The First Year programme of workshops aims to develop and nurture the craft of writing songs for musical theatre and to introduce the requirements for collaborative practice and a professional attitude. Members explore what individual songs should accomplish dramatically within a musical, and the practical and technical needs and expectations of performers, directors and choreographers.


The first year consists of 8-9 assignments to write various types of musical theatre songs, with all work presented internally. Facilitators and the group members give and receive constructive feedback to inform rewrites and further development. Members work with different partners on each assignment. The year culminates in the writing of 10 minute musicals in collaboration with members of the librettist workshop.


Members complete the year with a broader set of techniques and skills with which to approach their future work. Emphasis is placed on creating an environment where work may be minutely analysed in a safe environment.


After the first term, Composer/Lyricists are welcomed and encouraged to sit in on the Librettist group.

The First Year Composer/Lyricist Workshop meets on Wednesday evenings at the Actors Centre, Tower Street, London.




After winning the Vivian Ellis Prize for Young Writers of Musicals, Jason was invited by Peter Hall to compose Born Again (a musical of Ionesco's Rhinoceros), produced at Chichester Festival Theatre starring Mandy Patinkin and José Ferrer.


As Associate Composer at Chichester, Jason wrote music and lyrics for two new musicals; The Water Babies and Six Pictures of Lee Miller (nominated for the British Composer Awards). His version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, written with Bryony Lavery, has played Chichester, Birmingham Rep and West Yorkshire Playhouse. Jason has composed incidental music for over 50 plays, including 17 productions for the late Steven Pimlott.


Orchestration credits includes the Menier Chocolate Factory's Sunday in the Park with George (the Broadway transfer winning Jason the Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award nomination for Best Orchestrations), La Cage aux Folles (a second Tony nomination) and A Little Night Music (also Broadway). Other credits include Richard Jones' acclaimed Annie Get Your Gun at the Young Vic, with its now infamous line-up of four pianos!


Jason has accompanied many notable singers including Elisabeth Welch, Betty Garrett, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Michael Ball and Dame Felicity Lott. A long association with Maria Friedman includes arrangements for her Olivier award-winning show By Special Arrangement and her CD Maria Friedman sings the Great British Songbook.



Tim is a musical director and composer for musical theatre and choral music.

Recent projects include Titus Andronicus and The Two Noble Kinsmen (RSC), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (National Theatre), and Alexei Sayle’s Imaginary Sandwich Shop, (BBC Radio 4).

He collaborated with poet Ian McMillan on the community opera Cycle Song, which won the Royal Philharmonic Society Learning & Participation Award 2012. He was the recipient of the Stiles and Drewe Best Song Award in 2013. Unplugged: Winning the Clay was nominated for an RPS Award in 2011, and his carol The Seven Joys was nominated for a British Composer Award in 2011.

Musical Direction includes The Frogs (Jermyn Street Theatre), Just a Minute Does Panto (BBC Radio 4), Memphis (Shaftesbury Theatre) and The Amen Corner (National Theatre).

Scores for theatre include Joe Turner's Come And Gone (Young Vic), The Secret Garden (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Dreamfighter (Lichfield Festival), The Bacchae (National Theatre of Scotland), As You Like It (Wyndham's), and As You Desire Me (Playhouse).  Tim hosts a podcast, Voice of the Musical, in which he interviews the writers of the most successful musicals of our time.

He is currently writing Victory, a new musical, with playwright Juliet Gilkes-Romero.  He is an Associate Member of the Inner Magic Circle.

Supported by Mercury Musical Developments

Supported by the PRS for Music Foundation

Supported by the Noel Coward Foundation

supported by the Binks Trust


© 2018 BOOK Music & Lyrics


Registered Charity Number ​1149333

  • Instagram
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon