The NHB Playgroup

Enjoy one great NHB play each month at 50% off, plus an interview with the writer


The NHB Playgroup is a monthly playreading and discussion community from Nick Hern Books, the UK's leading specialist theatre publisher. It's a great way to discover new favourite plays and playwrights, broaden your theatrical knowledge, and share your thoughts with fellow theatre-lovers.

Each month, we select one fantastic play from our extensive range of brilliant contemporary drama, and make it available to buy at a special 50% discount in both print and digital formats. Get your copy (or if you already have one, find it on your shelf!), read it, and send us your question for the writer. We'll then record an interview with them, using questions submitted by you, our readers, which will be released at the end of that month as a free podcast for you to download and enjoy.

The Playgroup plays are revealed early each month, and they're available at 50% off until the next play is revealed – so you've got the whole month to pick up a copy, read it, and get involved.


What is this month's play, and how can I read it?

The NHB Playgroup play for September is Nine Night by Natasha Gordon.

Gloria is gravely sick. When her time comes, the celebration begins; the traditional Jamaican Nine Night wake. But for Gloria's children and grandchildren, marking her death with a party that lasts over a week is a test. Nine nights of music, food, sharing stories – and an endless parade of mourners.

A touching and very funny exploration of the rituals of family, Nine Night premiered at the National Theatre, London, in April 2018, directed by Roy Alexander Weise. The production transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in the West End in December 2018.

Nine Night won Natasha Gordon the Most Promising Playwright Awards at the 2018 Evening Standard Theatre Awards and the 2018 Critics' Circle Theatre Awards.

'A remarkable debut… Gordon has a finely tuned ear for the humour of everyday life… an eloquent vision of what it means to be haunted by the past' Evening Standard

There are three ways to get this month's NHB Playgroup play at a special 50% discount:

  1. In paperback: get your copy direct from our website here, available for international delivery
  2. In ebook: get your copy direct from our website here, and read it via the free Adobe Digital Editions app on desktop and mobile devices
  3. On Issuu: buy and download your copy via online publishing platform Issuu, and read it in your browser or in the free Issuu app

Enjoy a free preview of Nine Night below - click the icon in the bottom right corner to expand the reader to full screen.


What do I do once I've read this month's play?

Once you've read Nine Night, email us your question for writer Natasha Gordon. Each month we pick a selection of reader questions to ask the writer in our recorded interview, so send your question in by Friday 1 October for a chance to have it answered by Natasha.

Also, be sure to continue the discussion online – head to Twitter and use the hashtag #NHBPlaygroup to share your thoughts on the play with other readers.

Finally, at the end of each month of The NHB Playgroup, check out our interview with the writer in The NHB Playgroup Q&A Podcast, available right here at the bottom of this page and on all major podcast platforms. Our host, Siân Mayhall-Purvis, is joined by that month's writer to deep-dive into their play with questions submitted by Playgroup readers, as well as talking more widely about UK theatre, life as a playwright, and more.


Sounds great! How do I keep up to date with The NHB Playgroup?

We release a new NHB Playgroup play early each month – if you'd like to be amongst the first to hear about future plays in The NHB Playgroup, plus exclusive competitions, additional discounts and more, then sign up for email updates here by selecting 'NHB Playgroup emails' from the list in the 'I would like to receive:' section of the form.

You'll only receive emails about The NHB Playgroup (unless you choose to receive additional emails, for instance about our new and upcoming releases), and you can unsubscribe at any time.

We'll also announce the new NHB Playgroup plays each month via social media, and right here on this page.

And that's it! We hope you enjoy The NHB Playgroup – if you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to email us.


The NHB Playgroup Q&A Podcast

See below for our Q&A Podcasts with past NHB Playgroup writers, featuring questions submitted by you – the readers.

The NHB Playgroup Q&A Podcast is also available on major platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. Follow or subscribe to make sure you never miss an episode.


Yen by Anna Jordan

Lava by James Fritz

Leave Taking by Winsome Pinnock

Arlington by Enda Walsh

Oil by Ella Hickson

Human Animals by Stef Smith

Albion by Mike Bartlett

Home by Nadia Fall

Princess & The Hustler by Chinonyerem Odimba

Faustus: That Damned Woman by Chris Bush

Sunrise by Jessie Cave

Second Person Narrative by Jemma Kennedy (with guest Lucy Kerbel)

The River by Jez Butterworth

The Gift by Janice Okoh

Flights by John O'Donovan

Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale