The ten finalists for the 2015-2016 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize were announced yesterday (26 January), with five of the list comprised of NHB playwrights.
Sam Holcroft (Rules for Living), Anna Jordan (Yen), Lynn Nottage (Sweat), Suzan-Lori Parks (Father Comes Home From the Wars Parts 1, 2 & 3) and Bea Roberts (And Then Come The Nightjars) are all on the shortlist, with the winner announced at a ceremony at the National Theatre, London, on 22 February.
The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize is the oldest and largest prize awarded to women playwrights. Established in 1978, the Prize is given annually to recognize women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre. The winner receives $25,000 a signed print by artist Willem de Kooning, while all other finalists are each given an award of $5,000.
NHB writers have won the last two Susan Smith Blackburn Prizes, with Tena Štivičić winning last year's Prize for her play 3 Winters, and Lucy Kirkwood triumphing in 2014 with Chimerica. Other NHB winners include Caryl Churchill, Elizabeth Kuti and Chloë Moss. The 2013 Prize went to Annie Baker for her play The Flick, which is published alongside its UK premiere at the National Theatre, London, in April.
Leading performing arts publisher Nick Hern Books is to publish Doctor Foster: The Scripts, the complete scripts to the first series of Mike Bartlett's hit, award-winning BBC One drama.
Doctor Gemma Foster is a woman seemingly in control: a trusted GP, the heart of her town, a woman people can trust. But her life is about to explode.
Suspecting her husband of having an affair, Gemma throws herself into an investigation that will propel her, her family, and even her patients into chaos. Bit by bit, Doctor Foster uncovers secrets that shock her to the core. Now she has to choose how to react. One thing is certain - she is going to behave in ways she could never have imagined.
Doctor Foster: The Scripts contains the complete scripts to all five episodes of the first series, plus exclusive bonus material.
Doctor Foster premiered on BBC One in September 2015, starring Suranne Jones and Bertie Carvel. The series drew a weekly audience of over 8.2 million viewers, peaking at over 10 million for the finale, and was the BBC’s highest-rating new drama of the year. It won two prizes at the National Television Awards 2016, including Best New Drama.
Matt Applewhite, Managing Director of Nick Hern Books, said: ‘Having previously published Mike Bartlett’s award-winning plays, including West End and Broadway hit King Charles III, we’re excited to publish the scripts to his hugely successful TV drama Doctor Foster. Like millions of others, we were glued to our screens as the series unfolded, and we hope the show’s many fans will enjoy the opportunity to experience its twists and turns all over again.’
The nominees for this year's Manchester Theatre Awards were announced today (8 January), with plays by Luke Norris, Anna Jordan, Caryl Churchill and Sam Holcroft among those shortlisted.
So Here We Are, Luke Norris' Bruntwood Prize-winning drama, is nominated for Best New Play and Best Studio Production. A compassionate look at young lives cut short and a touching portrait of childhood friendships under strain in adult life, it premiered at the HighTide Festival in September 2015, in a co-production with the Royal Exchange, Manchester, before transferring to the Royal Exchange later that month. It was praised by The Reviews Hub as 'a powerful piece of writing [that] will stick in the memory'.
Also shortlisted are:
- Yen by Anna Jordan, with Alex Austin nominated for Best Performance in a Studio Production
- The Skriker by Caryl Churchill, which receives a nod for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Maxine Peake)
- Octagon Youth Theatre's production of The Wardrobe by Sam Holcroft, shortlisted for the Youth Panel Award
The Manchester Theatre Awards honour achievements at venues across the Greater Manchester area. In addition to drama and musical categories, opera and dance are also represented. The winners of this year's Awards will be announced at a ceremony at HOME, Manchester, on 4 March.
Leading theatre publisher Nick Hern Books has partnered with VAULT Festival, London's biggest and most exciting arts festival, to publish Plays from VAULT, an anthology comprising five of the best plays from the upcoming VAULT 2016.
Eggs is a dark comedy about female friendship, fertility and freaking out, by Florence Keith-Roach, ‘rising star of the London theatre scene’ (Evening Standard). Two women, living very different lives, are united by their quick wit, love of nineties’ dance music and a mounting alienation.
In Mr Incredible, Adam is single. He doesn’t like it. He misses Holly. He deserves Holly. Doesn’t he? A play about love and entitlement by Camilla Whitehill, the writer of the ‘warm, evocative, and intelligent’ (Stage) Where Do Little Birds Go?
The world of the celebrity PA is laid bare in Primadonna. A young first-timer navigates impossible tasks, difficult conversations and fearsome passive aggression in this one-woman play from Rosie Kellett, winner of the VAULT Festival Spirit Award.
Mickey and his team of Cornermen never have much luck in the boxing world. Until, that is, they sign a young fighter whose winning ways catapult them to a level they’ve never known before. ‘A striking new play by an exciting new writer’, Oliver Forsyth (Scotsman).
Run explores what it means to love, to lose, and how to grow from a boy into a man, as a gay Jewish kid sneaks out over Shabbat to meet his boyfriend – and his universe implodes. Stephen Laughton’s one-man play is presented by VAULT Festival favourites Rogues’ Gallery.
VAULT 2016 runs from 27 January - 6 March 2016, in The Vaults, Waterloo, London. The festival features more than 100 different shows, plus parties, gigs, bars and more. Plays from VAULT is published 28 January - pre-order your copy now.
