An alternative autobiography of the well-loved actor and man of the theatre.In My Life in Pieces Simon Callow retraces his life through the multifarious performers, writers, productions and events which have left their indelible mark on him.The story begins with Peter Pan - his first ever visit to the theatre - before transporting us to southern Africa and South London, where Callow spent much of his childhood. Later, he charms his way into a job at the National Theatre box office courtesy of his hero, Laurence Olivier - and thus consummated a lifetime';s love affair with theatre.Alongside Olivier, we encounter Paul Scofield, Michael Gambon, Alan Bennett and Richard Eyre, all of whom Callow has worked with, as well as John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson and Alec Guinness, David Hare, Simon Gray and many more.He writes too about figures he did not meet but who greatly influenced his life and work, figures such as Stanislavsky, Nureyev and Cocteau, as well as Charles Laughton and Orson Welles. And he even makes room for not-quite- legit performers like Tony Hancock, Tommy Cooper, Frankie Howard - and Mrs Shufflewick.The result is a passionate, instructive and beguiling book which, in tracing Simon Callow';s own 'sentimental education';, leaves us enriched by his generosity and wisdom.'an engaging passionate book which will augment Callow's growing status as a national treasure.' Guardian '...no simply a terrific actor who happens to write. You could as well call him a terrific writer who happens to act' The Times 'essential... a gift for transforming personal experience into blazingly intelligent, objective, critical appreciation' Observer'first rate... the best writer-actor we have' David Hare 'Simon Callow combines zest, originality and passion and has elegantly turned his views and life in the theatre into an astonishing memoir' Richard Eyre
A comic, contemporary vision of life in England's green and pleasant land. Winner of the Evening Standard Award for Best Play, and the Critics Circle and Whatsonstage.com Awards for Best New Play.
On St George's Day, the morning of the local country fair, Johnny 'Rooster' Byron, local waster and Lord of Misrule, is a wanted man. The council officials want to serve him an eviction notice, his son wants to be taken to the fair, a vengeful father wants to give him a serious kicking, and a motley crew of mates wants his ample supply of drugs and alcohol.
Jerusalem premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 2009, directed by Ian Rickson and starring Mark Rylance in an astonishing performance as Johnny Byron. It transferred to the West End in 2010.
'Unarguably one of the best dramas of the twenty-first century' Guardian
'Tender, touching, and blessed with both a ribald humour and a haunting sense of the mystery of things... one of the must-see events of the summer' Telegraph
'Jez Butterworth's gorgeous, expansive new play keeps coming at its audience in unpredictable gusts, rolling from comic to furious, from winsome to bawdy' Observer
'Storming... restores one's faith in the power of theatre' Independent
'Show of the year' Time Out
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. Premiered at Shakespeare's Globe in 2010. Best New Play, Whatsonstage.com Awards Traditionally seen as either the pawn of an ambitious family manoeuvred into the King';s bed or as a predator manipulating her way to power, Anne and her ghost are seen in a very different light in Howard Brenton';s epic play. Rummaging through the dead Queen Elizabeth';s possessions upon coming to the throne in 1603, King James I finds alarming evidence that Anne was a religious conspirator, in love with Henry VIII but also with the most dangerous ideas of her day. She comes alive for him, a brilliant but reckless young woman confident in her sexuality, whose marriage and death transformed England for ever. 'This is no dry and dusty history lesson... a witty and engrossing impression of the times that gave birth to our first Elizabethan age, and the subsequent reformation' British Theatre Guide 'The play bursts through the constraints of costume drama'The Independent 'What an absolute delight... a beautifully-written piece of theatre that instantly draws you in into the life and times of both Anne Boleyn and King James I' Whatsonstage.com
Eight compelling monologues offering a state-of-the-nation group portrait for the stage. First seen on the Edinburgh Fringe, the play was produced in the West End in 2012. Edinburgh Fringe First Award 2008
Carol Tambor 'Best of Edinburgh' Award From Millie, the jolly-hockey-sticks prostitute who mourns the loss of the good old British class system, to Miles, a 7/7 survivor, and Danny, an ex-squaddie who makes friends in morgues, Eight looks at what has happened to a generation that has grown up in a world where everything has become acceptable. In its original performances, each audience voted for four of the eight monologues that they wished to see, resulting in a different line-up at every performance. A ninth unperformed monologue is included in this edition. The monologues are ideal for performance by student and amateur groups; any number and any combination can be performed. They also provide excellent opportunities for actors looking for audition material. 'Hickson's writing remains astonishing, with a huge, angry energy and poetry' The Scotsman 'Ella Hickson has already found her voice and it's a powerful one - a potent show indeed' New York Times 'One of the most self-assured, startlingly well-written and moving pieces of theatre around' Herald
