Team MTN

James Hadley – Executive Director

To contact James, please email

James Hadley became Executive Director of Musical Theatre Network in November 2015. Prior to this he worked in the London Theatre team at Arts Council England for seven years, with a particular focus on investments in musical theatre. During that time he managed 8 National Portfolio Organisations’ funding relationships, advising a wide range of independent theatre practitioners on their applications to Grants for the Arts, and advocating for increased funding support for the development of new British musicals. While born and raised in England, James spent his university years in New Zealand, gaining two Masters degrees – one in Art History & Theory, the other in Theatre Directing.

After graduating, James worked for the British Council, Playmarket – NZ’s playwrights agency and script development service, and, for four years, as Programme Manager at BATS Theatre – one of New Zealand’s leading venues for new writing and supporting emerging theatremakers.

Between the ages of 21 and 32 he directed over 30 theatre productions, including new writing, devised theatre, immersive site-specific productions, Shakespeare, Chekhov, Wilde and one new musical. He also produced over 20 theatre productions over that same time, as well as writing several plays and reviewing and marketing many more. James has been a dedicated follower of musical theatre since the age of seven when he discovered his mother’s LP record of ‘Annie’ (his uncle having been one of the producers of the original Broadway production), and a particular devotee to British musicals since purchasing cassette tapes of ‘Song & Dance’, ‘Cats’ and ‘Evita’ from the Woolworth’s store in High Wycombe in 1985.


Ellen Burgin – Membership & Communications Manager

To contact Ellen, please email

Ellen joined Musical Theatre Network as both a member, and then as the Membership & Communications Manager in 2020. Ellen works conjointly for both Musical Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments, managing communications strategy, looking after both membership bodies and aiding the  organisations to support and develop the new musical theatre sector across the UK.

Ellen moved to the UK in 2018 and previously worked as the London Communications and Advocacy Officer for Arts Council England, as well as producing theatre under her company Somewhat Awkward. Her background is in strategic communications and consulting, event management, communications and journalism, but her first love will always be the theatre, after being type cast as Dorothy when she was 5 because she had the right hair for it. She still love show tunes and sparkly shoes, but prefers to support more talented artists achieve their theatre dreams, rather than hers of dancing badly in the background.

Ellen is an Australian expat who has previously worked in Singapore, Vietnam, France, in government and private sector and across transport infrastructure and planning, higher education, and theatre of all forms. Don’t be afraid of her Aussie accent, the fact she actually says G’Day all the time, and the jar of Vegemite she keeps in her desk.


David Luff, Soho Theatre
"The BEAM pitching days have helped us reach out to a host of diverse new musical theatre stars of the future. With a national reach and a desire to embrace musical theatre of all kinds, BEAM provides an excellent platform for emerging composers and songwriters to present their new ideas."
David Luff, Soho Theatre



- 2 hours ago

Another episode of RISE UP from @perfectpitch is on YouTube now - get a taster of The Guinea Pig Club!
h J R

- 1 day ago

Who's excited for #MTFEST next month at @TurbineTheatre ? We are!! Have you snapped up your tickets yet, and what for? So far, we've got tickets for #HouseFire from @mettatheatre !
h J R

- 2 days ago

Spread the word - a hugely useful event looking at industry agreements and guidelines on new musical theatre writing!
h J R