News


Lynn Nottage's play Sweat wins Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Lynn Nottage

Sweat, Lynn Nottage's topical reflection of the present and poignant outcome of America's economic decline, has won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama 2017, it was announced yesterday (10 April).

Set in a city in Pennsylvania, Sweat tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets and laughs while working together on the factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat.

The play received its premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in October 2015, and is currently playing at Studio 54 on Broadway. It has been praised as 'the first theatrical landmark of the Trump era' (New Yorker), and previously won the 2016 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Lynn Nottage is the first woman writer to win a second Pulitzer Prize for Drama, having previously triumphed in 2009 for Ruined, her passionate, heartfelt play set in a small mining town deep in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Other NHB-published playwrights to win the Prize include Annie Baker for The Flick in 2014, Bruce Norris for Clybourne Park in 2011, Tracy Letts for August: Osage County in 2008, and David Lindsay-Abaire for Rabbit Hole in 2007.

Book:
Sweat

Date posted:  Tuesday 11th April 2017

Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2017 opens for entries

Bruntwood2017logo

The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, Europe’s largest playwriting competition, opened for entries yesterday (24 January), with submissions accepted until 5 June.

A partnership between the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and property company Bruntwood, the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is an opportunity for writers of any background and experience to enter unperformed plays to be judged by a panel of industry experts for a chance to win part of a prize fund of £40,000.

The competition is open to anyone over the age of sixteen, in the British Isles. All scripts are judged anonymously by a team of skilled readers and the final ten will be judged by this expert judging panel.

Each of the winners will enter into a development process with the Royal Exchange Theatre. The winning scripts, will be announced at an awards ceremony in Manchester this November. For more information, including how to enter, visit the Bruntwood Prize website here.

Nick Hern Books is proud to have been the Publishing Partners of the Bruntwood Prize since its inception in 2005, publishing the plays that go on to receive productions - and we're delighted to continue this relationship in 2017.

SPECIAL OFFER - GET 25% OFF PREVIOUS WINNERS

To help you get inspired for your own 2017 entry, we're offering 25% off all NHB-published, Bruntwood Prize-winning plays bought through our website. See more here.

Date posted:  Wednesday 25th January 2017

Escaped Alone wins Best Play at Writers' Guild Awards 2017

Writers Guild of Great Britain logo

The winners of the Writers' Guild Awards 2017 were announced last night (23 January), with two NHB authors among the recipients.

Caryl Churchill's Royal Court drama Escaped Alone was named Best Play. Described by the Observer as 'a light-on-its-feet, elliptical view of apocalypse', it returns to the Court this week, before embarking on a UK tour.

The Best TV Situation Comedy category was won by Fleabag, the hit comedy series by Phoebe Waller-Bridge based on her award-winning play of the same name. Adapted from her stage monologue, the series was first seen on BBC Three to critical acclaim, before being repeated on BBC Two and also screening in the US on Amazon Video, where it was nominated for two Critics’ Choice Awards.

Nick Hern Books was also a proud sponsor of this year's Writer's Guild Awards, and we're delighted to support this celebration of stunning creativity and the work of a wonderful organisation. To see the full list of winners and nominees, visit the WGGB website here.

SPECIAL OFFER - GET 25% OFF WGGB AWARDS WINNERS!

To celebrate their success at the Writer's Guild Awards, we're offering you a 25% discount on both of the winning NHB plays: Escaped Alone by Caryl Churchill and Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge!

To claim the discount, simply enter code WGGB17 at checkout when ordering via our site. This offer is valid until 31 March 2017.

Books:
Escaped Alone, Fleabag: The Original Play

Date posted:  Tuesday 24th January 2017

Line-up announced for second VAULT Festival anthology

VAULT 2017

Nick Hern Books is delighted to announce the five plays selected for publication in Plays from VAULT 2, our anthology of plays selected from the best new writing on display at this year's VAULT Festival.

The dark underside of the Greatest Story Ever Told is exposed in Testament. Tristan Bernays presents four overlooked Bible characters – a ragtag group of women, children, outcasts and thieves – and relocates them in modern-day America, giving these lesser-known voices a chance to tell their side of the story.

Previously seen at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Save + Quit shares the stories of four young people in London and Dublin and how they attempt to live in the cities they call home. ‘Beautifully observed… Sophia Leuner’s perfectly pitched characters [have the] faults and contradictions of real people’ (Scotsman)

In Rebecca Walker’s Wretch, an ex-teacher and an ex-junkie meet on a night bus during long, dark nights of homelessness. A year on, Irena has rebuilt her life. But just as she thinks she is safe, Amy crashes head-first back into it with bigger dreams for life’s second chances.

Brad Birch and Kenneth Emson’s This Must Be the Place offers two short ballads about migration, missed connections, and life on the edge of respectability. Two friends, fugitives from their problems, try and start again in the big smoke but find themselves waiting on the margins still. A man in the midst of crisis tries for a clean break from technology, connectivity and the pressures of city life.

