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Amsterdam available to watch for free online

Monday 27 January 2020

Amsterdam, the acclaimed play by Maya Arad Yasur, will be broadcast online for free on Monday 27 January at 7.30pm.

Recorded at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, during its run there in 2019, this strikingly original, audacious drama focuses on an Israeli violinist living in a trendy canal-side apartment in Amsterdam, who one day receives a mysterious unpaid gas bill dated from 1944. It was praised by The Stage as 'fascinating and multilayered', with Time Out calling it 'a moving excavation of the tensions surging under the city’s streets'.

Amsterdam will be broadcast on Monday 27 January, and available to view for a limited period afterwards. Visit the Orange Tree Theatre website for further information and to watch the stream, and see a trailer below.

Amsterdam also embarks on a UK tour from February to May 2020.


See Maya Arad Yasur's play, recorded at the Orange Tree Theatre
<em>Amsterdam</em> available to watch for free online
Book :
  • Amsterdam

Discover the Most-Performed Plays of 2019

Monday 13 January 2020

What a fantastic year 2019 was for NHB! We were shortlisted for an award at the IPG Independent Publishing Awards; celebrated awards success for loads of our authors including Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antony Sher, Frances Poet and Lynn Nottage; launched our new series Multiplay Drama (which is up for a prize at the Music and Drama Education Awards), and of course published over one hundred fantastic new plays and theatre books.

We know that you've been incredibly busy yourselves, as we licensed thousands of performances of Nick Hern Books plays over 2019! We can't wait to see the brilliant work you come up with this year, but for now let's take a look back and get inspired by our Top 10 Most-Performed Plays of 2019.

1. Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale

Jessica Swale holds the top spot in our Top 10 list for the third year running. Her moving, comical and eye-opening historical drama Blue Stockings is a defiant story of four young women fighting for education against the backdrop of women's suffrage. 'Cracking... leaves you astonished at the prejudices these educational pioneers had to overcome' Guardian

Loved this play? Take a look at: Emilia

2. Ladies' Day by Amanda Whittington

Amanda Whittington’s fantastic, female-led plays always hold a deserving place in our Top 10. This high-spirited comedy about four likely lasses from the Hull fish docks on a day trip to the races has been a hit with amateur companies for years. With its warm heart, relatable soul and fabulous roles for women, it's not hard to see why. 'Exuberantly up-to-the-minute comedy' Guardian

Loved this play? Take a look at: The Nightingales

3. The Thrill of Love by Amanda Whittington

A gripping, female-led drama about Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain. Holding a place in our Top 10 for the fifth year running, The Thrill of Love dramatises an absorbing true story and takes a fresh look at the woman behind the headlines. 'Tense and engaging throughout... a triumph' The Stage

Loved this play? Take a look at: Machinal

4. Bull by Mike Bartlett

Storming on to the list in the first year of its performing rights re-release, Mike Bartlett’s razor-sharp play about office politics and playground bullying has been an instant hit with amateur companies. Witty and unflinching, Olivier Award-winning Bull offers ringside seats as three employees fight to keep their jobs. 'Short, slick and emotionally unflinching... delivers a decisive punch' The Stage

Loved this play? Take a look at: Contractions

5. The Railway Children by E. Nesbit, adapted for the stage by Mike Kenny

This story of a prosperous Edwardian family who nearly lose everything captures the anxieties and exhilarations of childhood with great tenderness and insight. Mike Kenny's imaginative adaptation of the much-loved children's classic offers three plum roles for young performers, and is eminently suitable for schools, youth theatres and drama groups. 'This glorious adaptation never for a moment runs out of steam' Guardian

Loved this play? Take a look at: The Machine Gunners

6. Nell Gwynn by Jessica Swale

Holding a place in our Top 10 ever since its release, this explosive, extravagant, warm-hearted comedy is an unending delight. Boasting a large cast and a charming lead role for a female performer, Nell Gwynn won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. 'Bawdy and brilliant... a wonderful, warm-hearted and generous piece of theatrical history' The Stage

Loved this play? Take a look at: Anne Boleyn

7. Di and Viv and Rose by Amelia Bullmore

A firm favourite with amateur companies, this warm and funny play about friendship offers three great roles for female performers. Crackling with wisdom and wit, Di and Viv and Rose is a humorous and thoughtful exploration of a relationship spanning 30 years. 'Brims over with warm, effervescent humour and sharp perceptiveness' Independent

Loved this play? Take a look at: Little Gem

8. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, adapted for the stage by Steven Canny and John Nicholson

A gloriously funny makeover of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most celebrated Sherlock Holmes story, from the hit comedy team Peepolykus. The Hound of the Baskervilles is an energetic spoof, offering abundant opportunities for silly comedy and slapstick for three male performers. 'A masterclass in madcap energy… a fun and fresh Sherlock Holmes romp' The Stage

Loved this play? Take a look at: Dracula: The Bloody Truth

9. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne, adapted for the stage by Laura Eason

Laura Eason's celebrated version of Verne's classic novel packs in more than fifty unforgettable characters. This imaginative adaptation was written for an ensemble cast of eight, but can be performed by a much larger cast – making it perfect for any theatre company or drama group looking for a high-spirited adventure. 'Bursting with imagination, this exuberant whistle-stop tour through Verne is a trip worth making' The Stage

Loved this play? Take a look at: The Three Musketeers

10. The Children by Lucy Kirkwood

New to our Top 10 is Lucy Kirkwood's pressingly topical tragicomic The Children, following two ageing nuclear scientists in an isolated cottage on the coast, as the world around them crumbles. This beautifully written three-hander was named Best Play at the 2018 Writers' Guild Awards. 'Sly, gripping, darkly funny… this is sci-fi kitted out with real people, real dilemmas, real scope' The Times

Loved this play? Take a look at: Foxfinder

Take a look at more of our popular titles over on our Most Performed page, rounding up our Top 20 Plays to Perform. From Andrew Bovell’s bold and complex family portrait Things I Know To Be True, co-produced by renowned physical theatre company Frantic Assembly, to the explosive, award-winning teen drama Girls Like That by Evan Placey, to Ella Hickson’s twist on J. M. Barrie’s classic, Wendy & Peter Pan, which puts Wendy firmly centre-stage, we hope that these hit plays will inspire your search for your perfect next play to perform!

