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NHB nominated at Independent Publishing Awards

Friday 12 April 2019

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.

NHB nominated at Independent Publishing Awards

Win a signed copy of Company plus the CD!

Friday 22 March 2019

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 info@nickhernbooks.co.uk.
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.

Win a signed copy of <em>Company</em> plus the CD!
Book :
  • Company: The Complete Revised Book and Lyrics

Company leads NHB nominees at Olivier Awards 2019

Tuesday 5 March 2019

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.

<em>Company</em> leads NHB nominees at Olivier Awards 2019
Books :
  • Nine Night
  • Flesh and Bone
  • Caroline, or Change
  • Misty
  • The Wider Earth
  • Sweat
  • Company: The Complete Revised Book and Lyrics

Fleabag Series 2 starts on BBC

Monday 4 March 2019

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.

<em>Fleabag</em> Series 2 starts on BBC
Book :
  • Fleabag: The Original Play

Offies success for NHB plays and authors

Monday 4 February 2019

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.

Offies success for NHB plays and authors
Books :
  • Leave Taking
  • Mayfly
  • Br&#039;er Cotton
  • Misty

Gut wins Best Play at Writers' Guild Awards

Tuesday 15 January 2019

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.

<em>Gut</em> wins Best Play at Writers' Guild Awards
Book :
  • Gut

Our office is now closed for 2018

Monday 17 December 2018

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!

Our office is now closed for 2018

Remembering Ralph Koltai

Monday 17 December 2018

We're sorry to hear of the death of stage designer and NHB author Ralph Koltai, who has passed away at the age of 94.

In an obituary for The Stage, Michael Quinn calls Ralph 'the most influential stage designer in British theatre in the second half of the last century. In a career spanning seven decades, he designed more than 250 productions for ballet, opera and theatre in which he wrenched stage imagery away from moribund domestic pictorialism towards a modern and often controversial abstract aesthetic championed by European theatremakers.'

Ralph's book Ralph Koltai: Designer for the Stage, published in 2004 to mark his 80th birthday, is a stunning full-colour record of his work over half a century, featuring models and production shots of over 30 of Koltai's shows interlaced with essays by and interviews with Koltai, his collaborators and fellow designers. RIP.

Remembering Ralph Koltai

Discover the Top 10 Most-Performed Plays of 2018

Wednesday 12 December 2018

What an exciting and historic year 2018 has been for us at Nick Hern Books! We celebrated our 30th Anniversary, hosted the inaugural Amateur Theatre Fest where we were joined by hundreds of passionate amateur theatre-makers for workshops and talks with leading names such as Mike Bartlett, Amanda Whittington and Jez Butterworth, and we've published more fantastic books and plays than ever before.

We know that you've been incredibly busy yourselves, as we've licensed thousands of performances of Nick Hern Books plays over the past 12 months! We can't wait to see the brilliant work you come up with next year, but for now let's take a look back and get inspired by our Top 10 Most-Performed Plays of 2018.

1. Nell Gwynn by Jessica Swale

Holding the top spot for the second year running, this explosive, extravagant, warm-hearted comedy is an unending delight. Boasting a large cast and a charming lead role for a female performer, Nell Gwynn won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. 'Bawdy and brilliant... a wonderful, warm-hearted and generous piece of theatrical history' The Stage

 

2. Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale

Jessica Swale holds the top two places in this list of exceptional plays to perform. Her moving, comical and eye-opening historical drama Blue Stockings is a defiant story of four young women fighting for education against the backdrop of women's suffrage. 'Cracking... leaves you astonished at the prejudices these educational pioneers had to overcome' Guardian

 

3. Ladies' Day by Amanda Whittington

This is the first of three fantastic, female-led plays on this list by Amanda Whittington. This high-spirited comedy about four likely lasses from the Hull fish docks on a day trip to the races has been a hit with amateur companies for years. With its warm heart, relatable soul and fabulous roles for women, it's not hard to see why. 'Exuberantly up-to-the-minute comedy' Guardian

