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The Other Palace and Mercury Musical Developments present Musical Bites, a lunchtime series of readings that provide new musical theatre writers an opportunity to share a 45-min except of their work in progress in front of supportive audiences.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • New British musical with a completed draft or final script, that can be condensed to a meaningful sharing of no more than 45 min
  • At least half the writing team of the musical must be resident in the UK.
  • The musical can have been commissioned or workshopped already, but it can’t have received a professional production.
  • The piece must be able to be performed by max 4 actors, including musical director/pianist, due to space restrictions.

There is no fee to partake in this rehearsed reading. The writer will be compensated with the event ticket income, with the expectation that they will share fairly amongst all participating.

Submissions for the 2024 Spring season will be announced in early 2024.

Previously featured shows

Autumn 2023

14 Sept – Candor

Based on the novel by Pam Bachorz
Book, Music & Lyrics: Sinead Hegarty
Additional Arrangements: Kevin Oliver Jones
Director: Rebeka Dio
Cast: Rhys Whitfield, Sinead Hegarty, Lewis Asquith, Ellie Birch

In the town of Candor, Florida, everything is perfect. That’s thanks to the brainwashing Messages hidden in the music. The mayor’s son, Oscar, decides to help new girl Nia to escape before she becomes a Candor clone. But how far will he go to save her?

28 Sept – FLIP

Book, Music & Lyrics: Josh Bird & Giles Fernando
Director: Penny Gkritzapi 
Cast: Amelia Walker, Jade Johnson and Julie Atherton

Karate Kid-meets-skateboarding, with a twist. FLIP follows Sam, inspired by Olympian Sky Brown, who, when she fails at sports day, battles her headmistress mother, her demons and her jealous best friend, to follow in her absent father’s footsteps and skateboard. If she could succeed, would he return?

12 Oct – The Forty Elephants

Book & Lyrics: Sophie Boyce
Music: Einar Adalsteinsson
Cast: Ashlie Kenyon-Evason, Layla Armstrong-Hughes, Ryan Bennett, and Charlotte Webb

Based on true events, this is the story of the Forty Elephants; the all-woman crime-ring that operated 19th Century London. Their story is scarcely told, their antics hardly known, but now they’re brought to life in a musical that toasts to women’s rights… but even more so, women’s wrongs.

26 Oct – Chosen

Writing / Creative team: Taiyo Yoshida & Dominic Varney
Cast: Julie Atherton, Georgina Scott, and Jonathan Bourne.

Chosen is a pop-rock comedy book musical about Sue, an IT Support Technician, who wakes from a coma to discover a meteor has hit the Earth, turning half the population into zombies. After accidentally killing the zombies’ prophesied ‘Chosen One’, Sue must assume their identity and save humanity herself.

9 Nov – Bette and Joan and Baby Jane

Book: Tracy-Ann Oberman & Shaun McKenna
Music: James Cleeve
Lyrics: Nikki Racklin
Performers: Sophie-Louise Dann, Gillian Kirkpatrick & Jack Reitman 

Bette and Joan and Baby Jane is adapted from Tracy-Ann Oberman’s original BBC radio drama of the same name. The year is 1961. In the twilight of their careers, Hollywood grande dames Bette Davis and Joan Crawford grapple with their deep-seated rivalry on the set of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

23 Nov – Ukulele Days

Writer: Amy Clare Tasker
Director: Nicky Allpress
Dramaturg: Tricity Vogue
Musical Director: Tom James McGrath
Cast: Anne-Marie Piazza, Joe da Costa, Toby Bradford, and Lata Nobes

At the Seaside Ukulele Festival, music brings a community together – but fierce competition at the song contest threatens to tear it apart again when sparks fly between ex-bandmates Bibi and Ben. Pitch Perfect meets Much Ado About Nothing in this new musical for actor-musicians and the world’s cheeriest instrument.

sPRING-Summer 2023

The Highwayman

Book, Music, Lyrics: Kitty Morgan
Producer: Adam Nichols, OVO Theatre
Cast: Adam Morris, Melissa O’Donnell, AJ Deane, Kitty Morgan

The Rise and Fall of Vinnie & Paul

Book, Music & Lyrics: Neil Bastian
Cast: Max Alexander-Taylor, Charlie McCullagh

GRIMM: The Musical

Book & Lyrics: Josh Kemp and Tom Ling
Music: Josh Kemp
Guitar: Josh Kemp
Cast: Tom Ling, Eleanor Cozens, Geddy Stringer, Alice Hoult

Becoming Nigella

Book, Music & Lyrics: Emily Rose Simons
Director: Grace Taylor
Musical Director: David Merriman
Cast: Tanya Truman & Natasha Karp

The Attic: Because a Woman Should Know Her Place

Book & Lyrics: Estee Stimler
Music: Yuval Havkin
Cast: Kaisa Hammarlund, Michael Vinsen, Jade Johnson, Claire Learie


Book, Lyrics & Music: Elan Butler
Associate Artists: Bullet Point Theatre
Cast: Lucinda Coyle, Bradley Luckett, Elan Butler, Rosie Weston