‘A vibrant, varied programme full of theatrical treats… a brilliant place to spot new talent’ The Stage on VAULT 2015
The Nick Hern Books website is now closed for orders from today (Friday 18 December) until Monday 4 January.
Please note that, as our office is now closed for Christmas, your order will not be processed until we return on Monday 4 January. If you require your books more urgently, please try an alternative retailer. Otherwise, place your order and we'll dispatch it as soon as we can when we return.
Happy Christmas from all at NHB!
The nominations for the Writers' Guild Awards were announced today (7 December), with NHB authors represented across a number of categories.
Temple by Steve Waters is shortlisted for Best Play. This engrossing drama, first seen at the Donmar Warehouse in May 2015 in a production starring Simon Russell Davies, is a fictional account of the 2011 Occupy London protests at St Paul's Cathedral. It was praised by the Telegraph as 'a triumph... a riveting drama that unpicks the institutional and psychological turmoil the saga caused'.
Laura Lomas' hard-hitting Bird is nominated for Best Play for Young Audiences. A cutting-edge monologue that throws light on the experience of a teenager in contemporary Britain, Bird centres on fourteen-year-old Leah, who begins to unpick the nature of her current relationship when waiting up for her boyfriend to call. The play premiered at Derby Theatre in October 2014, before touring the UK. The Stage called it '[a] beautifully crafted monologue with rich theatrical texture'.
Laura Lomas is also nominated for Best Radio Drama for her BBC Radio 4 play Fragments.
NHB writers swept the playwriting categories at the Writers' Guild Awards 2015, with James I from Rona Munro's trilogy The James Plays taking home the prize for Best Play, and Girls Like That by Evan Placey winning Best Play for Young Audiences. The winners of 2016 Awards will be announced at a ceremony at RIBA, London, on 18 January 2016.
Love theatre? Then this is the perfect Christmas prize draw for you. We've partnered with Theatre Tokens, the UK's biggest national theatre gift voucher scheme, to offer theatre-lovers the chance to win a massive prize worth £1000.
- great new reads for theatre-lovers including BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week pick Year of the Fat Knight by Antony Sher, Being a Dancer by Lyndsey Winship and Conversations with Miller by Mel Gussow
- scripts from top London play premieres such as Game by Mike Bartlett, hang by debbie tucker green, Mr Foote's Other Leg by Ian Kelly and Roald Dahl's The Twits by Enda Walsh
- essential practical guides including The Active Text, Surviving Actors Manual, and Secrets of Stage Success by West End stars Louise Dearman and Mark Evans
- Edinburgh Fringe hits such as Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, Ross & Rachel and The Solid Life of Sugar Water
- scripts by the brilliant Caryl Churchill including her National Theatre play premiere Here We Go, and new editions of A Number, The Skriker and more
The festive season is upon us once again, and with it the scary prospect of finding another round of presents for all those people in your life – even the really difficult ones to buy for.
But if they love theatre, then look no further: we have hundreds of great Christmas reads for theatre-lovers to choose from, right here. And we've even got a fantastic offer as a special present for you, too.
From today, 1 December, until 12pm (noon) on Friday 18 December, all Nick Hern Books titles are available at 25% off via our website.
For more information, visit the Christmas Sale page here.
The winner of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2015 was announced on Tuesday 17 November, with the award going to first-time writer Katherine Soper for her debut play Wish List.
Katherine, who wrote the play for her dissertation while studying at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, receives £16,000, a professional production at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, and publication by Nick Hern Books.
Four other playwrights also received Judges' Awards, the first time in the Prize's history the number has been increased from three. The recipients, and their plays, were:
- Almighty Sometimes by Kendall Feaver
- Parliament Square by James Fritz
- How My Light is Spent by Alan Harris
- Sound of Silence by Chloe Todd Fordham
All entries to the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting are submitted anonymously, with the writers' identities not known until the final prizewinners have been selected.
The winners were selected from more than 1,900 entrants by judges from across the theatre industry, including former National Theatre director Nicholas Hytner, actor and playwright Meera Syal and Royal Exchange artistic director Sarah Frankcom.
Previous winners of the Bruntwood Prize published by NHB include Anna Jordan, Janice Okoh, Vivienne Franzmann and Ben Musgrave.
Celebrating ten years of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting
2015 marks the tenth anniversary of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, which has grown from being a regional competition to become the UK's biggest national competition for playwriting.
Nick Hern Books has been a proud partner of the Prize since its inception in 2005, publishing a dozen prizewinners to date, plus subsequent plays at the Royal Court, Soho Theatre, Hampstead Theatre and elsewhere.
To celebrate the occasion, NHB founder Nick Hern reflects on a decade of the Prize on our blog here, and we've teamed up with Exeunt Magazine to offer an inside look at the Prize in the podcast below. Presenter Tim Bano speaks to previous winner Anna Jordan, judges and readers to explore how the process works.
We love theatre. It's what we publish. And as our readers and followers, we reckon you do too. So as Wednesday 18 November marks #LoveTheatreDay 2015, we've put together a great offer to help you celebrate.
From 10:00 GMT on Wednesday 18 November, all Nick Hern Books titles are available at 50% off via our website, for 24 hours only!
Whether you're searching for the perfect Christmas gift for someone special, a book to help you develop your skills and advance your career, or just a great read, then look no further.
Plus, get free UK postage & packaging on all orders of £30 or over.
Our #LoveTheatreDay Sale ends at 10:00 GMT on Thursday 19 November. So don't miss your chance to grab a bargain – click here for more information, and get shopping!