MERCURY MUSICAL DEVELOPMENT (MMD) is a charitable organisation based in London, specifically for writers working in the UK. It is a mix of an association of writers, an information source, a contact route to/from producers, and an active organisation championing the craft of musical theatre writing. There is a membership charge for "Associate" writers. www.mercurymusicals.com
A Month of Sundays (AMOS) was a series of part-time musical theatre writing courses ran over a two year period by CGO, and previously by Chris at Goldsmiths College. Taking no more than twelve writers each time, the participants had the opportunity to collaborate with a different partner each week to learn the building blocks of putting a musical together. Along with expert guest tutors, writers were given access to a wealth of advice, information and inspiration.
At present they have put these courses on hold as they await the developments enabled by the new funding from Arts Council England for Musical Theatre Matters (MTM:UK), Mercury Musical Development (MMD) and Perfect Pitch. If it is useful to them CGO will begin to provide these AMOS or equivalent programmes in the future.
PERFECT PITCH MUSICALS Ltd (PP) is an Arts Council England supported development path programme developed by Andy Barnes to lead potentially commercial Musical Theatre through a process of small/medium scale workshop, review, showcase and initial production. Each work is selected along with a bespoke programme for development and writers enter into an agreement with PP where investment in development could be recovered from a small portion of future royalty earnings. PP does not take the rights in the work, but rather acts as a quasi agent/manager in the development of the potential of the work. At any point a commercial producer could secure the rights to the work and the development process would cease – so writers selected for this process have, in effect, nothing to lose. This is an exciting new venture in its first series of trials – only a very few British works will be selected. www.perfectpitchmusicals.org.uk
PERFECT PITCH SEASON at Trafalgar Studios (PPS) is a linked programme to PP operated by Andy Barnes which seeks to showcase works which are deemed ready for “exploitation”. Some will have come through the PP development process, some may be selected and move into a programme of development, and some may be picked up (or not) following the Season. Originally created in 2006 in association with Ovation Theatre at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, supported by MTM:UK, it is now moving to the heart of the West End for a week in November 08 in association with Ambassadors Theatre Group. Once again any work chosen is supposed to be available for production (unencumbered) at the time of the showcase to ensure producers come on a “feeding” trip. The showcases will be in the style of the NAMT Showcases in New York.
MUSICAL THEATRE AT GEORGE SQUARE (MT@GS) is a festival of musicals within the major Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The initiative is managed by the University of Edinburgh, programmed by Chris Grady.org, and technically powered by Pleasance Theatres. This year 29 new musicals form part of a 40 event programme across 3 theatre spaces with an average 8 shows a day for 3 weeks. A programme of masterclasses, cabaret and late night singers café also seeks to give opportunities to writers and those emerging into the Musical Theatre industry.www.festivals.ed.ac.uk