Nick Hern Books is the UK’s leading specialist performing arts publisher with over 1,000 plays and theatre books in our catalogue. We also license most of our plays for amateur performance (see our Plays to Perform site).
Our list of plays includes work by many of the UK’s preeminent playwrights, as well as some of the most exciting emerging writers. We work with major theatres and theatre companies across the UK and in Ireland to publish new plays alongside their professional premieres, often in the form of a ‘programme/text’ that combines the functions of theatre programme and playtext.
We also publish many classic plays and plays in translation, together with a wide range of authoritative theatre books, many of them written by well-known theatre practitioners.
***We're celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2013 - see 25 YEARS OF NICK HERN BOOKS for full details***
A very brief history…
Nick Hern Books came into being in June 1988 when Nick Hern, formerly drama editor at Methuen, set up his own imprint under the aegis of Walker Books. Its first title in print was Nicholas Wright’s play Mrs Klein, which opened at the National Theatre in August 1988 before transferring to the West End and Broadway.
In 1990 the Nick Hern Books imprint was taken on by Random House. It became a fully independent company on 1 January 1993 when Nick Hern acquired the list from Random House, winning the Sunday Times 'Small Publisher of the Year Award' the following year.
Today, we are a team of nine, devoted to publishing the best new plays in English, as well as building an unrivalled list of classic plays and theatre books.
Scroll down for a visual tour of our first 25 years...