Supporting the future of Scottish musical theatre with second round of the Musicals Commissioning Hub

We have once again partnered with Pitlochry Festival Theatre to launch the second round of the Musicals Commissioning Hub – a talent hub designed to nurture Scottish musicians and writers. 

Musical Commissioning Hub 2023 © Mihaela Bodlovic

The aim of the programme is to collaborate with musicians, writers and artists to develop Scottish talent, support the future of musical theatre, and create new musicals that could ultimately be seen on stages across the country. 

Following the success of the first Musicals Commissioning Hub in 2021, applications are now open for artists to submit their ideas for a new musical. Shortlisted applications will be awarded seed commissions and supported in the next phase of their development, including scratch performances for an invited audience in Edinburgh and Pitlochry. The applications will be reviewed by a panel of leading creatives, actors, directors and producers. 

The high-profile panel of industry experts includes:  

Barbara Dickson, singer and performer 

Katy Galloway, producer, Katy Galloway Productions 

Hamish Greer, producer, ROYO 

Claire Grogan, singer and performer 

James Hadley, Musical Theatre Network 

Emilie Israel, performer 

Shonagh Murray, musical director and previous successful applicant to the Musicals Commissioning Hub 

Margaret-Anne O’Donnell and Gill Garrity, producers, Raw Material 

Charles Simmons, performer 

The first new musical to emerge from the Musicals Commissioning Hub is Nessie, created by Glasgow-based composer and musical director Shonagh Murray. The story of a brave young girl and a notorious mythical underwater creature, Nessie was one of three ideas selected for development from round one of the Musicals Commissioning Hub and has been taken forward for production. Nessie will be performed at The Studio and at Pitlochry Festival Theatre in 2025. Dates and further details will be confirmed later in the year.  

FREE Sunshine On Leith Theatre Show Announcement MED RES 01.jpg
Launching the new production of Sunshine On Leith Fiona Gibson (left), Chief Executive of Capital Theatres, and Elizabeth Newman, Artistic Director of Pitlochry Festival Theatre © Colin Hattersley

Fiona Gibson, Chief Executive of Capital Theatres, said:  

“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Pitlochry Festival Theatre once more for the second round of the Musicals Commissioning Hub. This exciting programme represents our collective investment in new talent for musical theatre in Scotland. By supporting artists to develop their ideas for new musicals and by hosting scratch performances in our studio spaces, together we can ensure that rich, dynamic and thrilling musicals continue to grace our stages in Edinburgh, Pitlochry and beyond for audiences to enjoy. 

I am delighted that Shonagh Murray’s beautiful new musical Nessie will be performed in both Edinburgh and Pitlochry in 2025, marking a full-circle moment since Shonagh first submitted her wonderful idea in 2021. It is a fantastic achievement for both Shonagh and the Musicals Commissioning Hub that Nessie will be enjoyed by audiences across the country next year, and I can’t wait to discover more musical theatre gems from the next round of applications.” 

Elizabeth Newman, Artistic Director of Pitlochry Festival Theatre, said: 

“We are so excited to continue our partnership with Capital Theatres. It is a very important partnership for us, and we are so inspired by all the brilliant work that Fiona and the team are making happen in Edinburgh. It feels like a very important moment to be announcing the second round of our Musicals Commissioning Hub together. We created the Hub to enable both organisations to support the creation of new musicals together, and since 2021 we’ve been doing just that! 

As well as announcing we are open to receive submissions again, we are also delighted to share the news that Nessie (selected as part of the inaugural Hub) will be produced next year. Shonagh Murray is a great talent, and we can’t wait to bring her musical to life which will undoubtedly charm and captivate audiences of all ages. Musicals are such a major part of who we are at Pitlochry Festival Theatre, so it is vital we continue to nourish and support the new musicals – the Hub helps us with this all-important mission. I am really looking forward to this next round of submissions!"

Musicals Commissioning Hub 2024

Discover the new home of great new Scottish Musicals #MusicalsHubScot and how to submit your application.