The shortlist for the Theatre Book Prize 2019 was announced today (9 May), with Year of the Mad King: The Lear Diaries by Antony Sher one of the titles included.
Year of the Mad King is Antony Sher's fascinating first-hand account of researching, rehearsing and performing what is arguably Shakespeare's most challenging role, in a major RSC production. Also included is a selection of his paintings and sketches, many reproduced in full colour.
Administered by the Society of Theatre Research, the Theatre Book Prize is presented annually for a book on British or British related theatre which an independent panel of judges considers to be the best published during the previous year. The winner of this year's Prize will be announced on 11 June - see the full shortlist here.
NHB author Lucy Kirkwood's new Channel 4 series Chimerica - adapted from her multi-award-winning play of the same name - started last night (Wednesday 17 April) to a warm critical reception.
A globe-trotting thriller, Chimerica follows the fortunes of photojournalist Lee Berger. Reeling from a professional and personal crisis, Lee sets out in search of Tank Man, the famous Tiananmen Square protestor - a photo of whom marked the beginning of Lee's career.
In their five-star review, the Guardian praised Chimerica as 'a strikingly intelligent drama, capturing big ideas without sacrificing story or character, and making the personal political and back again'. The Telegraph described the series as 'a bold geopolitical thriller with brains', while the i newspaper called it 'an atmospheric adaptation of a thought-provoking play, with Kirkwood giving viewers a great deal to chew on'.
Chimerica was first seen at the Almeida Theatre, London, in August 2018, before transferring to the West End. It won numerous prizes including Best New Play at the Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics' Circle Awards, as well as the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
Chimerica continues on Wednesdays at 9pm on Channel 4, and is also available to watch in full online on All4.
We're incredibly proud to share that Nick Hern Books has been shortlisted for Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year at the IPG Independent Publishing Awards!
This marks NHB’s first nomination at the Independent Publishing Guild’s annual awards. It is in recognition for their work throughout their thirtieth anniversary in 2018, which saw a record number of titles; the release of their first audiobooks; multiple awards wins for NHB plays such as The Ferryman, Angels in America and Nine Night, and special anniversary celebrations, including:
- Amateur Theatre Fest, a sold-out, one-day event of talks and workshops with speakers such as Mike Bartlett, Jez Butterworth, Simon Callow and Amanda Whittington
- A panel talk on playwriting held at the National Theatre with NHB authors Alecky Blythe, Howard Brenton, Natasha Gordon and Conor McPherson, plus publisher Nick Hern
- A commemorative postcard book, 30 Years/30 Plays, showcasing thirty playtext covers from across NHB’s history
Matt Applewhite, Managing Director of Nick Hern Books, said:
'It's a great honour to be nominated at the Independent Publishing Awards for the first time. We’re very proud of our publishing and work in representing and championing fantastic UK theatre, and I'm thankful to every member of the NHB team who each made such an immensely valuable contribution throughout our thirtieth anniversary in 2018. I'm also particularly delighted that the judges made special mention of our close connections to our readers, our authors and our partners, who are at the heart of all we strive to do.'
The winners of the IPG 2019 Independent Publishing Awards will be announced on 2 May. For more information, including the full shortlists, visit the IPG's website.
We're excited to introduce Multiplay Drama - an exciting new series of large-cast plays, specifically written to be performed by and appeal to older teenagers and young adults.
Commissioned by some of the UK’s leading youth theatres and drama schools, and written by a mix of established writers and distinctive new voices, these plays have been selected not just for their quality, but also for the wealth and number of roles they offer to younger actors, as well as their bold, ambitious storytelling.
Ideal for youth- and student-theatre groups, secondary schools, sixth-form colleges, drama schools and amateur theatre companies, Multiplay Drama is perfect for anyone looking for big new plays for great big casts.
All ten of the brilliant Multiplay Drama plays are now available to read and perform! Head to the Multiplay Drama website to find out more and download an extract of the first 20% of each play, completely for free.
We're so proud to publish Company: The Complete Revised Book and Lyrics – and to celebrate, we've teamed up with Elliott & Harper Productions, producers of the West End revival of Company, to bring you an amazing prize!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Company: The Complete Revised Book and Lyrics, signed by the West End cast, plus a copy of the new cast recording. Entries are now open via our Twitter and Facebook pages, and close on Saturday 30 March. Good luck!
Terms and conditions:
1. ‘The promoter’ is Nick Hern Books.
2. Employees of the promoter, Elliott & Harper Productions, or their family members or anyone else connected in any way with the prize draw or helping to set up the prize draw shall not be permitted to enter the prize draw.
3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this prize draw.
4. Route to entry for the prize draw is via Twitter or Facebook. On Twitter, entrants must retweet https://twitter.com/NickHernBooks/status/1109077530798157829 and follow @nickhernbooks. Pre-existing followers are also eligible. On Facebook, must like this post: https://www.facebook.com/NickHernBooks/photos/a.269488229753966/2242150249154411/.
5. The closing date for entries is Saturday 30 March 2019 at 11:59pm GMT. After this date no further entries to the prize draw will be accepted.
6. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
7. A winner will be drawn at random from all eligible entries.
8. The prize the winner will receive is as follows: 1 x signed copy of Company: The Complete Book and Lyrics and 1 x Company (2018 Cast Recording) CD.
9. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable.
