The winners of the Off West End Awards 2016 were announced last night (28 February), with Robert Holman's tender drama A Breakfast of Eels taking home the title of Best New Play.
Telling the story of two brothers coming together in the aftermath of their father's funeral, A Breakfast of Eels also won Best Male (Matthew Tennyson). It premiered at the Print Room, London, in March 2015, and was praised by The Times as 'intensely absorbing... hushed and unhurried, sensitive and beautiful'.
Two other NHB-published plays received prizes at the Awards: Image of an Unknown Young Woman by Elinor Cook scooped Best Production and Best Set Designer (Fly Davis), while The Christians by Lucas Hnath won Best Supporting Female (Lucy Ellinson and Emilie Patry, joint winners).
The Off West End Theatre Awards (also known as The Offies) recognise and celebrate the excellence, innovation and ingenuity of independent theatres across London. First awarded in 2011, over 300 productions from 80 participating theatres are considered each year.
Complicite and Simon McBurney's hit show The Encounter is to be broadcast live from the Barbican, London, at 7.30pm on Tuesday 1 March.
In 1969 Loren McIntyre, a National Geographic photographer, found himself lost among the people of the remote Javari Valley in Brazil. It was an encounter that was to change his life, bringing the limits of human consciousness into startling focus.
Inspired by the book Amazon Beaming by Petru Popescu, The Encounter traces McIntyre’s journey into the depths of the Amazon rainforest, incorporating innovative technology into a solo performance to build a shifting world of sound.
First seen at the Edinburgh International Festival, and now enjoying a sell-out run at the Barbican before continuing on a UK and international tour, The Encounter has been acclaimed as 'the year's most mind-blowing piece of theatre' (Time Out), with the Financial Times declaring it 'a tour de force that shows contemporary theatre at its most immersive and thought-provoking’.
See the trailer for the live stream below - and keep an eye on our blog, The Play Ground, on Monday, where we'll be posting further information about the how to watch along. For now, you can buy the script - which includes 32 colour pages of production stills, behind-the-scenes photos, and essays about bringing the show to life - via our website here.
The winner of the 2016 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize was announced yesterday (22 February), with the award going to Lynn Nottage for her play Sweat.
Sweat, which premiered in July 2015 as part of Oregon Shakespeare Festival, explores America’s industrial decline at the turn of the millennium with a look inside a Pennsylvania town whose people struggle to reclaim what’s lost, find redemption and redefine themselves in a new century. It was acclaimed by The New York Times as 'an extraordinarily moving drama [which] hurtles toward its conclusion with the awful inevitability of Greek tragedy.'
Lynn Nottage's last play to be staged in the UK, Intimate Apparel, a multi-award-winning play about the empowerment of a black seamstress in New York City in 1905, received its UK premiere at the Theatre Royal Bath in 2014 before transferring to Park Theatre, London, the same year. She won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for her play Ruined.
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. The winner receives $25,000 a signed print by artist Willem de Kooning, while all other finalists are each given an award of $5,000. Four other Nick Hern Books writers were shortlisted for the 2016 Prize: Sam Holcroft (Rules for Living), Anna Jordan (Yen), Suzan-Lori Parks (Father Comes Home From the Wars Parts 1, 2 & 3) and Bea Roberts (And Then Come The Nightjars).
This marks the fourth year in a row that an NHB writer has won the Prize, following Tena Štivičić (3 Winters) in 2015, Lucy Kirkwood (Chimerica) in 2014, and Annie Baker (The Flick) in 2013. Other NHB winners include Caryl Churchill, Elizabeth Kuti and Chloë Moss.
The Theatre503 Playwriting Award provides an incredible opportunity for playwrights at all levels to be recognised for writing an outstanding, original piece of work for the stage.
Entries are now open until 29 February. The winner of the award will receive a £6000 prize, a guaranteed production of their play at Theatre503, and their script published by Nick Hern Books.
To help you get inspired for your entry, we're offering 25% plus free UK p&p on a selection of Theatre503 plays - click here to see the full list and more info on how to claim the discount.
The ten finalists for the 2015-2016 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize were announced yesterday (26 January), with five of the list comprised of NHB playwrights.
Sam Holcroft (Rules for Living), Anna Jordan (Yen), Lynn Nottage (Sweat), Suzan-Lori Parks (Father Comes Home From the Wars Parts 1, 2 & 3) and Bea Roberts (And Then Come The Nightjars) are all on the shortlist, with the winner announced at a ceremony at the National Theatre, London, on 22 February.
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. The winner receives $25,000 a signed print by artist Willem de Kooning, while all other finalists are each given an award of $5,000.
NHB writers have won the last two Susan Smith Blackburn Prizes, with Tena Štivičić winning last year's Prize for her play 3 Winters, and Lucy Kirkwood triumphing in 2014 with Chimerica. Other NHB winners include Caryl Churchill, Elizabeth Kuti and Chloë Moss. The 2013 Prize went to Annie Baker for her play The Flick, which is published alongside its UK premiere at the National Theatre, London, in April.
Leading performing arts publisher Nick Hern Books is to publish Doctor Foster: The Scripts, the complete scripts to the first series of Mike Bartlett's hit, award-winning BBC One drama.
Doctor Gemma Foster is a woman seemingly in control: a trusted GP, the heart of her town, a woman people can trust. But her life is about to explode.
Suspecting her husband of having an affair, Gemma throws herself into an investigation that will propel her, her family, and even her patients into chaos. Bit by bit, Doctor Foster uncovers secrets that shock her to the core. Now she has to choose how to react. One thing is certain - she is going to behave in ways she could never have imagined.