A funny, touching and at times savage portrait of a family full of longing that';s losing its grip The Last of the Haussmans is a play examining the fate of the revolutionary generation. It premiered at the National Theatre in 2012, starring Julie Walters and Rory Kinnear. Anarchic, feisty but growing old, high-society drop-out Judy Haussman remains in spirit with the ashrams of the 1960s, while holding court in her dilapidated art deco house on the Devon coast. After an operation, she';s joined by her wayward offspring, her sharp-eyed granddaughter, a local doctor and a troubled teenager who makes use of the family';s crumbling swimming pool. Over a few sweltering months they alternately cling to and flee a chaotic world of all-day drinking, infatuations, long-held resentments, free love and failure. 'A knockout - entertaining, sad and outrageous. [Stephen Beresford] is going to be a major name' Observer 'Beresford's drama is frequently a hoot... you can't not enjoy' Metro 'Beresford's debut is thoughtful and fresh, delighting in the savagery of a dysfunctional family... deliciously comical... drips with smart lines' Evening Standard
A stunningly ambitious work from one of the UK's most influential playwrights. Someone sneezes. Someone can';t get a signal. Someone shares a secret. Someone won';t answer the door. Someone put an elephant on the stairs. Someone';s not ready to talk. Someone is her brother';s mother. Someone hates irrational numbers. Someone told the police. Someone got a message from the traffic light. Someone';s never felt like this before. In this fast-moving kaleidoscope, more than a hundred characters try to make sense of what they know. Premiered at the Royal Court in September 2012. 'This exhilarating theatrical kaleidoscope... What is extraordinary about Churchill is her capacity as a dramatist to go on reinventing the wheel' The Guardian 'The wit, invention and structural integrity of Churchill's work are remarkable... She never does the same thing twice' The Telegraph 'A wonderful web of complex emotions, memories, secrets and facts' A Younger Theatre
A remote cabin on the cliffs, a man and a woman, and a moonless night. A bewitching play by Jez Butterworth, author of the global smash-hit Jerusalem. The River was premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2012, starring Dominic West (The Wire).
A simple and delightfully inventive re-telling of the stories from the Arabian Nights. This revised edition was published alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company's production in 2009. It is wedding night in the palace of King Shahrayar. By morning, the new Queen Shahrazad is to be put to death like all the young brides before her. But she has one gift that could save her the gift of storytelling. With her mischievous imagination, the young Queen spins her dazzling array of tales and characters. On her side are Ali Baba, Es-Sindibad the Sailor and Princess Parizade adventurers in strange and magical worlds populated by giant beasts, talking birds, devilish ghouls and crafty thieves. But will her silver-tongued stories be enough to enchant her husband and save her life? 'Superb... weaves a potent spell of enchantment as it moves from cruelty to happiness and from the blissfully ribald to the deeply affecting' Telegraph 'A masterful piece of storytelling... a truly magical piece of theatre that delights the senses' Whatsonstage.com 'The family show to see this Yule' Guardian
A brilliant and unsettling play from one of the UK's leading dramatists. Premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in 2000. At the opening of the play, a young girl is questioning her aunt about having seen her uncle hitting people with an iron bar; by the end, several years later, the whole world is at war - including birds and animals. Far Away is a howl of anguish at the increasing and increasingly accepted levels of inhumanity in a world seemingly perpetually involved in conflict. 'You know you are in the hands of a master' The Sunday Times 'Churchill was expected to produce something explosive, but... she has exceeded the critics' highest expectations' The Observer
Four boys face the tricky transition to adulthood in Ella Hickson's riot of a play. Premiered at High Tide Festival 2012, then Nuffield Theatre, Southampton, and Soho Theatre, London. The Class of 2011 are about to graduate and Benny, Mack, Timp and Cam are due out of their flat. Stepping into a world that doesn't want them, these boys start to wonder whether there's any point in getting any older. How will they find the fight to make it as adults? Before all that they're going to have one hell of a party. It's hot and there'll be girls. Predict a riot. 'Marvellous... a play that both powerfully captures the mood of a generation and addresses permanent truths with exhilarating flair' Independent 'Will leave you with laughter lines' Time Out 'Heartfelt directness of writing that taps into a generation torn between action and inertia' Guardian
A fresh and radical approach to acting by a world-famous director. 'This new "Advice to the Players" cuts open every generalisation about acting and draws out gleamingly fresh specifics. Behind the joy and humour of the writing, Declan Donnellan is subtly leading young actors to an awareness of the living processes behind their work. He brings as evidence the rich field of thought and intuition that direct experience has made his own.' - Peter Brook
