Birmingham Hippodrome’s New Musical Theatre Department have launched their first opportunity for musical theatre writers.

Open to musical theatre artists across the UK, Musical Theatre Writers Group (MT Writers Group) is a key developmental programme that focuses on the craft of writing new musical theatre. MT Writers Group will offer the opportunity for five writing teams to develop a new musical over the course of 12 months.

Beginning in April 2024, the writing teams will attend monthly sessions led by writer and dramaturg Victoria Saxton, and award-winning composer and musical director Tim Sutton, along with guest masterclasses and peer learning. Each member of the writing teams will receive a bursary of £2000, along with travel expenses to attend sessions at Birmingham Hippodrome. The writers will also have the chance to share their work with an audience at two points during the year and will receive ongoing mentorship from the Hippodrome’s New Musical Theatre Department beyond the end of the project.

The Hippodrome has also released details of how artists can connect with the new department, with three dedicated submissions windows per year which will enable artists to introduce themselves to the new department and to pitch ideas for development and production. The first window is open now, with the department planning to expand its network of musical directors, arrangers, sound designers and sound engineers.

Deirdre O’Halloran, Head of New Musical Theatre at Birmingham Hippodrome said: “we’re really excited to begin developing new musicals for a range of scales and platforms with the launch of our flagship talent development programme.

The long term aim beyond the 12-month course is for us to provide sustained support for musical theatre artists, including commissioning and developing ideas for production. There are so many brilliant musical theatre artists in the UK and we can’t wait to get started.”

The New Musical Theatre Department has recently received a major charitable donation from philanthropist Charles Holloway to support the work of the department over the next three years, including the MT Writers Group programme.

Charles said: “I’m delighted to be the founding supporter of the New Musical Theatre department. It’s very encouraging to see an organisation like Birmingham Hippodrome commit to making new work with national and regional partners, creating new opportunities, especially for writers and creatives. I’m looking forward to following developments closely over the coming months as this important work unfolds.”

Applications for MT Writers Group are now open. Find out more here.