Nick Hern Books playwright Winsome Pinnock has won a Windham-Campbell Prize for drama in recognition of 'a singular voice in world theater'.
The award, which is one of the world's richest, celebrates eight writers each year for their achievements in fiction, non fiction, poetry and drama. In their citation for the 2022 Prizes, the judges said that Pinnock's plays 'have established her as both poet and myth-maker, committed to taking formal risks and to asking difficult questions about the role of art in shaping cultures and institutions'.
'Her most recent play, Rockets and Blue Lights (2018), places at its center one of the nineteenth century's most famous paintings: J. M. W. Turner's "The Slave Ship". Moving between several sets of characters and ranging from the 1800s to the present, this intricately plotted drama compels us to confront the horrors of our shared past. It does so with compassion and wit, never once compromising Pinnock's vision of theater as the communal creation of new, stranger, and perhaps truer histories.'
Previous recipients of the Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama include NHB playwrights Helen Edmundson, debbie tucker green, Aleasha Harris, Lucas Hnath, Sam Holcroft, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Young Jean Lee and Suzan-Lori Parks.
Photo by Geraint Hill.
The shortlists for the Music & Drama Education Awards 2022 were announced today (Thursday 9 December), with NHB named as finalists in two categories.
Drama Menu at a Distance: 80 Socially Distanced or Online Theatre Games by Glyn Trefor-Jones is up for Outstanding Drama Education Resource. Based on the author's highly popular, revolutionary 'menu' concept for planning and delivering drama lessons, this new book – created specifically to help anyone teaching drama during the COVID-19 pandemic – offers dozens of dynamic, brand-new exercises to energise, excite and inspire any drama group, all of which are designed to be played within the constraints of socially distanced teaching and online learning.
When This is Over is a finalist for Outstanding Drama Initiative. Created by acclaimed youth-theatre organisation Company Three in partnership with NHB, When This Is Over is a mass-participatory cultural project which has seen over 40 youth-drama groups around the world create their own unique version of a brand-new play developed directly from the stories of the young people taking part. The project runs alongside crucial climate conference COP26, which took place this November in Glasgow, and gives teenagers the chance to express their hopes and fears about the rest of their lives at a time when crucial decisions are being made about their future.
Founded in 2017, the Music and Drama Education Awardsc elebrate the extraordinary contribution made by individuals, companies, charities, schools and other organisations to the lives of others through the medium of these two key performing arts. NHB is the current holder of the award for Outstanding Drama Initiative, having scooped the 2021 prize jointly with Tonic Theatre for large-cast youth-drama play series Platform.
The 2022 winners will be revealed at a ceremony in March 2022. To see more information, including the full shortlists, visit the Awards website.
We're delighted to announce that Nick Hern Books has joined as the official Publishing Partner of the Verity Bargate Award, which celebrates its 40th anniversary year in 2022.
Sponsored by Character 7, the Verity Bargate Award is the flagship new-writing award administered by the renowned Soho Theatre, London, with the winning play produced in a full production on their stages.
In addition to receiving £7,500 in respect of an exclusive option for Soho Theatre to produce their play, the winner will now also have the opportunity to be published by NHB.
Entries to the Verity Bargate Award are now open until 21 January. For more information, and to enter your play, visit the Soho Theatre website.
Matt Applewhite, Managing Director of Nick Hern Books, said:
‘The Verity Bargate Award has long been one of UK theatre’s most important, surprising and exciting new-writing prizes – and is aligned completely with our aims at Nick Hern Books of discovering, sharing and shining a spotlight on brilliant plays from the very best new voices.
'Having published many winning and shortlisted writers from previous years – including Vicky Jones, Dylan Coburn Gray, Phoebe Eclair-Powell, Janice Okoh and Diane Samuels – we are thrilled to make it official as Publishing Partner, to strengthen our close relationship with the wonderful team at Soho Theatre, and can’t wait to publish many fantastic new plays in the future.'
The winners of this year's Black British Theatre Awards were announced yesterday (21 November), with NHB author Benedict Lombe included amongst those taking home prizes.
