UK Musical Theatre Conference

 ‘‘Worlds to change and worlds to win”

New musical theatre for our times

UK Musical Theatre Conference 2022


This is the UK’s main Conference event considering the musical theatre sector and art form in the UK, usually held biennially. Booking gives you access in person to dedicated networking sessions (10-11am and 5.15-6.15pm) with musical theatre industry peers, and to the conference sessions (11am-1.30pm and 3-5.15pm), with further networking opportunities over lunch, which will be provided at the venue thanks to our sponsors.

It’s shaping up to be an exciting gathering, with confirmed speakers so far including artistic director Suba Das (Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres), rapaturg Gerel Falconer (‘Black Power Desk’), writers Francesca Forristal and Jordan Clarke (‘Public Domain’), producer Ameena Hamid (‘The Wiz’), academic Pamela Karantonis (Goldsmiths), director Angharad Lee (‘The Last 5 Years’), creative Meg McGrady (‘The Phase’), writer Leo Mercer (‘Guy’), director Kerry Kyriacos Michael MBE (‘Tommy’), legal expert Stephen Pidcock (Clintons Solicitors), producer Chris Sudworth (Birmingham Hippodrome), writer Rachel Victor-Sampson (‘Royals & Rebels’), composer Tim Sutton (‘To the Streets!’) and writer DJ Walde (‘Sylvia’).

After two years of almost all MMD and MTN’s events being held online, we are planning the 2022 UK Musical Theatre Conference as a solely in-person event. This is in keeping with past Conferences and the rare opportunity they offer for gathering together those focused on new musical theatre in the UK, to network and connect in the breaks as well as debate during the formal sessions.

This year’s Conference will look at areas where musical theatre is making a difference within the performing arts and wider society, and poised to make more significant impacts over the next decade. For surely this is a time when the world needs more musical theatre. At this stage we expect session topics to include how musical theatre can engage audiences with the climate crisis, musical theatre that amplifies the voices of particular communities, adapting real life stories for musical theatre, and evolving approaches to making musical theatre more inclusive. Further details and speakers to be announced soon.

The 2022 UK Musical Theatre Conference is brought to you by Musical Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments, in association with Birmingham Hippodrome. We’re grateful to Concord Theatricals – lead sponsor of the 2022 UK Musical Theatre Conference, and to Theatrical Rights Worldwide as session sponsors. Thanks also to Birmingham Hippodrome as our venue partner, and to Arts Council England for their core funding of Musical Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments as co-producers of the Conference.


Previous Musical Theatre Conferences

“Worlds to Change and worlds to win” – Birmingham Hippodrome – Monday 16th May 2022

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


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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