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Save 30% on all our Edinburgh 2017 titles

Friday 4 August 2017

It's August, which can mean only one thing: the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is back! The world's largest arts festival celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2017, and as always NHB is proud to publish some of the very best theatre from this year's programme.

So to celebrate our line-up, we're offering you 30% off all of the plays we're publishing at this year's Fringe, plus books by two NHB authors appearing at this month's Edinburgh International Book Festival.

To claim this discount, simply browse the selection on our dedicated Edinburgh 2017 page and enter code NHBFRINGE17 at checkout when ordering.

Save 30% on all our Edinburgh 2017 titles

Celebrate great LGBT+ writing with 30% off in the NHB Pride Sale

Tuesday 4 July 2017

July 2017 is a bit of a big one, as months go. London holds its 45th annual Pride Parade, the UK's largest, on Saturday 8 July, the culmination of this year's Pride Festival – and it's also the anniversary of two crucial milestones in the advancement of gay rights: the publication of the Wolfenden Report in 1957, and the partial decriminalisation of male homosexual acts enacted by the Sexual Offences Act 1967.

So to mark the occasion, we're running a very special NHB Pride Sale. From now until the end of July, you can save save 30% on twelve hand-picked, NHB-published plays that chronicle, capture and celebrate LGBT+ experiences and voices, when you use code NHBPRIDE at checkout when ordering via this website.

To find out more, and see what's included, browse the NHB Pride Sale page.

Celebrate great LGBT+ writing with 30% off in the NHB Pride Sale
Books :
  • The Pride
  • Scorch
  • Angels in America

Trestle wins Papatango New Writing Prize 2017

Wednesday 28 June 2017

The winner of the Papatango New Writing Prize 2017 was announced today (28 June), with Trestle by Stewart Pringle beating over 1000 other submissions to claim the award.

A tender but truthful exploration of love and ageing, Trestle asks how we choose to live in the face of soaring life expectancies. The play will receive a full production in November at Southwark Playhouse, London, and the script will be published by NHB. Stewart Pringle also wins a £6000 commission and full developmental support for his next play.

Also announced today was an upcoming premiere for new play Hanna by Sam Potter, Papatango's 2015 Resident Playwright. A funny, heartfelt and compelling look at family, racial identity, economic privilege, and the lottery of birth, Hanna opens at the Arcola Theatre, London, in January 2018, before embarking on a UK tour.

Finally, NHB and Papatango are excited to reveal Being a Playwright, the essential career guide for aspiring writers looking to work in theatre, published September 2018. 

Written by Chris Foxon and George Turvey, Papatango's Producer and Artistic Director respectively, the book offers transparent and honest advice into the business side of building a playwriting career. Whether you're an aspiring writer wondering how to break into the industry, or a working playwright looking to land bigger commissions, this is your insider road map to navigating the world of professional theatre.

Being a Playwright is published as a £12.99 paperback on 20 September 2018, and is available to pre-order now.

<em>Trestle</em> wins Papatango New Writing Prize 2017
Books :
  • Trestle
  • Hanna

Dear Evan Hansen wins six Tony Awards

Monday 12 June 2017

Dear Evan Hansen, the hot new American musical with a book by Steven Levenson and music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, has won big at this year's Tony Awards, held at New York's Radio City Music Hall last night (11 June 2017).

Billed as a 'social media musical', Dear Evan Hansen is about teen angst, suicide and the tyranny of social media. It won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. A UK production has not yet been announced, but the book and lyrics are available in the UK from Nick Hern Books, in an edition published by Theatre Communications Group.

Also garlanded was Oslo, the political thriller by J.T. Rogers, which has its UK premiere at the National Theatre, London, in September, followed by a spell in the West End. Oslo added a Best Play Tony Award to the string of awards it has already won (including the Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel and New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards). It is published in the UK by Nick Hern Books in September.

This year, a Special Tony Award went to Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin, the sound designers for The Encounter, Complicite and Simon McBurney's extraordinary binaural journey down the Amazon. The Encounter is published by Nick Hern Books.

Dear Evan Hansen wins six Tony Awards
Books :
  • The Encounter
  • Oslo

Nick Hern Books welcomes John O'Donovan as Consultant Editor

Wednesday 31 May 2017

We're delighted to announce that John O’Donovan is joining Nick Hern Books in the new role of Consultant Editor.

Reporting to our Managing Director and Commissioning Editor, Matt Applewhite, his responsibilities will include identifying areas for development and growth of our publishing programme, commissioning and acquiring new plays and theatre books, and editorial work on new publications.

John joins NHB after a five-year spell at Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. He has previously held roles at Penguin, Continuum and Reaktion Books.

He is also a playwright, whose work has been staged and read in the UK at the Old Red Lion, New Diorama, Southwark Playhouse, Theatre503 and Arcola Theatre, as well as in Ireland by Druid and the Abbey Theatre. He is a current member of the Old Vic 12. His play If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You premiered at the Old Red Lion in August 2016 to great critical reception.

John will take up his role on 6 June and can be contacted on

John O’Donovan said: ‘I’m delighted to be joining Nick Hern Books and am looking forward immensely to this next chapter in my publishing career. NHB is an exciting and vibrant publisher with an incredible list of new and established writers, delivering some of the highest-quality plays for today’s theatre, as well as a comprehensive list of stage and practitioner titles. It’s an honour to be working with Nick, Matt and the rest of the team.’

Matt Applewhite, Managing Director at Nick Hern Books, said: ‘We’re thrilled to be welcoming John ­to NHB. With his acuity and vision, his own experience as a fine playwright, and his track record in theatre publishing, he’ll be a great addition to our team. Working alongside our editorial staff, he will be involved in the commissioning and acquisition of plays and theatre books, particularly those by first-time writers, and integral to enhancing Nick Hern Books’ reputation as publishing the finest writing for and about the stage.

Nick Hern Books welcomes John O'Donovan as Consultant Editor

Lynn Nottage's play Sweat wins Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Tuesday 11 April 2017

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.

Lynn Nottage's play <em>Sweat</em> wins Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2017 opens for entries

Wednesday 25 January 2017

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.


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.

Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2017 opens for entries

Escaped Alone wins Best Play at Writers' Guild Awards 2017

Tuesday 24 January 2017

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.


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.

<em>Escaped Alone</em> wins Best Play at Writers' Guild Awards 2017
Books :
  • Escaped Alone
  • Fleabag: The Original Play

Line-up announced for second VAULT Festival anthology

Wednesday 18 January 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

Line-up announced for second VAULT Festival anthology
Book :
  • Plays from VAULT 2

Eight NHB plays shortlisted at Manchester Theatre Awards

Monday 16 January 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.

Eight NHB plays shortlisted at Manchester Theatre Awards
Books :
  • The Encounter
  • Bird
  • Wish List