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Musical Theatre Network (MTN) and Mercury Musical Developments (MMD) have been awarded funding to support placements as part of the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme.

Through this scheme, professional musical theatre writers are paired with a company and given the opportunity to be involved in a range of work which could include writing/composing assignments on the host company’s projects, shadowing development/rehearsal processes, and working on development of their own musical theatre material. Recent hosts have included the Royal Shakespeare Company; Theatr Clwyd; Octagon Theatre; Hope Mill Theatre; The Lowry; and British Youth Music Theatre.

The successful recipients will receive an all-inclusive grant of £13,000 per individual writer, thanks to the generous support of The Mackintosh Foundation.

Any MTN member organisation which runs a producing theatre is welcome to express interest in hosting a future placement, simply contact us.

2024 Resident Writer Placements

We are delighted to announce the next two placements:

MAST Mayflower Studios in Southampton will host a two-person Resident Musical Theatre Writing Team to start in June 2024, and National Theatre of Scotland in Glasgow will host a Resident Musical Theatre Composer to start in September 2024.

The MAST placement is expected to run June-November 2024 and the National Theatre of Scotland placement to run September 2024 – February 2025, and applicants should be free to commit throughout that period. The successful recipient receives a grant calculated to cover six months of their time, and it’s expected the successful applicant will be based in Southampton or Glasgow for at least a significant portion of the six-month placement. The exact dates and projects to be worked on will be agreed between the composer and host organisation. NTS, MMD and MTN are committed to diversifying voices in new musical theatre writing and broadening the art form, and writers from backgrounds under-represented in musical theatre writing are encouraged to consider applying.

These placements will consist of a range of bespoke professional development opportunities

MAST Mayflower

  • Collaborating with the Participation department to develop a new piece for performance by MAST’s young company as part of our Jane Austen Celebrations (performed in summer 2025, after the placement is completed) – the placement could include a research and development process for this new work with the company.
  • Shadow creative team on the Christmas production ‘The Wind in the Willows’ from audition through to rehearsal.
  • Shadow creatives working on a new early years play with music ‘My Paper Boat’ developed for schools touring.
  • Join Artist Network and take part in CPD and development opportunities through Propel, MAST’s Artist Development Scheme.
  • Time and space to work on your own musical in development with support from the Creative Producer and Artist Development team.

National Theatre of Scotland

  • Observing/shadowing the R&D process to two/three new large-scale musicals including the adaptation of a novel, a TV series and a new original community focused musical, led by director Andrew Panton (Artistic Director Dundee Rep) and other artists tbc.
  • Time and space to write your own musical with support from the Artistic Development team including access to space, dramaturgical support and opportunities to share progress with the NTS team and wider industry as co-designed.
  • Participate in NTS’ artist development programme, including leading a musical theatre-focused session or two.
  • Network and exchange expertise with peer group of other NTS artists in residence, associates etc.
  • Opportunity to collaborate on the development of short digital films and other digital/hybrid projects.
  • Observing rehearsals for NTS led or associate productions, and seeing work produced elsewhere in Scotland.
  • Working with the Creative Engagement team on development of new work with communities and/or schools.

Eligibility to apply for Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme

  • You will need to be a musical theatre composer or a writing team of two who have already had some work professionally produced (which can include paid work for a drama college or other training institute). By musical theatre, we mean any theatre which significantly features characters singing (not including work which is defined as opera by its context or creatives).
  • You must be resident in the UK.
  • We are looking for a clear on-going commitment to working in musical theatre.
  • We encourage applicants from the broadest diversity of backgrounds, cultural heritages and identities.
  • Applicants will need to be self-sufficient, adaptable, and able to take the initiative to make the most of working within a busy producing theatre.
  • The successful recipients will need to be members of Mercury Musical Developments to receive the grant; however, you do not need to be a member to apply.

MAST Mayflower

Applications now closed.

National Theatre Scotland

Applications now closed.

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 (for a writing team, ideally all three examples should be of the collaboration). You will be asked about a musical theatre project you would like to develop during the placement. If you have any questions about your application, you can email or he can be reached on 020 3951 7961.

Four x two-person writing team applicants will be shortlisted for the MAST placement, and five individual composer applicants will be shortlisted for the NTS placement. All shortlisted applicants will be asked to complete a practical writing exercise, with £150 per individual paid towards time spent on this exercise.

Applications will be assessed anonymously by groups of experienced industry practitioners.

We are delighted to be working with MTN and MMD to offer a placement for a writing team through the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme. We are really looking forward to them getting involved with us as we work towards our exciting celebration of Jane Austen in 2025. At MAST we are committed to artist development and the nurturing of new work so can’t wait to be involved in this important initiative.

Sara Scott, Executive Director of MAST Mayflower Studios

We are delighted to be working in collaboration with MTN and MMD to host a Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer. Musicals play an important part in our artistic programme and offer to Scottish audiences. Successes include ‘My Left Right Foot – The Musical’ and most recently ‘Orphans’ and we have a number of new large-scale musicals currently under commission. We celebrate the opportunity to work closely with a Composer and MTN to help support our musical theatre ambitions.

Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director - National Theatre of Scotland

The Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer placements provide a fantastic opportunity for musical theatre writers to become embedded in a producing theatre or company, and we’re so happy to be launching these two exciting new placements for 2024. MAST and the National Theatre of Scotland are both committed to a culture of artist development and supporting new musicals and we look forward to working with both organisations to increase opportunities for new MT writing across the UK.

Natalia Scorer, Executive Director of Mercury Musical Developments (on behalf of co-ordinators MTN & MMD)

History of the scheme


The Resident Composer scheme began in 2009 with a grant from Arts Council England that allowed an initial trial placement of a musical theatre composer being paid a fee to spend six months in residence at a producing theatre. The first composer to be selected was Michael Bruce, and the first host venue was the Bush Theatre. The placement was so successful that when the artistic director of the Bush, Josie Rourke, became the artistic director of the Royal Court, she took Michael with her to become a resident composer there.


The scheme which developed from this first placement was run solely by Mercury Musical Developments initially, and in 2011 the Mackintosh Foundation generously gave the first of several three-year grants to enable the scheme to continue, and it became the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer scheme, with a focus on giving musical theatre composers insights into the way producing theatres work through being in residence at one for six months.

Subsequent recipients were Dougal Irvine, Craig Adams, Kieran Buckeridge, Paul Herbert, Greg Harradine and Rebecca Applin.


Musical Theatre Network became co-co-ordinator of the scheme from 2015, coinciding with a rebalancing of the gender of recipients over the following years, and with placements in Scotland and Wales for the first time.


The first writing team recipients were Caitlyn Burt and Amir Schoenfeld who were hosted by Theatr Clwyd.

Previous Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composers

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”.

Dylan Townley

Octagon Theatre Bolton 2023
“I was given a warm Bolton welcome and feel like one of the team. Getting to take part in activities across the whole building is a great contrast to gig-based freelance life, and it presents lots of different ways to make music – from community sessions and youth productions to professional shows in the main theatre, and support developing my own work.”

Read more about Dylan’s journey so far HERE

Caitlyn Burt and Amir Schoenfeld

Theatr Clwyd, Mould 2022

This residency is unique in its scope and there aren’t many other opportunities for writers in the UK to concentrate on a project for this long.”

Previous Host Venues