A gripping historical drama that dramatises a crucial moment of English history. Premiered at Hampstead Theatre in October 2012. December 1648. The Army has occupied London. Parliament votes not to put the imprisoned king on trial, so the Army moves against Westminster in the first and only military coup in English history. What follows over the next fifty-five days, as Cromwell seeks to compromise with a king who will do no such thing, is nothing less than the forging of a new nation, an entirely new world. Howard Brenton's play depicts the dangerous and dramatic days when, in a country exhausted by Civil War, a few great men attempt to think the unthinkable: to create a country without a king. 'A forgotten era of revolutionary British history is fascinatingly unlocked... electrifying.' Whatonstage.com '[A] confident and idea-packed piece... It could have been a dour history lesson. Instead it engages with the present, raising some pungent questions about the kind of democracy we have in Britain today.' Evening Standard
An insider';s guide to achieving that dream career by one of the brightest stars in musical theatre. Being in a West End or Broadway musical is the dream of thousands of talented performers. But competition is intense and reaching the spotlight can often require a leap into the dark. So You Want To Be In Musicals? is your comprehensive guide to building and sustaining a successful career in musical theatre, and introduces you to everything you need to know about: Training how to select a drama school, what to do to get in, and what to do once you';re there Auditioning how to choose and prepare your pieces, and foster a positive attitude towards auditions Rehearsing how to construct your character, work with the director, and develop your own creative process Performing how to deal with nerves, what to do as an understudy, and how to sustain that eight-show-a-week routine Working how to get an agent, how to market yourself effectively, and how to maintain a healthy body and mind Along with a wealth of honest, straightforward advice, the book is packed with instructive anecdotes from Ruthie';s own glittering career. It was co-written by Daniel Bowling, music director for Cameron Machintosh Ltd. 'A must for fans and aspiring performers alike' broadwayworld.com 'Helpful and informative' British Theatre Guide
A moving story of love and loyalty, courage and fear, based on Rattigan's own experiences as a tail gunner in the Second World War. 1942. The Falcon Hotel, on the Lincolnshire coast. RAF bomber pilot Teddy is celebrating a reunion with his actress wife Patricia. When Peter, Patricia's ex-lover and Hollywood heart-throb, arrives and an urgent bombing mission over Germany is ordered, Patricia finds herself at the centre of an emotional conflict as unpredictable as the war in the skies. This edition contains an authoritative introduction by Rattigan scholar Dan Rebellato. 'A three-handkerchief weepie that somehow manages to be both profoundly moving and wonderfully funny' Telegraph 'Devastating and uplifting' Evening Standard 'Tender, funny and overwhelmingly moving' The Arts Desk
One bathroom. Two people. One day. A relationship witnessed in minute, devastating detail. A story of intimacy, fragility and the darker side of love, Jack Thorne's Mydidae exposes the private and disturbing moments a couple share, and explores what becomes of a relationship when it is held together not only by love, but by fear, guilt and despair. 'A two-hander full of unexpected menace that probes and chips at its characters, peeling back layers of skin... a potent piece of writing' Exeunt Magazine 'Like a punch in the gut... what makes all of this not only bearable but completely transfixing is the unmistakeable honesty of the writing' Whatsonstage.com
A painfully comic excavation of a family history that asks if there is an authorised version of the past - or just the one we can live with. Premiered at the Traverse Theatre in October 2012. Kate Bane returns home to her parents for a winter weekend to introduce her new boyfriend. As the snow falls, Kate finds herself searching with increasing desperation for the truth about her family's past. Are her memories fact, or are they continually shifting acts of imagination? Unable to pin down the truth, can she write a version of the family mythology that will ensure her own happiness? 'Fascinating... an Escher-like playfulness in its examination of the nature of creation' The Stage 'An amusing piece, well-crafted' The List
An exhilarating coming-of-age drama for a solo performer. Fringe First Award, Edinburgh 2010 Scorching heat. A fight. A car chase. A siege. When her boyfriend is attacked on the street, feisty eighteen-year-old Katie is thrust on a white-knuckle ride through one extraordinary evening. Amidst the baying for blood and the longing for love, Katie is forced to decide her future. 'Electrifying combination of streetwise earthiness and heartbreaking vulnerability... terrific' Scotsman
A practical, vocational guide to starting a career on TV as a presenter. The demand for presenters in the television industry has never been higher. But, although it';s seen as a glamorous job and a step to celebrity, being a TV presenter is also hard work, and demands a varied range of journalistic, technical, performance and personal skills. With a background in TV directing, working with professional presenters and training new ones for the TV industry, Kathryn Wolfe takes you through the techniques and skills required to become a successful presenter, including: How to read from a prompt and use in-ear talkback How to talk to camera and talk to time How to cope with live, recorded, studio and location shoots How to present for specialist channels (children';s, shopping, weather) How to create a successful CV and convincing showreel Hands-on exercises and checklists will guide you through improving your posture, developing correct breathing and good diction, evaluating your performance, and much more. The book is also packed with accessible advice and top tips from dozens of experienced and new presenters currently working on TV. It tells you what happens in auditions, and, above all, how to go about getting a job as a presenter. With a foreword by Chris Tarrant. This splendid book covers every aspect of the job... I look forward to seeing you on my telly!'; (hris Tarrant, from his Foreword)
