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
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 gripping and urgent play about a well-meaning teacher who intervenes on behalf of a troublesome student, with terrifying consequences. Joint Winner of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2008. When white secondary-school teacher Amanda is pushed to the ground by black student Jason, she's reluctant to report him as she knows exclusion could condemn him to a future as troubled as his past. But when Jason decides to protect himself by spinning a story of his own, Amanda is sucked into a vortex of lies in which victim becomes perpetrator. With the truth becoming less clear and more dangerous by the day, it isn't long before careers, relationships and even lives are under threat. 'A tough, gripping spectacle' Guardian 'Outstanding... Franzmann manages to make all the characters credible and well-rounded, even the damaged perpetrator... She gets to the rotten core of what's going on in these melting-pot battlegrounds... The play of the year? In my book, quite possibly' Dominic Cavendish,Telegraph
The spellbinding, beautifully observed hit from the master of suspenseful realism; combining superbly chilling tales of the supernatural with the hilarious banter of a small community in the heart of rural Ireland. A bar in a remote part of Ireland. The local lads are swapping spooky stories to impress a young woman recently moved to the area from Dublin. As the drink flows and the stories become increasingly frightening, it's clear that Valerie has something on her mind. She has a tale to tell that'll stop them all dead in their tracks. Winner of: Olivier Award for Best New Play, Evening Standard Award for Best New Playwright, Critic's Circle Award for Most Promising New Playwright. 'The play of the decade... a modern masterpiece' Express 'Puts one in mind of an Irish Chekhov. I have rarely been so convinced that I have just seen a modern classic' Daily Telegraph
The theatre rehearsal room is a sacred place. What goes on there is mysterious, alchemical and closely guarded. So how are aspiring theatre directors supposed to learn their craft? In Getting Directions, Russ Hope gives us the benefit of unprecedented, fly-on-the-wall access to eight rehearsal rooms. He has shadowed some of the UK's most exciting young directors at each step of the way, on productions as diverse as Shakespeare at the Globe, Greek tragedy at the Gate, Tennessee Williams at the Young Vic, panto at the Lyric Hammersmith, and a touring Dickens dramatisation. Describing each of these rehearsal periods from first concept to first night in revealing and often remarkable detail, Hope gets under the skin of the professional director, and reveals the decisions they must make on a daily basis: How best to arrive at a concept and communicate this to a design team? Which games and exercises really help to unlock the text for actors? And what should you do if everything is falling apart during the tech? Getting Directions will equip emerging directors with a practical handbook, not bogged down with theories or precepts, that lifts the lid on what it means to be a director. The result is both a portrait and a masterclass from a generation of theatre practitioners, essential reading for anyone who wants to follow in their footsteps, or to understand what directing really entails. CHAPTERS: Matthew Dunster, Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare Steve Marmion, Dick Whittington and his Cat by Joel Horwood, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and Steve Marmion Natalie Abrahami, A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare Nikolai Foster, Great Expectations by Tanika Gupta after Charles Dickens Carrie Cracknell, Electra by Nick Payne after Sophocles Joe Hill-Gibbins, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams OperaUpClose, Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte Action Hero, Frontman by Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse 'An incisive kaleidoscope of rehearsal-room practice which is a useful tool for directors to borrow from and a fascinating insight for the curious.' Dominic Cooke, from his Foreword 'A useful weapon in the armoury of any aspiring director and of great interest to anyone who would like to know more about what goes on in the rehearsal rooms in the modern theatre' British Theatre Guide
Musicals are the most popular form of stage entertainment today, with the West End and Broadway dominated by numerous long-running hits. But for every Wicked or Phantom of the Opera, there are dozens of casualties that didn't fare quite so well. In this book, Julian Woolford explores the musical-theatre canon to explain why and how some musicals work, why some don't, and what you should (and shouldn't) do if you're thinking of writing your own. Drawing on his experience as a successful writer and director of musicals, and as a lecturer in writing musicals at the University of London, Woolford outlines every step of the creative process, from hatching the initial idea and developing a structure for the work, through creating the book, the music and the lyrics, and on to the crucial process of rewriting. He then guides the reader through getting a musical produced, with invaluable advice about generating future productions and sustaining a career. The book includes dozens of exercises to assist the novice writer in developing their craft, and detailed case studies of well-known musicals such as Les Misérables, The Sound of Music, Miss Saigon, Little Shop of Horrors, Godspel and Evita. An essential guide for any writers (or would-be writers) of musicals, How Musicals Work is a fascinating insight for anyone interested in the art form or who has ever wondered what it takes to get from first idea to first night. 'If anyone knows how musicals work (I'm not sure I do), this highly entertaining dissection of every aspect of that bewildering art form reveals that Julian Woolford does.' Tim Rice 'Excellent... a useful source of information' The Stage
A guide to the hidden workings of plays and the trade secrets that govern their writing - by the acclaimed playwright Steve Waters. Drawing on a wide range of drama, both historical and modern, Waters takes the reader through the key elements of dramatic writing scenes, acts, space, time, characters, language and images to show how a play is more than the sum of its parts, with as much inner vitality as a living organism. Almost uniquely amongst accounts of playwriting, Waters' book looks at the ways in which good plays move their audiences, generating powerful emotional responses that often defy conventional analysis. The Secret Life of Plays is for playwrights at any stage of their career, and will inspire and inform drama students as well as working actors and directors. Most of all it is for anyone who has ever laughed or cried in the theatre and wants to know why. 'Thrilling... crammed with good, old-fashioned close reading of a diverse range of plays, which means that although Waters does primarily address those who write for the theatre, he does not forget those who like watching and reading it' TLS 'Essential for aspiring playwrights' Whatsonstage.com