One of the most exciting events on London's cultural calendar, VAULT Festival returns from 25 January to 5 March 2017 at its original home beneath Waterloo Station and, for the first time, at satellite venues Network Theatre and Morley College. Boldly diverse, the programme features a myriad of shows exploring many themes via many more mediums. New bars and a fresh food offering, plus a dazzling array of late night parties complete a must-do destination event for the New Year. Tickets are available now via their website.

Plays from VAULT 2 continues a partnership that started at VAULT 2016 with Plays from Vault: Five new plays from VAULT Festival, which welcomed five new plays and writers on to the illustrious NHB list. Published 9 February, this year's anthology is avaialble to pre-order now, and will also be on sale at the Vaults, online and in major bookshops.

‘London’s answer to the Edinburgh Fringe… offers a whole line-up of treats’ Evening Standard on VAULT Festival

Book:
Plays from VAULT 2 - Five new plays from VAULT Festival

Date posted:  Wednesday 18th January 2017

Eight NHB plays shortlisted at Manchester Theatre Awards

Manchester Theatre Awards logo 2017

The nominees for this year's Manchester Theatre Awards were announced today (16 January), with a whopping eight NHB-published plays shortlisted across various categories.

Katherine Soper's 2015 Bruntwood Prize-winning play Wish List received four nominations: Best New Play, Best Studio Production, Best Actress in a Studio Production (Erin Doherty) and Best Actor in a Studio Production (Joseph Quinn). A sensitive, delicate and powerful play that asks what our labour is worth and how life can be lived when the system is stacked against you, it is currently playing at the Royal Court Theatre, London, following its premiere at the Manchester Royal Exchange last year.

Also nominated for Best New Play is Bird by Katherine Chandler, winner of a Judges' Award in the 2013 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. It also receives a nod for Best Actress in a Studio Production (Georgia Henshaw). This raw, delicate and bold story of growing up outside a family, but inside the fiercest of friendships, was praised by the Guardian for its 'blasted beauty... like its teenage protagonists, [it is] a small, fragile thing with a fiercely beating heart'.

The Royal Exchange's acclaimed revival of Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit by Margaret Edson is shortlisted for Best Production and Best Actress (Julie Hesmondhalgh). Also nominated in the acting categories are Simon McBurney for stunning Complicite show The Encounter (Best Actor in a Visiting Production) and Molly Vevers for James Fritz's striking Ross & Rachel (Best Actress in a Studio Production), while The James Plays by Rona Munro is recognised for Best Ensemble. The James Plays and The Encounter are also both nominated for Best Visiting Production.

Finally, two other NHB plays join Wish List on the shortlist for Best Studio Production: the linguistically inventive and sweetly funny Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons by Sam Steiner, and Jack Thorne's intimate, tender The Solid Life of Sugar Water.

The winners of the 2017 Manchester Theatre Awards will be revealed at a ceremony at HOME, Manchester, on Friday 17 March. To see the full list of nominees, visit the MTA website here.

Books:
Wish List, Bird, The Encounter

Date posted:  Monday 16th January 2017

NHB to publish second VAULT Festival anthology

VAULT 2017

For the second year running, leading theatre publishers Nick Hern Books will combine forces with VAULT Festival to release an anthology of plays selected from the best new writing the 2017 event has to offer. Plays from VAULT 2 will be published on 26 January, to coincide with the beginning of VAULT Festival 2017, and will be on sale at the Vaults, online and in major bookshops.

One of the most exciting events on London's cultural calendar, VAULT Festival returns from 25 January to 5 March 2017 at its original home beneath Waterloo Station and, for the first time, at satellite venues Network Theatre and Morley College. Boldly diverse, the programme features a myriad of shows exploring many themes via many more mediums. New bars and a fresh food offering, plus a dazzling array of late night parties complete a must-do destination event for the New Year. Tickets are available now via their website.

Plays from VAULT 2 continues a partnership which started at VAULT 2016 with Plays from Vault: Five new plays from VAULT Festival, released in January this year, which welcomed five new plays and writers on to the illustrious NHB list.

Further details, including the line-up of plays selected for inclusion in the anthology, will be announced soon.

Book:
Plays from VAULT - Five new plays from VAULT Festival

Date posted:  Tuesday 6th December 2016

NHB plays shortlisted at Writers' Guild Awards 2017

Writers Guild of Great Britain logo

The nominees for Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards 2017 were announced today (6 December), with a total of six NHB authors and plays shortlisted across various categories.

Escaped Alone by Caryl Churchill is nominated for Best Play. The hilarious and chilling play, first seen at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in January, received critical acclaim, with Time Out calling it 'a menacing, joyous, brilliant return... it's hard to imagine you'll come across a more brilliant play this year'. The play returns to the Royal Court for a short run in January 2017, before embarking on a national tour.