Lombe was presented with the Book and Lyrics Recognition Award for her debut play Lava. This wickedly funny and strikingly lyrical play, in which one woman's journey to discover more about her own past becomes inextricably linked with the tides of global history, premiered at the Bush Theatre, London, in July. The Times declared it 'brilliant, blistering theatre', with Lombe's writing praised for its 'sinewy poeticism and warm, effortless wit'.
Established in 2019, The Black British Theatre Awards highlight and celebrate the influence of Black performers and creatives in the UK’s artistic legacy, and the impact of their contributions on an international level. Read the full list of this year's winners here.
We're bringing our first-ever pop-up bookshop to our ace neighbours the Bush Theatre for two days only this month!
Come along from 12 noon to 7.30pm on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 November to browse and choose from a massive range of playscripts and books all at amazing, one-off bargain prices, with hundreds available for just £2.
Pick up playscripts by some of today’s most renowned writers, as well as exciting emerging voices. There’ll also be a wide selection of inspiring, practical books – to help you learn new skills, brush up on existing ones, and support your own work and career – as well as fascinating autobiographies, interview collections, criticism and more.
Come on down to look through what's on offer, get recommendations from the NHB team, and take home some theatrical gems at unbeatable prices. Plus, 25% of the proceeds from all books sold will go to theatrical charity Acting for Others, to help provide financial and emotional support to theatre workers in times of need.
Check out the full information on the Bush Theatre website, and see you there on 19 and 20 November!
The winners of the 2021 South Bank Sky Arts Awards were announced last night (Monday 19 July), with Samuel Bailey, and Conor McPherson's new version of Chekhov classic Uncle Vanya, amongst those honoured.
Samuel Bailey was named as the recipient of the Times Breakthrough Award for his acclaimed debut play Shook. This tender and honest drama, set in a young-offender institution, won the Papatango New Writing Prize in 2019, and was premiered by Papatango at Southwark Playhouse in October 2019, followed by a UK tour. Its planned West End transfer in 2020 was cancelled by the COVID pandemic. However, Shook was subsequently filmed in collaboration with BAFTA-winning filmmaker James Bobin, with the filmed version currently available to watch online here until 31 July.
Elsewhere, Conor McPherson's acclaimed new version of Anton Chekhov's classic play Uncle Vanya took home the Theatre Award. Praised by WhatsOnStage as 'a feat of magical reinvention', the production opened at the Harold Pinter Theatre, in London's West End, in January 2020, before being forced to close due to the pandemic. A film of the production was later shot on the Harold Pinter stage, before being released in cinemas and broadcast on BBC Four. It is currently available to view on BBC iPlayer.
Marking 25 years in 2021, the South Bank Sky Arts Awards is the only Awards ceremony in the world to celebrate every genre of the Arts, including Dance, Theatre, Pop, TV Drama, Film, Classical Music, Literature, Opera, Comedy and Visual Art. The winners of the 2021 Awards were announced at a ceremony at the Savoy Hotel, London, which will be broadcast on Sky Arts at 9pm on Thursday 22 July.
As world leaders prepare to gather in Glasgow for the International Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021, acclaimed youth-theatre organisation Company Three and Nick Hern Books are inviting youth theatres, schools, and community groups everywhere to come together and share the stories of the young people whose futures depend on the Conference's outcome.
Participating groups will join youth-theatre companies from across the UK to create their own, unique version of a brand-new play, called When This Is Over, and perform it between September 2021 and February 2022. This exciting, mass-participatory cultural event builds on collaborative development of the play earlier in 2021, involving 16 youth theatres from across the UK.
When This Is Over is a play in which young people tell the stories of their lives. It is about what has happened to them in the past, who they are right now, and who they want to be in the future. It’s not directly a play about COVID or the climate crisis, but about the young people who will live through and negotiate the impacts of both. It’s a chance to amplify the voices of a pivotal generation at a pivotal time, so that their stories can inform the decisions we take about the future.
