Tonic Theatre and Nick Hern Books are joining forces to launch Platform, a new initiative aimed at tackling underrepresentation of women on stage by increasing the opportunities for girls and young women.
Aimed at addressing gender imbalance and inequality in theatre, Platform comprises big-cast plays with predominantly or all-female casts, written specifically for performance by school, college and youth-theatre groups. It is inspired by feedback from educational institutions and youth theatres across the country, which highlighted the mismatch between the - mostly female - composition of their memberships, and the range and quality of roles currently available to them.
The plays will be published as single editions, with the first three in the series released on 11 June. They are available to pre-order now:
The Light Burns Blue by Silva Semerciyan
Second Person Narrative by Jemma Kennedy
This Changes Everything by Joel Horwood
Platform follows in the footsteps of Tonic's earlier initiative Advance, which collaborated with Artistic Directors and senior creative staff at leading theatres to help them find ways of working more successfully with female theatre artists, and Tonic director Lucy Kerbel's 100 Great Plays for Women, an inspiring guide to a hundred plays that put female performers centre stage.
For more information, download the press release.
‘Drama is an important tool for building confidence and empowering young people. Platform will give girls opportunity to access these benefits as much as their male counterparts.’ - Moira Buffini
The winners of the 2015 Olivier Awards were announced last Sunday (12 April), with NHB plays and authors enjoying success across a number of categories.
King Charles III, Mike Bartlett's provocative future history drama, scooped the prize for Best New Play. Set in the immediate aftermath of the death of Elizabeth II, the play explores the people beneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of our democracy, and the conscience of Britain’s most famous family. King Charles III premiered at the Almeida Theatre, London, before transferring to the West End. A Broadway production has also been announced.
Mike Bartlett enjoyed more success on the night, with his razor-sharp play Bull winning Outstanding Achievement at an Affiliate Theatre. An acid-tongued drama about the fine line between office politics and playground bullying, Bull originally won the UK Theatre Award for Best New Play on its premiere at Sheffield Crucible Theatres. The London production recently closed at the Young Vic.
Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies, Mike Poulton's adaptation of the Booker Prize-winning novels by Hilary Mantel, took home the awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Nathaniel Parker) and Best Costume Design (Christopher Oram). A thrilling and utterly convincing portrait of a brilliant man embroiled in the lethal, high-stakes politics of the Court of Henry VIII, the Royal Shakespeare Company production is now on in New York following hit runs in Stratford-upon-Avon and London.
Special Winners Offer
Get the plays at 50% off when you use the code OLIVIER15 at checkout. This offer is valid until 31 May 2015.
Leading speclalist theatre publisher Nick Hern Books is to launch three new imprints, it was revealed today (1 April), as it looks to diversify its list. The new imprints, focusing on cooking, crime and fashion, will be called Nick Hern Cooks, Nick Hern Crooks and Nick Hern Looks respectively.
However, rather than recruit new authors to the list, NHC, NH-other-C and NHL will seek to offer a new creative outlet for authors already published by NHB.
A spokesperson said: 'We've been doing books on theatre for more than twenty-five years, and don't get us wrong, that's been brilliant. But have you looked on Instagram recently? It's wall-to-wall pictures of food. Netflix is full of dramas like The Killing, and if Victoria Beckham gets to do clothes, then so do we.
'We're really excited that the titles on these new imprints will be penned by our previously-published authors. After all, who doesn't want to read Caryl Churchill's recipe for the perfect quiche, Tom Wells' new blood-soaked murder mystery (set in Hull, of course) or Declan Donnellan on this season's must-have trends?'
The new imprints will be phased in over the coming months, beginning with Nick Hern Looks, which will be introduced in time for London Fashion Week in September.
The first title from NHL will be The Wear, a guide to avoiding fashion faux pas by Conor McPherson.
(Happy April Fools' Day!)
The winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize was announced in New York yesterday (2 March), with the recipient revealed as Tena Štivičić for her epic drama 3 Winters.
First seen at the National Theatre, London, in November 2014, 3 Winters charts the recent history of Croatia by focussing on the story of four generations of the Kos family, who argue and fall in and out of love as world after world is erected and then torn down around them.
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.
This year's nominees also included NHB playwrights Alecky Blythe (for Little Revolution) and Katherine Chandler (for Parallel Lines). Previous NHB winners include Caryl Churchill (twice), Lucy Kirkwood, Elizabeth Kuti and Chloë Moss.