 

4. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, adapted for the stage by Steven Canny and John Nicholson

A gloriously funny makeover of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most celebrated Sherlock Holmes story, from the hit comedy team Peepolykus. The Hound of the Baskervilles is an energetic spoof, offering abundant opportunities for silly comedy and slapstick for three male performers. 'A masterclass in madcap energy… a fun and fresh Sherlock Holmes romp' The Stage

 

5. The Thrill of Love by Amanda Whittington

A gripping, female-led drama about Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain. Holding a place in our Top 10 for the fourth year running, The Thrill of Love dramatises an absorbing true story and takes a fresh look at the woman behind the headlines. 'Tense and engaging throughout... a triumph' The Stage

 

6. Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth

Jez Butterworth's hugely acclaimed powerhouse of a play won the Evening Standard Award for Best Play and the Critics' Circle Award and WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Play. Jerusalem offers an outstanding lead role for a male performer, and an energetic cast of characters for a company of 14, plus a few chickens. 'Unarguably one of the best dramas of the twenty-first century' Guardian

 

7. Arabian Nights by Dominic Cooke

A simple and delightfully inventive re-telling of the stories from the Arabian Nights, with an original music score by Gary Yershon that can also be licensed for performance. Dominic Cooke's enchanting Arabian Nights was originally produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and has been hugely popular with amateur companies ever since. 'A truly magical piece of theatre that delights all the senses' WhatsOnStage

 

8. Handbagged by Moira Buffini

Opening the clasp on the antipathy between two giants of the twentieth century, Elizabeth II and Margaret Thatcher, Handbagged speculates on the relationship between these very powerful and private women. Brilliantly funny, and featuring two exceptional roles for female performers, this text is available as both a full-length and a one-act play. 'Hilarious and moving... raises serious questions about the balance of power' Guardian

 

9. Be My Baby by Amanda Whittington

Forcibly sent to a Mother-and-Baby Home, Mary has to cope with the dawning realisation that she will have to give her baby up for adoption whether she likes it or not. This poignant and moving drama about attitudes to teenage pregnancy in 1960s Britain is our most-performed all-female play this year. 'Immensely touching' The Times

 

10. The Railway Children by E. Nesbit, adapted for the stage by Mike Kenny

This story of a prosperous Edwardian family who nearly lose everything captures the anxieties and exhilarations of childhood with great tenderness and insight. Mike Kenny's imaginative adaptation of the much-loved children's classic offers three plum roles for young performers, and is eminently suitable for schools, youth theatres and drama groups. 'This glorious adaptation never for a moment runs out of steam' Guardian

 

Take a look at more of our popular titles over on our Most Performed page, rounding up our Top 20 Plays to Perform. From Mike Bartlett's award-winning future history play King Charles III, to Sam Steiner's beautiful dystopian rom-com Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, to Ladies Down Under, Amanda Whittington's heart-warming sequel to Ladies' Day, we hope that these hit plays will inspire your search for your perfect next play to perform!

if you're interested in finding out more about these plays, or need any other help or advice, be sure to get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable Performing Rights team for information and to request your free inspection copy. Call us on 020 8749 4953 or email rights@nickhernbooks.co.uk.

Discover the Top 10 Most-Performed Plays of 2018

Natasha Gordon wins at Evening Standard Theatre Awards

Monday 19 November 2018

The winners of the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2018 were announced yesterday (18 November), with NHB author Natasha Gordon named Most Promising Playwright for her play Nine Night.

A touching and very funny exploration of the rituals of family, Nine Night unfolds over the course of a traditional Jamaican Nine Night wake. It premiered at the National Theatre in April 2018 and transfers to Trafalgar Studios in December, making Natasha the first female black British playwright to have a play staged in the West End.

You can see the full list of winners here.

Natasha Gordon wins at Evening Standard Theatre Awards
Book :
  • Nine Night