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.
For the second year running, leading theatre publishers Nick Hern Books will combine forces with VAULT Festival to release an anthology of plays selected from the best new writing the 2017 event has to offer. Plays from VAULT 2 will be published on 26 January, to coincide with the beginning of VAULT Festival 2017, and will be on sale at the Vaults, online and in major bookshops.
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 which started at VAULT 2016 with Plays from Vault: Five new plays from VAULT Festival, released in January this year, which welcomed five new plays and writers on to the illustrious NHB list.
Further details, including the line-up of plays selected for inclusion in the anthology, will be announced soon.
The nominees for Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards 2017 were announced today (6 December), with a total of six NHB authors and plays shortlisted across various categories.
Escaped Alone by Caryl Churchill is nominated for Best Play. The hilarious and chilling play, first seen at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in January, received critical acclaim, with Time Out calling it 'a menacing, joyous, brilliant return... it's hard to imagine you'll come across a more brilliant play this year'. The play returns to the Royal Court for a short run in January 2017, before embarking on a national tour.
Also up for Best Play is All the Little Lights by Jane Upton. A play about being young, alone and trying to survive, packed with crackling dialogue, darkness and laugh-out-loud humour, it was previewed in Nottingham and Derby in 2015, with a national tour coming in 2017. Jane Upton was the Joint Winner of the 2016 George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright
The Best Play for Young Audiences shortlist includes This Changes Everything by Joel Horwood. The play was commissioned and published as part of Platform, a new initiative from Tonic Theatre in partnership with NHB that aims to tackle the lack of opportunities for young women in drama by offering big-cast plays with predominantly or all-female casts, written specifically for performance by school, college and youth-theatre groups. See more about Platform here.
Elsewhere, there are also nominations for NHB authors Tom Basden (Best TV Situation Comedy, Plebs), debbie tucker green (Best Radio Drama, lament) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Best TV Situation Comedy, Fleabag).
The winners of the Writers Guild of Great Britain Awards will be announced in a ceremony hosted by writer, comedian and actress Meera Syal on Monday 23 January 2017.
The nominees for the 17th WhatsOnStage Awards were announced today (1 December), with The Flick by Annie Baker just one of a number of NHB-published productions nominated across various categories.
The Flick is nominated for Best New Play. Set in a run-down movie theatre in central Massachusetts, Annie Baker's hilarious and heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world made its UK debut at the National Theatre, London, in April. It previously won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and was also nominated for the 2016 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play.
Two other NHB authors are up for Best New Play: Tony Kushner for The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, and Jack Thorne for his collaboration on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The latter has the most nominations of any production at this year's WhatsOnStage awards, with a total of eleven nods across nine categories.
The National Theatre production of The Deep Blue Sea by Terence Rattigan is shortlisted for Best Play Revival. Directed by Carrie Cracknell, it received critical acclaim, being praised by the Guardian as 'an impassioned production that illuminates Rattigan’s psychological understanding and boasts a shining performance from Helen McCrory' (recognised with a nomination for Best Actress in a Play). The Deep Blue Sea was also broadcast at cinemas nationwide as part of NT Live.
Elsewhere, Lazarus by David Bowie and Enda Walsh received four nominations - for Best Actor in a Musical (Michael C Hall), Best Supporting Actress in a Musical (Amy Lennox and Sophia Anne Caruso) and Best Video Design (Tal Yarden) - while Branagh Theatre's production of Romeo and Juliet at the Garrick Theatre is shortlisted in three categories: Best Actress in a Play (Lily James), Best Supporting Actor in a Play (Derek Jacobi) and Best Supporting Actress in a Play (Meera Syal). Mike Bartlett's darkly comic play Wild, first seen at Hampstead Theatre in June, is nominated for Best Set Design (Miriam Buether).
Voting for the WhatsOnStage Awards is now open until 31 January - choose your favourites here. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 19 February.
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To celebrate their nominations at the WhatsOnStage Awards, we're offering you a 25% discount on all five of the NHB titles shortlisted! They are:
- The Deep Blue Sea by Terence Rattigan
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- Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, edited by Kenneth Branagh
- Wild by Mike Bartlett
To claim the discount, simply enter code WOS16 at checkout when ordering any of the five titles above. This offer is valid until 17 February 2017.
Leading theatre publisher Nick Hern Books has acquired the rights to publish Nice Fish, the sublimely playful, profound and very funny new play by multi-award-winning actor Mark Rylance and acclaimed prose poet Louis Jenkins, alongside its UK premiere in November.
On a frozen Minnesota lake, the ice is beginning to creak and groan. It’s the end of the fishing season, and two old friends are out on the ice, angling for something big; something down there that is pure need. Something that might just swallow them whole.
In Nice Fish, celebrated actor Mark Rylance draws on his own teenage years in the American Midwest, in a unique collaboration with critically acclaimed Minnesotan contemporary prose poet Louis Jenkins and the whole company. It transfers from a sell-out run in New York to the Harold Pinter Theatre, London, in 2016, in a production directed by Claire van Kampen and starring Rylance and Jim Lichtscheidl.
Nice Fish marks the second play by Mark Rylance to be published by Nick Hern Books, following the publication of his comedy I Am Shakespeare, a witty exploration of the Shakespeare authorship debate, in 2012.
NHB has acquired publication rights in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand from Grove Atlantic, Inc., who will publish elsewhere in 2017.