Special Offer on 3 Winters
To celebrate Tena Štivičić's Susan Smith Blackburn Prize success, we're offering a special discount on 3 Winters when ordering through our website.
Get the play at 50% off when you use the code BLACKBURN15 at checkout. This offer is valid until 31 March 2015.
The recipients of the 2015 Windham Campbell Prizes were announced in New York today (24 February), with NHB playwrights Helen Edmundson and debbie tucker green among those recognised.
Helen Edmundson’s first play, Flying, was presented at the National Theatre Studio in 1990. She has worked extensively with Shared Experience, including on adaptations of Anna Karenina, The Mill on the Floss, and War and Peace, among others, and the original play Mary Shelley.
Recent work includes Swallows and Amazons (Bristol Old Vic, 2010, then West End and national tour), The Heresy of Love (Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 2012) and Thérèse Raquin (Theatre Royal, Bath, 2014).
debbie tucker green’s plays include born bad (Hampstead Theatre, 2003, Soho Repertory, New York, 2011 and winner of the 2004 Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer and an OBIE award for playwriting); dirty butterfly (Soho Theatre, 2003); trade (RSC, 2005); stoning mary (Royal Court Theatre, 2005); generations (Young Vic, 2007); random (Royal Court Theatre, 2008); truth and reconciliation (Royal Court Theatre, 2011) and nut (The Shed, National Theatre, 2013).
She has also written and directed a feature film, Second Coming (BFI/Film 4, 2014) and adapted her play random into a TV film for Channel 4, which won the 2012 BAFTA for Best Single Drama and the Black International Film/MVSA Award for Best UK Film.
First awarded in 2013, the Windham Campbell Prizes were established by Donald Windham and Sandy M. Campbell to call attention to literary achievement and provide writers with the opportunity to focus on their work independent of ﬁnancial concerns. Nine writers are recognised across three categories - fiction, non-fiction and drama - and can be from anywhere in the world, provided they write in English. The awards, which come with a $150,000 cheque, can be given for a body of work or extraordinary promise.
Last year, Sam Holcroft was awarded a Windham Campbell Prize, the first British playwright to receive one. To date, three UK playwrights have received Prizes; all three are published by Nick Hern Books.
To celebrate our authors' Windham Campbell Prize success, we're offering a special discount on their plays when ordering through our website.
Get all plays by Helen Edmundson and debbie tucker green at 25% off plus free UK p&p when you use the code WCP15 at checkout. This offer is valid until 31 March 2015.
Year of the Fat Knight: The Falstaff Diaries, Antony Sher’s account of researching, rehearsing and performing one of Shakespeare’s best-known and most popular characters, is to be Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4, broadcast from 4 May. It will be read by the author.
Published thirty years ago, Antony Sher's account of preparing for and playing the role of Richard III, Year of the King, has since become a classic of theatre literature. In his new book, Year of the Fat Knight, Antony Sher provides insight into his process behind preparing to play Falstaff in Gregory Doran's recent Royal Shakespeare Company production of the two parts of Henry IV, for which Sher won the Critics' Circle Award for Best Shakespearean Performance.
The book will be serialised on BBC Radio 4 from Monday 4 May, with broadcast available on iPlayer to listen to later. Year of the Fat Knight is published on 30 April. To read more about the book, and pre-order your copy, click here.
The winners of this year's Critics' Circle Theatre Awards were announced today (27 January), with Nick Hern Books authors Mike Bartlett and Antony Sher both taking home prizes.
King Charles III by Mike Bartlett was named Best New Play. Set in the aftermath of Elizabeth II's death, Mike Bartlett's provocative drama explores the people beneath their crowns, the unwritten rules of our democracy, and the conscience of Britain’s most famous family.
Drawing on the style and structure of a Shakespearean history play, and written largely in highly accomplished blank verse, King Charles III opened in 2014 at London’s Almeida Theatre, directed by Rupert Goold, before transferring to the West End. To celebrate its rapturous reception NHB has published a special clothbound hardback edition of the play, featuring a Foreword by the broadcaster Jon Snow, an essay on the original production and Afterword by the author, as well as the full script, which is available here.
Antony Sher's performance as Falstaff in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Henry IV Parts I and II was given the prize for Best Shakespearean Performance. Antony Sher's process of researching, rehearsing and performing one of Shakespeare’s best-known and most popular characters is the focus of his forthcoming book Year of the Fat Knight: The Falstaff Diaries. Splendidly supplemented by his own paintings and sketches, Year of the Fat Knight is published on 7 May.
