Jack Thorne's play The Motive and the Cue, which premiered at the National Theatre, London, in May 2023 and transfers to the Noel Coward Theatre in the West End in December, was named Best Play at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards last night (Sunday 19 November).
The play, which is about the clash between actor Richard Burton and his director John Gielgud during rehearsals for their famous production of Hamlet, was widely acclaimed when it opened earlier this year in Sam Mendes's glittering production.
Also nominated for the Best Play award was Sam Holcroft's A Mirror, which premiered at the Almeida Theatre, London, in August.
Rob Madge and Michael R. Jackson were prize-winners at the Stage Debut Awards yesterday, 1 October 2023. The awards, in association with Ambassador Theatre Group, celebrate breakthrough talent in theatre.
Rob Madge, the writer-performer of West End sensation My Son's a Queer (But What Can You Do?), was joint winner of the Best Creative West End Debut award for their play, which premiered at London's Turbine Theatre in 2021, took Edinburgh by storm, and then transferred to the West End's Garrick Theatre in October 2022. It returned to the West End for a season at the Ambassador's in January this year.
The joyous and chaotic story of Madge's own childhood, My Son's a Queer (But What Can You Do?) is 'a gorgeous celebration of what it's like to grow up queer' (Whatsonstage).
Michael R. Jackson was named Best Composer, Lyricist or Book Writer for his musical A Strange Loop, which received its British premiere at the Barbican Theatre this year. A blisteringly original musical about a Black, queer writer struggling with a host of demons, it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical, and has been described as a 'meta masterpiece' (Guardian) and 'an astonishing tour-de-force' (Whatsonstage).
Congratulations to both winners!
Ed Edwards' play England & Son, written for the performer Mark Thomas, is a kaleidoscopic journey through empire and politics in pursuit of the truth about a man living on the streets. 'Profound and moving' (Whatsonstage), it is at Paines Plough's Roundabout throughout August before touring to Manchester and London.
Isobel McArthur's The Grand Old Opera House Hotel is an enchanting musical comedy set in a seedy hotel, haunted by its former incarnation as an opera house. Written by the author of the smash hit Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of), it is at the Traverse Theatre before going to Dundee Rep. 'Gloriously funny' The Times
Congratulations to both winners!
Jodie Comer won a Tony Award at last night's awards ceremony for her performance in Suzie Miller's play Prima Facie, the powerful one-woman show about an ambitious lawyer forced to confront the patriarchal power of the law.
Her award for Best Performance by an Actress for a Leading Role in Play comes after Prima Facie transferred to Broadway from the West End, where it won both the Olivier and WhatsOnStage Awards for Best New Play.
The Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play went to Suzan-Lori Parks' Topdog/Underdog, revived on Broadway in October 2022 in a 20th anniversary production.
The Tony Award for Best Musical went to Kimberly Akimbo, the new musical by David Lindsay-Abaire, author of Rabbit Hole, Good People and Ripcord. The story of a US teenager with an aging disease, Kimberly Akimbo also won Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score written for the Theatre.
The 76th Tony Awards, recognising the achievements in Broadway productions during the 2022–23 season, were announced at a ceremony held at the United Palace in New York City on 11 June 2023.
The winners of the 2023 Olivier Awards were announced yesterday (2 April 2023) at a ceremony at London's Royal Albert Hall, with Nick Hern Books titles taking the triple-whammy of Best New Play, Best New Musical and Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre.
Best New Play was awarded to Prima Facie, Suzie Miller's searingly powerful one-woman show about an ambitious female lawyer confronting patriarchal power. The play was a sensation in its West End production starring Jodie Comer, who took the Best Actress award at last night's ceremony.
Best New Musical went to Chris Bush and Richard Hawley's Standing at the Sky's Edge, a gorgeous celebration of community seen through the lives of successive generations of residents of a Sheffield estate. It also took the award for Best original score or new orchestrations, in recognition of Richard Hawley and Tom Deering's work.
The Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre award went to The P Word, Waleed Akhtar's sharp-witted play about the parallel lives of two gay Pakistani men. The play premiered at the Bush Theatre in 2022, and was described as 'heart-meltingly lovely' (Time Out), a 'tremendous two-man rom-com' (The Times).
Akhtar's play beat off stiff competition from four other plays in its category, all of them published by Nick Hern Books: Haley McGee's Age is a Feeling; Joe White's Blackout Songs; Margaret Perry's Paradise Now! and Sami Ibrahim's two palestinians go dogging.
Congratulations to all the winners!
The Olivier Awards 2023 nominations were announced yesterday (28 February 2023), and they're packed with Nick Hern Books talent including a clean sweep of the Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre category, with all five nominated plays published by NHB!
Leading the pack is Standing at the Sky's Edge, the musical by Chris Bush and Richard Hawley, nominated for eight awards including Best New Musical. 'The most exciting British musical in years' (WhatsOnStage), it's currently playing at the National Theatre (until 25 March).