If you're interested in finding out more about these plays, or need any other help or advice, be sure to get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable Performing Rights team for information and to request your free inspection copy. Call us on 020 8749 4953 or email

We've licensed thousands of performances of NHB shows in 2019 – but which has come out on top?
Discover the Most-Performed Plays of 2019

Wolfie and Shook lead NHB nominations at Offies 2020

Thursday 9 January 2020

The finalists for the Off West End Awards (or Offies, as they're known) 2020 have been announced, with Shook by Samuel Bailey and Wolfie by Ross Willis amongst the numerous NHB-published nominees.

Shook is shortlisted for Best Production and Most Promising New Playwright (Samuel Bailey). This tender and honest drama, winner of the Papatango New Writing Prize 2019, tells the story of three young men, locked up in a young offender institution, all awaiting impending fatherhood. First seen at Southwark Playhouse and on a UK tour, it transfer to Trafalgar Studios from April.

Also nominated for Best Production - as well as Best New Play - is Ross Willis' bold fantastical Wolfie. This dizzyingly theatrical, wildly irreverent look at life in and after the care system was first seen at Theatre503 in March 2019, and was named Best Play at The Writers' Guild Awards 2020.

Cougar by Rose Lewenstein is also a finalist for Best New Play. This powerful drama about personal relationships and climate change premiered at the Orange Tree Theatre in February 2019, in a co-production with English Touring Theatre.

Joining Samuel Bailey on the shortlist for Most Promising New Playwright are fellow NHB authors Dylan Coburn Gray, for his lyrical, Verity Bargate Award-winning Soho Theatre drama Citysong, and Zia Ahmed for I Wanna Be Yours, his funny and tender play about finding love and holding onto it with everything you've got, seen at the Bush Theatre as part of a Paines Plough and Tamasha Theatre tour. We're proud to say that all of the nominees in this category are published by NHB.

Elsewhere, there are two nominations for the Orange Tree Theatre revival of Arinzé Kene's play Little Baby Jesus (Best Director: Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, and Best Ensemble Performance) and one for The Arrival by Zia Ahmed (Best Male Performance: Irfan Shamji), performed at the Bush Theatre as part of a Paines Plough and Tamasha Theatre national tour.

The annual Off West End Theatre Awards recognise and celebrate the excellence, innovation and ingenuity of independent theatres across London. The winners of the 2020 Awards will be announced at a ceremony at Battersea Arts Centre on 8 March. To see the full list of finalists and other nominees, visit the Offies website here.

The winners are announced on 8 March
<em>Wolfie</em> and <em>Shook</em> lead NHB nominations at Offies 2020
Books :
  • Cougar
  • Wolfie
  • Citysong and other plays
  • Shook
  • I Wanna Be Yours
  • The Arrival
  • Little Baby Jesus &amp; Estate Walls

Multiplay Drama shortlisted for award

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Our new initiative Multiplay Drama has been shortlisted for Outstanding Drama Education Resource at the Music and Drama Education Awards.

Multiplay Drama is an exciting new series of large-cast plays, specifically written to be performed by and appeal to older teenagers and young adults.

Commissioned by some of the UK’s leading youth theatres and drama schools, and written by a mix of established writers and distinctive new voices, the plays explore a wide range of contemporary themes and theatrical styles, offering fascinating, complex perspectives on some of the most urgent issues facing our world today.

Ten Multiplay Drama plays are currently available, and extracts of all ten can be read for free via the Multiplay Drama website.

The annual Music and Drama Education Awards celebrate the extraordinary contribution made by professionals, companies, charities, schools and other organisations to the lives of others through the medium of these two key performing arts. The winners of the 2020 awards will be announced on 4 March.

Our exciting new series is up for Outstanding Drama Education Resource
Multiplay Drama shortlisted for award

Edinburgh Fringe Report 2019

Friday 2 August 2019

Our annual Edinburgh Fringe Report is out now and available here. This year, we hear from three intrepid amateur companies performing plays licensed by Nick Hern Books at this year’s Festival Fringe. From macho corporate politics to brilliant youth theatre via the Ballet Russes, they demonstrate the resourcefulness and the eclecticism of the Fringe at its very best.

The productions featured in this year's Fringe Report are: Bull by Mike Bartlett, performed by Arbery Productions; Rattigan's Nijinsky by Nicholas Wright, performed by KGS Theatre Company; and Second Person Narrative by Jemma Kennedy, performed by PQA Edinburgh.

Thank you to those companies for their contribution, and to all the other companies who are performing Nick Hern Books plays at the Fringe this year!

We hear from three intrepid amateur companies lighting up the Fringe
Edinburgh Fringe Report 2019

Emilia now available for educational performance

Thursday 27 June 2019

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, 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.’

Apply now to perform the Shakespeare's Globe and West End hit
<em>Emilia</em> now available for educational performance
Book :
  • Emilia