Also successful at the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards was Gypsy by Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents and Jule Styne, which won the Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical. The acclaimed Chichester Festival production transfers to the Savoy Theatre, London, from 28 March 2015.
The winners of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards were revealed yesterday (19 January), with two Nick Hern Books plays taking the prize in both of the Best Play categories.
James I, part of Rona Munro's The James Plays, was named Best Play. Co-produced by the National Theatre of Scotland, Edinburgh International Festival and National Theatre, London, this vividly imagined trilogy, which brings to life three generations of Stewart kings who ruled Scotland in the tumultuous fifteenth century, premiered at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, in August as part of the Edinburgh International Festival. It later transferred to the National Theatre, London, in September. The trilogy was also named Best New Play at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2014.
Best Play for Young Audiences was awarded to Girls Like That by Evan Placey. The play, which explores the pressures on young people today in the wake of advancing technology, was first premiered by youth theatre groups in Birmingham, Leeds and Plymouth. It was later staged at the Unicorn Theatre, London, in November 2014. The Guardian called it an 'eye-opening, often uncomfortably honest play... deserves to be widely seen by teenage audiences. And by their parents too.'
There was also success for NHB author Stefan Golaszewski, who won Best Situation Comedy for the final series of Him & Her.
Writers' Guild Awards winners - Special Offer
To celebrate their success, we're offering a special deal on The James Plays, winner of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for Best Play, and Girls Like That, winner of the Best Play for Young Audiences.
Get the scripts at 50% off when you use the code WG15 at checkout. This offer is valid until 28 February.
**UPDATE, 6/1/15, 00:00 - This sale has now finished**
Ebooks of six top Nick Hern Books titles, a mix of top plays, essential training books and fascinating theatre reads, are available at great prices for a limited time in Amazon's 12 Days of Kindle sale.
- Becoming an Actor by Thomasina Unsworth - A step-by-step guide through training as an actor, through drama school and into the world beyond. To buy the ebook for just £1.39, click here.
- East is East by Ayub Khan Din - A wonderful culture clash comedy, set in 1970s Salford, that spawned an award-winning film - recently revived in the West End. To buy the ebook for just £1.19, click here.
- Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Acting... by West End Producer - A smart, naughty book on getting ahead in showbiz by the anonymous theatre impresario and Twitter phenomenon. To buy the ebook for just £1.19, click here.
- The Golden Rules of Acting by Andy Nyman - An honest, witty treasure trove of advice, support and encouragement that no performer should be without. A fixed-format ebook, fully illustrated in colour throughout. To buy the ebook for just £0.99, click here.
- The Quality of Mercy by Peter Brook - One of the world's greatest directors reflects on a fascinating variety of Shakespearean topics in this wise volume of mostly previously unpublished essays. To buy the ebook for just £1.09, click here.
- Talking Theatre by Richard Eyre - A superlative account of how theatre is made, featuring interviews with many of the leading stage performers and creatives of the last century. To buy the ebook for just £1.29, click here.
These Kindle ebooks can be read on e-readers such as the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Voyage, the tablets Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX, and a wide range of other devices via the free Kindle reading app. This offer is strictly time-limited and ends on 5 January 2015, so be sure to take advantage now and bag a fantastic deal on some of our finest ebooks.
NHB has almost 300 titles currently available as ebooks, with more being added all the time. To see our full selections, visit our Ebooks page.
Titles can be withdrawn by Amazon at any time during the 12 Days of Kindle promotion. Customer prices are set by Amazon at their discretion, and are subject to change. All NHB ebooks are also avaiable in epub format from other suppliers including the Apple iBookstore, Kobo and Waterstones.
**UPDATE 10 January, 10:00am - Applications for this position are now closed**
We are seeking a part-time member of staff to work alongside our Performing Rights Manager at our office in Shepherd’s Bush, West London.
Nick Hern Books’ Performing Rights department licenses schools, colleges, universities and amateur drama companies worldwide to perform most of the 1000+ plays we have published.
Your responsibilities will include dealing with initial enquiries from interested amateur companies; liaising with playwrights’ agents to check the availability and secure the release of performing rights; processing applications and payments, and issuing licences; involvement in marketing initiatives and strategies; and assisting in the day-to-day operations of the Performing Rights department.
We are looking for someone with a degree-level qualification and at least some experience of working in an office environment. A demonstrable knowledge of and interest in theatre is essential.
Applications close on 9 January 2015. For more information, including how to apply, see here: http://bit.ly/1GjF1dY