre Network & Mercury Musical Developments.

2019’s biennial Conference had a focus 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. As you’ll see from the discussion topics below, these discussions were of interest to anyone involved in writing, developing or staging new musical theatre – as well as to anyone involved in touring musicals.

DISCUSSION ONE: Now  Opening thoughts from industry leaders on the current landscape of new musical theatre in the UK, and why mid-scale touring of new musicals needs our attention for the day.

DISCUSSION TWO: Development – Industry panel on how best to develop new musicals suited to mid-scale touring, and how to nurture writers through the transition from writing small- to mid-scale musicals.

DISCUSSION THREE: Models – Industry panel exploring various different approaches/business models for touring new musicals.

DISCUSSION FOUR: Parallels – Case studies of successful approaches to touring in other art-forms that could inform best practice in touring new musical theatre.

DISCUSSION FIVE: Provocations – Short provocations from a range of artistic trailblazers sharing fresh ideas and top tips on how touring new musicals could be made more viable.

DISCUSSION SIX: Co-Producing – Industry panel leads discussion on best practice approaches to collaboration and partnerships; how to make a touring co-production of a new musical work.

DISCUSSION SEVEN: Audiences – Industry panel leads discussion on how best to nurture mid-scale audiences for new musicals.

DISCUSSION EIGHT: Next – Facilitated discussion exploring possible next steps for touring new musicals on the mid-scale.


High Flying, Adored?” – Arcola Theatre – Tuesday 28th March 2017


Sarah Chambers – The Artist Agency
Paul Taylor Mills – The Other Palace
Dawn Farrow – Boom Ents.
Sean Flahaven – The Musical Company
Hardish Virk  – Audience Development Consultant
Suzanne Gorman – Maya Productions

‘Miss Nightingale’ – Mr Bugg Presents & New Wolsey Theatre
‘Laila the Musical’ – Rifco Theatre Company, Watford Palace Theatre & Queens Theatre Hornchurch
‘The Wind in the Willows’ – Jamie Hendry, George Stiles, Anthony Drewe, Julian Fellowes & London Palladium
‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ – Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Curve & Eleanor Lloyd
‘Forest Boy’ – Claire McKenzie, Scott Gilmour & Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’  – Tom McRae, Dan Gillespie Sells, Jonathan Butterell & Jane Semark.


“Putting It Together” – Arcola Theatre – Thursday 12th March 2015


Rupert Goold – Artistic Director Almeida Theatre
Susie McKenna – Creative Director Hackney Empire
Pravesh Kumar – Artistic Director Rifco
Samuel Adamson – Lyricist, Bookwriter (The Light Princess, The National Theatre)
Jenny Sealey MBE – Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre
Rebecca Applin – Composer, Musical Theatre, Theatre and Media
Wendy Gadian – Principal Lecturer & Course Leader,  Musical Theatre BA at CSSD.
Danielle Tarento – Freelance producer and casting director


  • Where are the women making musical theatre? Susie McKenna
  • Is there only one way to write a musical or do we need to find a new approach? Samuel Adamson
  • Disability and musical theatre. Jenny Sealey MBE

Click HERE to for a reminder of their engaging provocations.


Almeida Theatre – Friday 21st March 2014


Richard Thomas – Jerry Springer the Opera
Libby Purves – Radio Presenter, Journalist & Author
David Babani – Artistic Director, Menier Chocolate Factory),
Cora Bissett – Glasgow Girls, Whatever Gets You Through The Night and Roadkill)
Gurinder Chadha – Bend It Like Beckham
Sarah Travis – Orchestrator & Musical Supervisor


  • The growing use of actor/musicians in musical theatre
  • The renaissance of the “chamber musical”
  • The increasing number of new voices working within musical theatre


Conference attendee
“I can't think of a day I have spent in musical theatre that was more constructive than yesterday, thank you for facilitating such a good event - and I've been to a few in life!”
Conference attendee



- 4 days ago

@Iristheatre: NEW MUSICAL THEATRE OPEN MIC NIGHT 🎤 Want to spend an evening enjoying work from new musicals & maybe even try out some of your own material? @MTheatreNetwork & @MercuryMusicals are delighted to present this very special open mic night. Come to share or just to enjoy. 🎵
h J R

- 4 days ago

We can't wait to see @SnowflakeMus filmed at @The_Lowry as part of #Rewrites last week, when it's released on @stream_theatre on Thursday! 🥑
h J R

- 4 days ago

Don't forget to book your place for our upcoming roundtable with @StageDirectors UK - we'll be discussing the roles of assistant and associate directors in the musical theatre space!
h J R