Nominated for Best Play is Suzie Miller's Prima Facie, which also received a Best Actress nomination for its star in the West End, Jodie Comer.
The five NHB plays nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre are: Haley McGee's Age is a Feeling (currently at Soho Theatre); Joe White's Blackout Songs (returning to Hampstead Theatre in April); Waleed Akhtar's The P Word (which premiered at the Bush Theatre in 2022); Margaret Perry's Paradise Now! (also at the Bush Theatre in 2022); and Sami Ibrahim's two palestinians go dogging (which premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in 2022).
Rob Madge's My Son's a Queer (But What Can You Do?), currently at the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End, is nominated for Best Entertainment or Comedy Play.
Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem is up for Best Revival, while NHB-published playwright Giles Terera is nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky at the National Theatre in 2022.
The winners are due to be announced in April. Good luck to all the nominees!
Nick Hern Books is delighted to be shortlisted for Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year at the 2023 Independent Publishing Awards.
NHB was shortlisted for the award - one of the most prestigious in publishing - in recognition of the way in which it bounced back from the challenges of Covid and theatre closures during lockdowns in 2022. The company achieved its best ever sales by refining its direct to consumer marketing and establishing new channels, including through partnerships with exam boards.
Judges said: "Nick Hern works in a sector of publishing that has had a more torrid time of it than most. But it's rolled up its sleeves and got the results that its hard work deserves."
Also shortlisted for Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year are Bloomsbury Publishing and David & Charles, with the winners announced at a ceremony in London on Wednesday 22 March 2023.
Nick Hern Books' playwrights came away with Best New Play, Most Promising New Playwright and Best Production (Plays) at the 2023 OffWestEnd Awards announced yesterday (12 February 2023) at Alexandra Palace Theatre. The 'Offies', as they're known, are designed to celebrate the achievements of independent, alternative and fringe theatre in London.
Best New Play went to Red Pitch, Tyrell Williams' coming-of-age drama set on a South London council estate, first staged at the Bush Theatre in February 2022. The play has already scooped the George Devine Award, and Williams was named Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Awards, and Best Writer at The Stage Debut Awards.
Waleed Akhtar was named Most Promising New Playwright for his play Kabul Goes Pop: Music Television Afghanistan, which was premiered at Brixton House in 2022, and also for a second play, The P Word, premiered at the Bush Theatre in September 2022.
Best Production (Plays) went to Jack Thorne's The Solid Life of Sugar Water, revived at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond last year.
Congratulations to all the winners!
Prima Facie, Suzie Miller's play exploring patriarchal power in the legal profession, was named Best New Play at the 23rd Annual WhatsOnStage Awards announced at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London last night (12 February 2023).
Miller's play, for a single female performer, was first staged in Sydney, Australia, in 2019, and had its European premiere at the Harold Pinter Theatre in the West End in April 2022, in production starring Jodie Comer. It was later screened nationally via NT Live.
Described as 'like a punch to the guts' (Telegraph), 'a play that roars' (Guardian) and 'an unforgettable moment of theatre' (Whatsonstage.com), the play has wowed audiences around the world, and is published by Nick Hern Books.
Jodie Comer also took the award for Best Performer in a Play at last night's awards, for her outstanding performance in Miller's play.
Best Play Revival went to Cock by Mike Bartlett, which is licensed by Nick Hern Books for amateur performance.
Every year, Nick Hern Books licenses thousands of amateur performances of plays from our list. We've done some number-crunching, and can now reveal the most popular plays of 2022, based on the number of licences issued across the year to amateur companies worldwide.
Here's the Top Ten:
1. Ladies' Day by Amanda Whittington
2. Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale
3. Around the World in 80 Days adapted by Laura Eason from the novel by Jules Verne
4. Brainstorm by Ned Glasier, Emily Lim and Company Three
5. Nell Gwynn by Jessica Swale
6. The Hound of the Baskervilles adapted by Steven Canny and John Nicholson from the story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
7. Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons by Sam Steiner
8. Machinal by Sophie Treadwell
9. Philip Pullman's Grimm Tales adapted by Philip Wilson
10. Wendy & Peter Pan adapted by Ella Hickson from the story by JM Barrie
Tamara von Werthern, Performing Rights Manager at Nick Hern Books, said: 'Nobody loves a Top Ten more than me, but this one is especially exciting for a number of reasons. Firstly it rounds off the first year since the lockdowns of the pandemic and gives us a clear indication that amateur theatre is back and thriving. Secondly, it's such a wonderful selection of plays, which shows off the variety and range that exists in the amateur community.'
To find out more about the Top Ten plays, take a look at the article on our Blog.
A longer list of the 36 most performed plays of 2022 is available on our website here.