To help them create their own version of When This Is Over, participating groups will receive extensive resources and support. These include a ‘Blueprint’ of ideas, activities and exercises based on Company Three’s work on the play so far, as well as access to a community of practice, connecting all of the groups who are also creating their own production of When This Is Over – attending workshops, sharing their discoveries, and forming links which will sustain beyond the project. Participating groups will also have the opportunity for their young people’s stories to be recorded in an interactive online archive.
All interested groups are invited to sign up now to create their own production of When This Is Over, for a participation fee of £100 (plus VAT where applicable) per company. For full information, and to sign up to create your own production, head to the When This Is Over page on our website.
We're excited to share news of the launch of an exclusive new podcast series, Hamilton and Us with Giles Terera – available now on all major platforms including Apple, Spotify and Google.
This exciting new series offers Hamilton fans and musical-theatre lovers the chance to hear what it was like to be part of the original London production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash-hit musical Hamilton, as told by the people who were there. New episodes will be released each Thursday for the next six weeks, starting today (Thursday 27 May).
In each episode, host Giles Terera – who won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Aaron Burr in the original West End cast, and is the author of upcoming book Hamilton and Me: An Actor's Journal – is joined by key members of the cast and creative team of the London production, plus other special guests, to discuss what it was like to be part of this once-in-a-generation show. Listeners will hear all about their audition stories, that first day of rehearsals, funny and memorable moments, and more – but also about what Hamilton meant to those who were involved, how it changed them as people, and its potential to create positive, meaningful change in our world.
Episode 1, featuring Hamilton director Thomas Kail, is available now on all major podcast platforms – you can find links to listen here.
This podcast series has been created by Nick Hern Books to celebrate the upcoming publication of Giles Terera’s book Hamilton and Me: An Actor’s Journal – his own personal account of researching, rehearsing and performing in the original London production. Hamilton and Me is published on 1 July, and is available to order now.
The winners of this year's Music & Drama Education Awards were announced yesterday (24 March), with Platform, Nick Hern Books' partnership with Tonic Theatre, taking home the prize for Outstanding Drama Initiative.
Commissioned by Tonic Theatre and published and licensed by NHB, Platform is a new series of plays for young people to read, study and perform. Responding to the current lack of roles for girls in writing for young actors, all the plays in the Platform series offer flexible, majority- or all-female casts, and put young women and their stories at the heart of the action.
Since Platform first launched in 2015, the plays have been performed hundreds of times by schools, colleges, youth-theatre groups and others across the UK, as well as internationally in countries including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Malta, New Zealand and the USA. These productions have offered meaningful and enriching performance opportunities to thousands of young people, with all the benefits participating in youth drama provides.
Seven Platform plays are currently available to read and perform – see more about them here.
The winners of the Music & Drama Education Awards 2021 were announced in an online ceremony on 24 March. To see more information, including the full list of winners and shortlists, visit the Awards' website.
We're delighted to announce that Hamilton and Me: An Actor’s Journal by Giles Terera is available to pre-order ahead of publication on 1 July – and we're offering a special £5 discount when you reserve your copy via our website.
The book is a personal inside account of the London production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash-hit, multi-award-winning Hamilton, written by the actor who won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Aaron Burr.
Drawn from a journal Terera kept throughout the period of preparation, rehearsal and performance, it offers an honest, intimate and thrilling look at everything involved in opening a once-in-a-generation production – the triumphs, breakthroughs and doubts, the camaraderie of the rehearsal room and the moments of quiet backstage contemplation – as well as a fascinating, in-depth exploration of now-iconic songs and moments from the world-famous musical, as seen from the inside. It is illustrated with dozens of colour photographs, many of which are previously unseen, and features a Foreword by Hamilton creator and original star Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Save £5 and get your copy of Hamilton and Me for just £11.99 (RRP £16.99) – no voucher code required – when you pre-order via our website. Plus, we're also offering copies signed by author Giles Terera, at the same £5 discount – these are only available while stocks last, so reserve yours now to avoid disappointment.