10. The winner will be notified by social media within 72 hours of the closing date, and asked to provide their postal address for dispatch of the prize. If the winner does not claim the prize within 7 days of notification, the promoter reserves the right to draw a replacement winner.
11. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the prize draw will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
12. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and/or image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent. You will not be signed up to a mailing list.
13. The winner’s name will be available 28 days after closing date by emailing email@example.com.
14. Entry into the prize draw will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
15. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
The nominees for the Olivier Awards 2019 were announced today (Tuesday 5 March), with numerous NHB-published shows and authors making the shortlists.
Leading the way was Company, which received nine nominations – the joint-most of any show at this year's Awards. Categories include Best Musical Revival and Best Director (Marianne Elliott), plus numerous other acting, choreography and technical awards. The acclaimed, gender-swapped production of George Furth and Stephen Sondheim's landmark musical, starring Rosalie Craig as a reimagined 'Bobbie', is currently running at the Gielgud Theatre until 30 March.
Also up for Best Musical Revival is Caroline, or Change, one of its three nominations. This production of Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's extraordinary musical was first seen at Chichester Festival Theatre, before transferring to Hampstead Theatre, London, and the Playhouse Theatre in the West End. Caroline, or Change previously won Best New Musical at the Olivier Awards in 2006.
Sweat by Lynn Nottage is shortlisted for Best New Play. This powerful, topical portrait of the present and poignant decline of the American Dream, which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, received its UK premiere at the Donmar Warehouse in December 2018. It transfers to the Gielgud Theatre in June.
Arinzé Kene is personally nominated for two awards for his show Misty: Best New Play and Best Actor. An epic, lyrical journey through the pulsating heart and underground soul of inner-city London, Misty premiered at the Bush Theatre in March 2018, before transferring to Trafalgar Studios in September.
Natasha Gordon's play Nine Night is shortlisted for Best New Comedy, one of its two nominations. First seen at the National Theatre in April before transferring to Trafalgar Studios in December, Natasha's touching and very funny exploration of the rituals of family has already won her Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard and Critics' Circle Awards.
Elsewhere, The Wider Earth by David Morton – which dramatises Charles Darwin's voyage on the HMS Beagle – is nominated for the Best Entertainment & Family Award, and Elliot Warren's vivid and fast-paced Flesh and Bone is up for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre.
The winners of the Olivier Awards 2019 will be announced at a ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 7 April. For the full list of nominees, visit their website.
Fleabag – the hit comedy written and performed by NHB author Phoebe Waller-Bridge, based on her acclaimed play of the same name – has begun its second series.
The first series of Fleabag was broadcast in 2016 and was a huge international success, picking up numerous prizes including Writers' Guild and Royal Television Society Awards. Phoebe also won the BAFTA Television Award for Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme.
The original play of Fleabag was first seen at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013 – where it won a Fringe First Award – before runs at Soho Theatre, London, and an international tour. Phoebe is about to revive the play for a limited run at SoHo Playhouse, New York, which starts on 7 March.
Series 2 of Fleabag will air weekly on Monday nights at 10.35pm on BBC One, and will also be available on BBC iPlayer. Watch episode 1 here.
The winners of the Off-West End Awards 2019 were announced yesterday (3 February), with NHB authors and plays triumphing in a number of categories.
Br'er Cotton by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm was named Best New Play. The story of Ruffrino, a fourteen-year-old struggling to make sense of his place in an America filled with seemingly random killings of young black men, it was described by the Guardian as 'an important play, and a great one'. Br'er Cotton had its UK premiere at Theatre503, London, in March 2018.
Most Promising New Playwright was awarded to Joe White for his debut play Mayfly. Joe's ethereal family drama which explores rebirth in the aftermath of tragedy premiered at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, in April 2018, where the Evening Standard praised it as 'a triumph'.
Misty, written and performed by Arinzé Kene, won Best Performance Piece. An inventive blend of gig theatre, spoken word, live art and direct address, which takes the audience on an epic, lyrical journey through the pulsating heart and underground soul of inner-city London, Misty premiered at the Bush Theatre, London, in March 2018, before transferring to Trafalgar Studios in the West End in September.
Elsewhere, the Bush Theatre's revival of Leave Taking by Winsome Pinnock picked up two acting prizes: Female Performance in a Play (Sarah Niles) and Best Male Performance in a Supporting Role in a Play (Wil Johnson).
The Off-West End Awards, affectionately known as the 'Offies', recognise work created in off-West End venues across London with a team of assessors and super assessors seeing shows before winners are decided by a panel of judges. In total, over 400 shows across 80 venues were judged throughout 2018.
For the full list of winners and nominees, click here.
The winners for the Writers' Guild Awards 2019 were revealed yesterday (Monday 14 January), with Gut by Frances Poet picking up the prize for Best Play.
A taut psychological thriller about parental paranoia that asks who can really be trusted with our children, Gut premiered at Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, in April 2018, in association with the National Theatre of Scotland. It was previously a finalist for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting.
Elsewhere, NHB author Phoebe Waller-Bridge won Best Long Form TV Drama for her spy comedy-drama Killing Eve.
Administered by the Writers' Guild of Great Britain, the Writers’ Guild Awards have been celebrating writers, and writing, since they launched in 1961. To see more, including the full list of winners, visit their website.
The Nick Hern Books office is now closed for the festive break, and will re-open on Wednesday 2 January. Website order processing will resume on Monday 7 January.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for all of us at Nick Hern Books!