Also up for Best Play is All the Little Lights by Jane Upton. A play about being young, alone and trying to survive, packed with crackling dialogue, darkness and laugh-out-loud humour, it was previewed in Nottingham and Derby in 2015, with a national tour coming in 2017. Jane Upton was the Joint Winner of the 2016 George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright

The Best Play for Young Audiences shortlist includes This Changes Everything by Joel Horwood. The play was commissioned and published as part of Platform, a new initiative from Tonic Theatre in partnership with NHB that aims to tackle the lack of opportunities for young women in drama by offering big-cast plays with predominantly or all-female casts, written specifically for performance by school, college and youth-theatre groups. See more about Platform here.

Elsewhere, there are also nominations for NHB authors Tom Basden (Best TV Situation Comedy, Plebs), debbie tucker green (Best Radio Dramalament) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Best TV Situation Comedy, Fleabag).

The winners of the Writers Guild of Great Britain Awards will be announced in a ceremony hosted by writer, comedian and actress Meera Syal on Monday 23 January 2017.

Books:
Escaped Alone, This Changes Everything (Platform Play), All the Little Lights

Date posted:  Tuesday 6th December 2016

The Flick leads NHB nominees at WhatsOnStage Awards

Flick cover

The nominees for the 17th WhatsOnStage Awards were announced today (1 December), with The Flick by Annie Baker just one of a number of NHB-published productions nominated across various categories.

The Flick is nominated for Best New Play. Set in a run-down movie theatre in central Massachusetts, Annie Baker's hilarious and heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world made its UK debut at the National Theatre, London, in April. It previously won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and was also nominated for the 2016 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play.

Two other NHB authors are up for Best New Play: Tony Kushner for The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, and Jack Thorne for his collaboration on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The latter has the most nominations of any production at this year's WhatsOnStage awards, with a total of eleven nods across nine categories.

The National Theatre production of The Deep Blue Sea by Terence Rattigan is shortlisted for Best Play Revival. Directed by Carrie Cracknell, it received critical acclaim, being praised by the Guardian as 'an impassioned production that illuminates Rattigan’s psychological understanding and boasts a shining performance from Helen McCrory' (recognised with a nomination for Best Actress in a Play). The Deep Blue Sea was also broadcast at cinemas nationwide as part of NT Live.

Elsewhere, Lazarus by David Bowie and Enda Walsh received four nominations - for Best Actor in a Musical (Michael C Hall), Best Supporting Actress in a Musical (Amy Lennox and Sophia Anne Caruso) and Best Video Design (Tal Yarden) - while Branagh Theatre's production of Romeo and Juliet at the Garrick Theatre is shortlisted in three categories: Best Actress in a Play (Lily James), Best Supporting Actor in a Play (Derek Jacobi) and Best Supporting Actress in a Play (Meera Syal). Mike Bartlett's darkly comic play Wild, first seen at Hampstead Theatre in June, is nominated for Best Set Design (Miriam Buether).

Voting for the WhatsOnStage Awards is now open until 31 January - choose your favourites here. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 19 February.

 

SPECIAL OFFER - GET 25% OFF WOS AWARDS NOMINEES!

To celebrate their nominations at the WhatsOnStage Awards, we're offering you a 25% discount on all five of the NHB titles shortlisted! They are:

To claim the discount, simply enter code WOS16 at checkout when ordering any of the five titles above. This offer is valid until 17 February 2017.

Books:
The Flick, The Deep Blue Sea (2016 edition), Lazarus: The Complete Book and Lyrics

Date posted:  Thursday 1st December 2016

NHB to publish Mark Rylance and Louis Jenkins' 'deliriously funny' new play

Nice Fish

Leading theatre publisher Nick Hern Books has acquired the rights to publish Nice Fish, the sublimely playful, profound and very funny new play by multi-award-winning actor Mark Rylance and acclaimed prose poet Louis Jenkins, alongside its UK premiere in November.

On a frozen Minnesota lake, the ice is beginning to creak and groan. It’s the end of the fishing season, and two old friends are out on the ice, angling for something big; something down there that is pure need. Something that might just swallow them whole.

In Nice Fish, celebrated actor Mark Rylance draws on his own teenage years in the American Midwest, in a unique collaboration with critically acclaimed Minnesotan contemporary prose poet Louis Jenkins and the whole company. It transfers from a sell-out run in New York to the Harold Pinter Theatre, London, in 2016, in a production directed by Claire van Kampen and starring Rylance and Jim Lichtscheidl.

Nice Fish marks the second play by Mark Rylance to be published by Nick Hern Books, following the publication of his comedy I Am Shakespeare, a witty exploration of the Shakespeare authorship debate, in 2012.

NHB has acquired publication rights in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand from Grove Atlantic, Inc., who will publish elsewhere in 2017.

The producers of Nice Fish have previously announced that audience members who come to the Harold Pinter Theatre dressed as a fish or fisherman will be given complimentary tickets to the show, on a first-come-first-served basis. The publishers would like to point out that unfortunately, turning up to a bookshop similarly attired will not necessarily guarantee you a free copy of the playscript. Readers are, however, very welcome to try.

Book:
Nice Fish

Date posted:  Monday 31st October 2016