Doctor Foster: The Scripts contains the complete scripts to all five episodes of the first series, plus exclusive bonus material.
Doctor Foster premiered on BBC One in September 2015, starring Suranne Jones and Bertie Carvel. The series drew a weekly audience of over 8.2 million viewers, peaking at over 10 million for the finale, and was the BBC’s highest-rating new drama of the year. It won two prizes at the National Television Awards 2016, including Best New Drama.
Matt Applewhite, Managing Director of Nick Hern Books, said: ‘Having previously published Mike Bartlett’s award-winning plays, including West End and Broadway hit King Charles III, we’re excited to publish the scripts to his hugely successful TV drama Doctor Foster. Like millions of others, we were glued to our screens as the series unfolded, and we hope the show’s many fans will enjoy the opportunity to experience its twists and turns all over again.’
The nominees for this year's Manchester Theatre Awards were announced today (8 January), with plays by Luke Norris, Anna Jordan, Caryl Churchill and Sam Holcroft among those shortlisted.
So Here We Are, Luke Norris' Bruntwood Prize-winning drama, is nominated for Best New Play and Best Studio Production. A compassionate look at young lives cut short and a touching portrait of childhood friendships under strain in adult life, it premiered at the HighTide Festival in September 2015, in a co-production with the Royal Exchange, Manchester, before transferring to the Royal Exchange later that month. It was praised by The Reviews Hub as 'a powerful piece of writing [that] will stick in the memory'.
Also shortlisted are:
- Yen by Anna Jordan, with Alex Austin nominated for Best Performance in a Studio Production
- The Skriker by Caryl Churchill, which receives a nod for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Maxine Peake)
- Octagon Youth Theatre's production of The Wardrobe by Sam Holcroft, shortlisted for the Youth Panel Award
The Manchester Theatre Awards honour achievements at venues across the Greater Manchester area. In addition to drama and musical categories, opera and dance are also represented. The winners of this year's Awards will be announced at a ceremony at HOME, Manchester, on 4 March.
Leading theatre publisher Nick Hern Books has partnered with VAULT Festival, London's biggest and most exciting arts festival, to publish Plays from VAULT, an anthology comprising five of the best plays from the upcoming VAULT 2016.
Eggs is a dark comedy about female friendship, fertility and freaking out, by Florence Keith-Roach, ‘rising star of the London theatre scene’ (Evening Standard). Two women, living very different lives, are united by their quick wit, love of nineties’ dance music and a mounting alienation.
In Mr Incredible, Adam is single. He doesn’t like it. He misses Holly. He deserves Holly. Doesn’t he? A play about love and entitlement by Camilla Whitehill, the writer of the ‘warm, evocative, and intelligent’ (Stage) Where Do Little Birds Go?
The world of the celebrity PA is laid bare in Primadonna. A young first-timer navigates impossible tasks, difficult conversations and fearsome passive aggression in this one-woman play from Rosie Kellett, winner of the VAULT Festival Spirit Award.
Mickey and his team of Cornermen never have much luck in the boxing world. Until, that is, they sign a young fighter whose winning ways catapult them to a level they’ve never known before. ‘A striking new play by an exciting new writer’, Oliver Forsyth (Scotsman).
Run explores what it means to love, to lose, and how to grow from a boy into a man, as a gay Jewish kid sneaks out over Shabbat to meet his boyfriend – and his universe implodes. Stephen Laughton’s one-man play is presented by VAULT Festival favourites Rogues’ Gallery.
VAULT 2016 runs from 27 January - 6 March 2016, in The Vaults, Waterloo, London. The festival features more than 100 different shows, plus parties, gigs, bars and more. Plays from VAULT is published 28 January - pre-order your copy now.
‘A vibrant, varied programme full of theatrical treats… a brilliant place to spot new talent’ The Stage on VAULT 2015
The Nick Hern Books website is now closed for orders from today (Friday 18 December) until Monday 4 January.
Please note that, as our office is now closed for Christmas, your order will not be processed until we return on Monday 4 January. If you require your books more urgently, please try an alternative retailer. Otherwise, place your order and we'll dispatch it as soon as we can when we return.
Happy Christmas from all at NHB!
The nominations for the Writers' Guild Awards were announced today (7 December), with NHB authors represented across a number of categories.
Temple by Steve Waters is shortlisted for Best Play. This engrossing drama, first seen at the Donmar Warehouse in May 2015 in a production starring Simon Russell Davies, is a fictional account of the 2011 Occupy London protests at St Paul's Cathedral. It was praised by the Telegraph as 'a triumph... a riveting drama that unpicks the institutional and psychological turmoil the saga caused'.
Laura Lomas' hard-hitting Bird is nominated for Best Play for Young Audiences. A cutting-edge monologue that throws light on the experience of a teenager in contemporary Britain, Bird centres on fourteen-year-old Leah, who begins to unpick the nature of her current relationship when waiting up for her boyfriend to call. The play premiered at Derby Theatre in October 2014, before touring the UK. The Stage called it '[a] beautifully crafted monologue with rich theatrical texture'.
Laura Lomas is also nominated for Best Radio Drama for her BBC Radio 4 play Fragments.
NHB writers swept the playwriting categories at the Writers' Guild Awards 2015, with James I from Rona Munro's trilogy The James Plays taking home the prize for Best Play, and Girls Like That by Evan Placey winning Best Play for Young Audiences. The winners of 2016 Awards will be announced at a ceremony at RIBA, London, on 18 January 2016.