UPDATE, 1pm Friday 19 March – this 40% Off Sale has now finished. Thank you so much to everyone who took part!

Choose from hundreds of top plays and books, and support freelancers affected by the impact of COVID-19

On 16 March 2020, as the COVID pandemic continued to spread across the UK, hundreds of theatres nationwide were forced to shut their doors. At the time, we all thought it would only be for a few weeks – but incredibly, a full year on, these treasured stages are still dark. That was also the day we temporarily shut down the NHB office, as our team switched to working remotely. Twelve months later, those doors remain closed, too.

So as the theatre community prepares to mark this unexpected anniversary, we've ventured back to NHB HQ to raid our shelves and offer you the chance to save 40% on hundreds of great playscripts and theatre books, and raise money for hard-hit theatre-workers and freelancers, in our special Sale.

Due to incredible demand, we've extended the Sale by an extra 24 hours, so it now finishes at 1pm GMT on Friday 19 March. No voucher code is required – just fill your basket with as many of the brilliant titles below as you like, head to checkout, and your discount will be automatically applied. This offer applies to paperback and hardback editions only (ebooks are not included), and all orders over £40 receive free UK delivery.

Plus, £1 from every book sold in our Sale will go to the Theatre Artists Fund, which continues to provide emergency support for theatre-workers and freelancers across the UK affected by the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the theatre sector.

We've put together an incredible selection of almost SIX HUNDRED titles, all currently available at 40% off – choose from famous, award-winning hits; wonderful, lesser-known plays we just know you'll love; brilliant shows that were sadly forced to close due to COVID; books to develop your skills or learn new ones; fascinating reads by leading names, and much more.

Pick up something you always had your eye on at a special price, or try something you've never heard of before – who knows, you might be about to discover your new favourite writer...

Everything included in the Sale has been handpicked from the shelves at NHB HQ, and stock is strictly limited. So if you see something you want, move fast to avoid missing out – because once it's gone, it's gone!

Head to the bottom of this page the entire range – or check out our curated Sale Selections, bringing together books and playscripts on different subjects and themes – and be sure to grab your bargains before our Sale ends on Friday.

It's been a really rough year for everyone connected to theatre, but we've been constantly inspired by the resilience and creativity shown by so many across the community, and with venues starting to announce re-opening plans, there's genuine hope that the lights might come back on soon. So join us to celebrate the art form we all love, and thank you for helping support freelancers at this really difficult time.

Some key info:

  • This Sale runs from 1pm GMT on Tuesday 16 March to 1pm GMT on Friday 19 March only.
  • Only titles listed on this page are available at a 40% discount. This offer applies to the physical editions (paperback, hardback and CD) only; ebooks are not included.
  • Stock of all titles included in the Sale is strictly limited. If your order contains a title that has already sold out, we will get in touch to ask if you would like to: a) swap for an item of the same value, or b) receive a refund for the value of that item.
  • All Sale orders will be dispatched from Monday 22 March. From this point, our standard delivery times will apply – please click here for more information.
  • £1 from every book sold will be donated to the Theatre Artists Fund, which provides emergency support for theatre workers and freelancers across the UK.

With almost six hundred titles included in our Sale, there's a lot to choose from.

So to help you browse through what's available, we've put together fifteen curated selections of playscripts and books on different subjects and themes, and for different readers – each packed with fantastic titles we just know you'll love. Explore tailored lists for actors, backstage practitioners and drama teachers, plays impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic you can still enjoy on the page, plays in translation, adaptations, tie-in and special editions, and more.

Click here to browse the selections – or see below for the entire range of what's available at the 40% discount.
Showing 1-30 of 576 items.


A strikingly original play combining traditional storytelling with physical theatre, created by The Imaginary Body. Winner of a Fringe First Award at the 2002 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

100 Great Plays for Women

By Lucy Kerbel Foreword by Kate Mosse

An inspiring guide to a hundred plays that put female performers centre stage, dispelling the myth that 'There just aren't any good plays for women'. With a foreword by Kate Mosse.

