The winner of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2019 was announced today (4 November), with NHB author Phoebe Eclair-Powell winning the top award for her play Shed: Exploded View.
Described by the writer as an “explosion in action”, Shed: Exploded View spans 30 years and sees three couples navigate family life, complex relationships and loss. As well as receiving £16,000, Eclair-Powell will work with the Royal Exchange Theatre’s creative team to develop the script.
There was also success for fellow NHB writer Stuart Slade, who won the Judges' Award for his script Glee & Me – a funny, honest, deeply moving monologue in which 16-year-old Lola charts her journey after being diagnosed with a rare, degenerative neurological condition.
The Bruntwood Prize is the biggest playwriting prize in Europe and offers the opportunity to writers of any background and experience to enter unperformed plays. Run in collaboration with the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, the biennial competition was launched in 2005 and has awarded more than £250,000 in prize money to 28 writers. 2019 saw the introduction of two new categories: the Original New Voice Award, a prize for debut plays; and the International Award, open to writers in Australia, Canada and the USA.
We're proud to have been the official Publishing Partners of the Bruntwood Prize since its inception in 2005. To date, we've published 13 former winners of the Prize, going on to ensure the plays have a life well beyond their original production.
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In our new video, eight peers, friends and former students pay tribute to Stephen Jeffreys, his passion and knowledge, and the impact of his new book Playwriting.
Watch the video below. Thanks so much to our contributors – Simon Stephens, Annabel Arden, Roy Williams, Maeve McKeown, Alia Bano, April De Angelis, Molly Williams and Brad Birch – videographer Ben Hewis, and Casarotto Ramsay & Associates and the Royal Court Theatre for their assistance.
Less than a month after the conclusion of its critically acclaimed run in London’s West End, performing rights agents Nick Hern Books have today announced that hit play Emilia by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm is immediately available for performance by educational institutions.
First seen at Shakespeare’s Globe, Emilia is a passionate, riotous telling – performed by an all-female-identifying cast – of the story of 16th century poet Emilia Bassano, and her struggle to be heard. It was praised by The Times as ‘a firecracker of a play… a clever mix of history and revolution’ and described by the Guardian as ‘a highly theatrical piece brimming with wit and rage’.
Educational institutions interested in performing Emilia are invited to submit their application to the Performing Rights department at Nick Hern Books via firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 020 8749 4953. Amateur theatre groups are invited to register their interest for future productions, and will be notified when these rights become available.
Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, writer of Emilia:
‘I am so excited that the Nick Hern team have joined the Emilia familia! I can't wait to hear about and hopefully see some of the wonderful productions of our play all around the country. Emilia's joy and fire is for everyone; enjoy it!’
Tamara von Werthern, Performing Rights Manager at Nick Hern Books:
‘We’re absolutely delighted that Emilia is now available for educational performance. This play not only offers an exciting opportunity for students to immerse themselves in a brilliant, fun and empowering production, but also has an inspiring, important message about women in history that is bound to stimulate fascinating discussions in the classroom.’
The winner of the Theatre Book Prize 2019 was announced today (11 June), with Year of the Mad King: The Lear Diaries by Antony Sher named as this year's recipient.
Year of the Mad King is Antony Sher's fascinating first-hand account of researching, rehearsing and performing what is arguably Shakespeare's most challenging role, in a major RSC production. Also included is a selection of his paintings and sketches, many reproduced in full colour.
Administered by the Society of Theatre Research, the Theatre Book Prize is presented annually for a book on British or British related theatre which an independent panel of judges considers to be the best published during the previous year. See more information on the STR's website.
The nominees for the 73rd annual Tony Awards were announced today (9 June), with The Ferryman by Jez Butterworth picking up a fantastic four awards, making it the biggest winner of any play.
The Ferryman is up for categories including Best Play and Best Direction of a Play (Sam Mendes). This family epic, set in Northern Ireland in 1981, was first seen at the Royal Court before transferring for a twice-extended run at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End, and then to the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Broadway in October 2018, where it will run until July 2019. The play has already won numerous UK prizes including Olivier, Evening Standard, WhatsOnStage and Critics' Circle Awards.
Elsewhere, the Broadway revival of The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan won Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play (Elaine May). Originally seen in 2000, the play was previously a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2001.
To see the full list of winners, visit the Tony Awards website.
NHB author Lucy Kirkwood's new Channel 4 series Chimerica - adapted from her multi-award-winning play of the same name - started last night (Wednesday 17 April) to a warm critical reception.
A globe-trotting thriller, Chimerica follows the fortunes of photojournalist Lee Berger. Reeling from a professional and personal crisis, Lee sets out in search of Tank Man, the famous Tiananmen Square protestor - a photo of whom marked the beginning of Lee's career.
In their five-star review, the Guardian praised Chimerica as 'a strikingly intelligent drama, capturing big ideas without sacrificing story or character, and making the personal political and back again'. The Telegraph described the series as 'a bold geopolitical thriller with brains', while the i newspaper called it 'an atmospheric adaptation of a thought-provoking play, with Kirkwood giving viewers a great deal to chew on'.
Chimerica was first seen at the Almeida Theatre, London, in August 2018, before transferring to the West End. It won numerous prizes including Best New Play at the Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics' Circle Awards, as well as the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
Chimerica continues on Wednesdays at 9pm on Channel 4, and is also available to watch in full online on All4.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.