The producers of Nice Fish have previously announced that audience members who come to the Harold Pinter Theatre dressed as a fish or fisherman will be given complimentary tickets to the show, on a first-come-first-served basis. The publishers would like to point out that unfortunately, turning up to a bookshop similarly attired will not necessarily guarantee you a free copy of the playscript. Readers are, however, very welcome to try.
Leading theatre publisher Nick Hern Books is to publish the Complete Book and Lyrics to Lazarus, the stunning musical by David Bowie and Enda Walsh, alongside its London premiere.
Released on 10 November, the publication will mark the first appearance in print of one of the final projects by singer, songwriter and actor David Bowie. Lazarus: The Complete Book and Lyrics contains the full script – including the lyrics to the seventeen songs featured in the musical, among them iconic Bowie numbers such as ‘Changes’, ‘Life on Mars?’ and ‘Heroes’, plus three new original compositions – as well as an introduction from co-author Enda Walsh, and colour photos of Bowie and the original New York production.
Lazarus: The Complete Book and Lyrics is a must-have for Bowie aficionados, music fans, and anyone keen for another opportunity to savour the genius of one of the true pioneering artists of our time.
Playwright Enda Walsh on collaborating with David Bowie: ‘No matter how plays come out, you always end up talking about yourself. David was certainly the most superb shapeshifter – one of the greatest ever collaborators too – someone who could walk his colleagues in directions they’d yet seen. But for me he remained personal in his work and spoke about where he was at that moment in really truthful terms.’
Matt Applewhite, Nick Hern Books’ Managing Director: ‘It’s a great honour to publish this astonishing collaboration between the legendary David Bowie – a true visionary of our time, for all time – and the theatrical wordsmith Enda Walsh, an NHB regular since his explosive debut Disco Pigs in 1997. As you’d expect from two boundary-breaking artists, Lazarus is unlike anything you’ve ever read, and it is threaded through with some of the most memorable, iconic lyrics from Bowie’s extraordinary career.’
Lazarus is being staged at Kings Cross Theatre, London, 25 October - 22 January 2017. Click here for more information about the production.
The nominees for this year's UK Theatre Awards were announced today (15 September), with Tom Wells' play Folk leading the NHB nominees.
Folk is shortlisted for Best New Play. A hilarious and not-so-holy story of hope, coming together and finding your feet when your world is turned upside down, Tom Wells' surprising and poignant drama was co-produced by Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Hull Truck Theatre and Watford Palace Theatre, and described by The Stage as 'a play of empathy, generosity and hope'. Tom's last play, Jumpers for Goalposts, was nominated for the same award in 2013.
Also nominated this year is Wit by Margaret Edson, which receives nods for Best Director (Raz Shaw) and Best Performance In A Play (Julie Hesmondhalgh). A winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1999, it was revived earlier this year at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. There's also recognition for And Then Comes the Nightjars by Bea Roberts, which is nominated for Best Design (Max Dorey and Sally Ferguson). The play toured the UK following its premiere at Theatre503, London.
Established in 2011, the UK Theatre Awards are the only nationwide Awards to honour and celebrate outstanding achievements in regional theatre throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Previous NHB-published winners include Anne Boleyn by Howard Brenton (Best Touring Production, 2012) and Bull by Mike Bartlett (Best New Play, 2013). This year's winners will be announced at a ceremony at Guildhall, London, on Sunday 9 October.
Summer is over and the new academic year has arrived - but don't despair! Thanks to our Back to School Sale, you can get all the books you need to learn new skills, or brush up on old ones, at great discounted prices.
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This offer ends 30 September.
Growth is a painful comedy about growing up and manning up, by Bruntwood Prize-winning playwright Luke Norris. Tobes is young, free and having a ball. Off. He's successfully ignored his lump for two years but it's starting to get in the way – cramping his style and, worse, affecting his sex life. So now there are pants to be dropped, and decisions to be made... it's a real ball ache. Now on at Paines Plough's pop-up Roundabout venue at Sumemerhall, Growth will embark on a UK tour following its run at the Fringe.
Inspired by recent UK cases of 'gender fraud'. Scorch by Stacey Gregg is a touching and provocative story of first love though the eyes of a gender-curious teen. Presented by Prime Cut Productions, Scorch is on at Paines Plough's pop-up Roundabout venue. It won the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best New Play following its premiere at the Outburst Queer Arts Festival in Belfast last year. Following its Edinburgh run, Scorch will move to Sherman Cymru, Cardiff, before an Irish tour.
Established in 1973, the Scotsman’s Fringe Firsts are the longest-running theatre prizes at the Edinburgh Festival, and are awarded to outstanding new writing premiered at the Fringe.
Fleabag, the hit BBC Three comedy series by NHB author Phoebe Waller-Bridge - adapted from her mutli-award-winning play of the same name - is to be repeated on BBC Two, starting 21 August at 10pm.
First accessible online from BBC Three in mid-July, Fleabag has received critical acclaim, with the Evening Standard declaring it 'the cult hit of the summer', and the Telegraph describing it as 'a gloriously rude update of Bridget Jones's Diary' in their five star review. Following its online success, the show will be repeated on TV, airing weekly on Sundays at 10pm from 21 August.
Fleabag began life as a multi-award-winning, one-woman play, written and performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. It premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2013, where it won a Fringe First, and went on to scoop prizes at the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and Off-West End Awards, as well as being nominated for an Olivier Award and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. The script for Fleabag is published by NHB.
Fleabag isn't the only NHB play heading to BBC Two - earlier this year it was announced that Mike Bartlett's West End and Broadway hit King Charles III is to be made into a ninety-minute TV film, to be broadcast on the channel.