The essential guide to getting into drama school. Packed with sound advice and essential information for young people who want to train as actors and performers (including musical theatre), this clear and honest guide is written by a teacher and audition panellist with a lifetime';s experience of the audition process. It will help all aspiring actors develop the self-confidence, motivation and skills required to get into the drama school of their choice. Topics include: Researching and selecting the appropriate drama school Making yourself the best prepared candidate Choosing and preparing your speeches and songs Developing your working process and your self-awareness Coping with the audition day itself Considering your next steps if you do (or don';t) get in. Also includes suggestions of speeches and songs to look at (as well as those you should avoid), information about the major UK drama schools, how to obtain funding, suggested further reading, and an introduction to the theatrical terms and genres that every prospective student should know. 'provides precisely the information and advice aspirant actors need... if you are a potential drama student, or the parent of one, buy this book' The Stage
Known and loved for his many TV appearances in Brass and as the embodiment of Edward VII, Thomas Beecham and Winston Churchill, Timothy West has led a charmed life as an actor, moving effortlessly between TV and stage, film and radio recordings. With his wife, Prunella Scales, and his son, Samuel, he and his family have been responsible for much of the best that stage and screen have had to offer in recent years. A theatrical memoir that doesn't cloy, and is filled with insight, wit and a sense of the ultimate absurdity of life' (Judith Flanders, TLS)
How to write a play and get it produced - a manual for playwrights. Playwright and former literary manager Tim Fountain guides the budding playwright over the many hurdles involved in getting a play on - from finding a story that only you know, through the detailed construction of the play, and on to the strategies you can use to get it on stage. What kind of play do you want to write? Where do you get your ideas from? How much exposition do you need? Where do you find your characters' voices? What should you do when you get stuck? Where should you send your play? The book also deals with the actual production: choosing directors, designers and actors, and coping with rehearsals, previews and press nights. Includes appendixes of vital websites, and contact details for new-writing theatres, agents and publishers. 'A marvellous and invaluable guide... full of wisdom and no-nonsense practical advice on the tricky but thrilling business of making plays' (Willy Russell)
The play that gave birth to the smash-hit film - a wonderful comedy about growing up in multiracial Salford. The six Khan children, entangled in arranged marriages and bell-bottoms, are trying to find their way growing up in 1970s Salford. They are all caught between their Pakistani father's insistence on Asian traditions, their English mother's laissez-faire attitude, and their own wish to become citizens of the modern world. 'First plays don't come much better than this... full of intelligence, irresistable laughter and serious promise.' Sunday Times
Lucy Kirkwood';s sharp comedy looks at power games and privacy in the media and beyond. Carrie's getting them out for the lads, Charlotte's just grateful to have a job, Sam's being asked to sell more than his body, and Aidan's trying to keep Doghouse magazine from going under. Set in the cut-throat media world, Lucy Kirkwood's timely new comedy exposes power games and privacy in the age of Photoshop. [NSFW = Not Safe For Work, online material which the viewer may not want to be seen accessing in a public or formal setting such as at work.]
My First Play is a unique collection of pieces by playwrights, actors and theatre directors all of them regular Nick Hern Books authors in response to the simplest of briefs: write about your first play. Candid, hilarious, and often sharply revealing, the resulting pieces many of them written in the hurly-burly of work on a new production combine to prove the power of theatre to entrance us, and hold us captive in its spell. Included here are remarkable first-person accounts from many of our leading playwrights: Caryl Churchill performing Cinderella to her parents with a cast of dolls and stuffed animals; Howard Brenton pinching his first main character from a boy's comic; Jack Thorne having to become a thief to get his first play on; Conor McPherson still waiting to write his first play'. There are also enthralling insights into the first steps in theatre of some of our principal actors and theatre directors: Antony Sher discovering theatre in Cape Town during the apartheid years; Dominic Cooke paying the price for using a real knife in performance; Harriet Walter's photographic recall of the annual outing to Peter Pan; Richard Eyre on an open-air performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream that descends into chaos. Published to celebrate twenty-five years of Nick Hern Books, the royalties from the sale of this magical collection of sixty-six miniature autobiographies will be donated to the Theatre Section of the Writers' Guild.