Six generations, twenty-three characters one very special piece of furniture. Tanya Ronder's thrilling play is an epic tale of belonging, identity and the things we pass on. Table was the first play to be staged in The Shed, a temporary venue at the National Theatre, London, to celebrate original, ambitious and unexpected theatre. It premiered in April 2013 in a production directed by Rufus Norris. 'Highly inventive and often touching' Telegraph 'Tremendous... richly textured' Guardian
Based on the real-life court case of a young naval cadet unjustly accused of stealing a five-shilling postal order and first staged in 1946, The Winslow Boy has been revived many times since, including at The Old Vic in 2013. Ronnie Winslow is expelled from naval college, having been accused of petty theft. Enraged, his father Arthur engages a lawyer to challenge the Admiralty to prove the charges in court but public opinion is very much against the Winslows, and each member of the family is suffering... This edition includes an authoritative introduction by Dan Rebellato, a biographical sketch and a chronology. 'A sterling example of Rattigan's dramatic skill and humanity... deeply poignant' Telegraph 'A playwright of acute emotional intelligence, elegant wit, and an extraordinary gift for expressive construction... thrilling' Independent
A hands-on, step-by-step guide to directing plays - by one of Britain's leading theatre directors. Stephen Unwin has worked with hundreds of different actors in a multiplicity of different venues. He is the ideal author of a 'how to' guide to directing. As Unwin himself says: 'Directing plays is difficult. The aim of this book is to lay out what skills are needed, and to give some sense of how you might develop them. The emphasis is on the professional theatre, but the book is useful for directors in other contexts - amateur dramatics, university drama, school plays and so on. Directing is directing, wherever you do it.' Starting at the very beginning, Unwin takes us step by step through: Choosing the play Casting Design Rehearsal - Establishing Facts, Improvisation, Language, Character, Blocking, Using Specialists and so on Running the Play Putting it on the Stage Opening Night 'Filled with wise insights. Any budding director who reads it will learn much about the pitfalls and challenges he or she is likely to face but will also, I'm sure, catch some of Unwin's enthusiasm for what he describes as being, at times, 'the best job you can imagine' Around the Globe
A short play by one of the UK's leading dramatists. Premiered at the Royal Court in October 2012. 'No one could blame me. I've been hurt. You're a monster.' A child is shut in her room, a dog is dead in the road, someone is kissing her brother in law. A family locked in hatred is sending a son to war. And meanwhile in another country 'The best short play since Harold Pinter's Mountain Language' Mark Lawson, Front Row 'As always Churchill seems inventive, coolly socialist, bleak yet dazzling, a bit of a shaman' Evening Standard 'An intriguing work, with an underlying atmosphere of unease and menace reminiscent of Pinter... it nags away in the memory long after you have left the theatre' Telegraph
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
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
101 great drama games for use in any classroom or workshop setting. Part of the NHB Drama Games series. A dip-in, flick-through, quick-fire resource book, packed with 101 lively drama games suitable for players of all ages, with many appropriate for children from age 6 upwards. Whilst aimed primarily at school, youth theatre and community groups, they are equally fun - and instructional - for adults to play in workshop or rehearsal settings. 'Small but perfectly formed, this is an essential purchase for classroom teachers and workshop leaders alike.' Total Theatre Magazine
Rattigan's well-loved play about an unpopular schoolmaster who snatches a last shred of dignity from the collapse of his career and his marriage. Twice filmed (with Michael Redgrave and Albert Finney) and frequently revived. Andrew Crocker-Harris' wife Millie has become embittered and fatigued by her husband's lack of passion and ambition. On the verge of retirement, and divorce, Andrew is forced to come to terms with the platitude his life has become. Then John Taplow, a previously unnoticed pupil, gives Andrew an unexpected parting gift: a second-hand copy of Robert Browning's translation of Agamemnon a gift which offers not only a opportunity for redemption, but the chance to gain back some dignity. This edition also contains Harlequinade, a farce about a touring theatre troupe, written to accompany The Browning Version in a double-bill under the joint title, Playbill. The plays are presented with an authoritative introduction, biographical sketch and chronology by Dan Rebellato.
A modern classic about one woman's struggle to come to terms with her past - brutally separated from her German Jewish parents at the age of 9 and brought to England with the promise of a new life. Kindertransport is a set text for GCSE Drama (AQA) and AS/A-Level English Literature (WJEC). This edition also includes several personal memoirs by German-born children whose lives were saved, and transformed, by the Kindertransport. Winner of the 1992 Verity Bargate Award 'Desperately harrowing... searing theatre that cuts across a continuum of suffering to the very heart of what unifies us as human' The Times 'A powerful contribution to Holocaust literature... presented with emotional clarity and intense sympathy' New Yorker
An urgent play about the senseless killing of a black schoolboy, from one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary British playwriting. Premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in 2008. Death never used to be for the young.
You get up.
You go bout your business.
You expect to come back.
random was adapted for television in 2011, winning a BAFTA for Best Single Drama. 'debbie tucker green's writing is so raw and immediate that it can feel as if she's hacking into your heart with a rusty tin opener.' Time Out
Mary Shelley: daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft; lover of Shelley; author of Frankenstein Helen Edmundson's compelling play explores a crucial episode in the early life of Mary Shelley her meeting and scandalous elopement aged sixteen with Percy Bysshe Shelley, and its consequences for her sisters, her stepmother and above all, her troubled father, the political philosopher William Godwin. 'Gripping... without ever reducing Mary Shelley to an issue drama, Edmundson suggests the destructive nature of a life lived without compromise' The Times
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