3 Winters

A portrait of an eclectic family, held together by the courage to survive. Winner of the 2015 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

8 Hotels

A play about passion, suspicion and revenge, based on true events involving some of the twentieth century's most influential American artists.


A man in his forties and a woman in her twenties meet on a trip to Berlin. Across a fractured timeline where past and present collide, the story of their relationship, their love and their struggle unravels.

The Acedian Pirates

A play that challenges our understanding of mythology, and forces us to ask vital questions about military occupation.

The Acting Book

A ‘fast-forward’ acting course covering all the essential techniques an actor needs to know and use – with a suite of exercises to put each technique into practice.

Acting Through Song

Techniques and Exercises for Musical-Theatre Actors

An impassioned and invaluable guide for actors and students of musical theatre.

Actioning - and How to Do It

A step-by-step guide to 'actioning', one of the most widely used rehearsal techniques for actors. An indispensable companion to a vital component in every actor's toolkit.

Actions: The Actors' Thesaurus

A vital companion for actors in rehearsal - a thesaurus of action-words to revitalise performance, with a foreword by Terry Johnson.

The Active Text

Unlocking Plays Through Physical Theatre

Dymphna Callery, author of Through the Body: A practical guide to physical theatre, shows how exercises and rehearsal techniques associated with physical and devised theatre can be applied to scripted plays.

The Actor and the Camera

The ultimate insider’s guide to acting for film and TV, from an actor well known for his roles on TV and in films. With a foreword by Ewan McGregor.

Advice from the Players

A host of tips and guidance on every aspect of the actor’s craft, direct from some of the best-known stars of stage and screen, including Julie Walters, Lenny Henry, Harriet Walter, Simon Callow, Mark Gatiss, David Harewood, Jo Brand, Simon Russell Beale, Lesley Manville, Zawe Ashton and Mathew Horne, amongst many others.


A touching and comic drama about a family reunion, delving into the turmoil, love and compromises of kinship.


Mike Bartlett's outstanding play, set in the ruins of a garden in rural England.

All Change Please

A Practical Guide to Achieving Gender Equality in Theatre

By Lucy Kerbel Foreword by Rufus Norris

A book about the need for change in theatre, to reflect the gender balance of the world it seeks to represent, and how, with everyone's help, we can achieve it.

All Our Children

A moving examination of a terrifying moral dilemma, and a powerful story that shows what it takes for humanity and decency to be restored in a world that has abandoned them.

All the Little Lights

A poignant, moving and darkly funny play about young girls slipping through the cracks in society. Joint winner of the 2016 George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright.

Alys, Always (stage version)

A psychological thriller, adapted for the stage from Harriet Lane's gripping novel.

And Then Come The Nightjars

A tender, frank and funny play about a West Country farm struggling to survive the Foot and Mouth pandemic.

Angels in America: Parts One & Two

The magnificent, two-part epic drama set during the Reagan years in America - now recognised as one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century.

Animal Farm (stage version)

A powerful and straightforward dramatisation of Orwell's enduring parable on the perils of totalitarianism.

Anna Christie

Eugene O’Neill’s epic Pulitzer Prize-winning play about love and forgiveness.

Anne Boleyn

A celebration of a great English heroine, Anne Boleyn dramatises the life and legacy of Henry VIII's notorious second wife, who helped change the course of the nation's history.

The Antipodes

Part satire, part sacred rite, a play that asks what value stories have for a world in crisis.

The Approach

Both psychological puzzle and quietly devastating tragedy, Mark O'Rowe's The Approach explores the inner lives of three women as they desperately try to make sense of their world.


A gripping play about ghosts and the legacies we are left with.

Arabian Nightmares: Three Plays

Three timely one-act plays, showing the brutal and bloody impact of the current Middle Eastern crisis on ordinary people: The Collector, Echoes and Angel.

Arabian Nights (RSC version)

A simple and delightfully inventive re-telling of the stories from the Arabian Nights.

Arden of Faversham

A domestic tragedy about a woman plotting to have her husband murdered, Arden of Faversham was first published in 1592. Its authorship is unknown, although suggestions include Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare.