There are plenty of new plays on the way for those of you who like to dive in to a good playtext. Here are some of the best choices that are now available from publisher Nick Hern Books. To purchase any of these playtexts, please visit the Nick Hern Books website.
If you’re a writer yourself, Oberon Books is releasing a brand new creative writing handbook that might be right up your street. Full of hints and handy tips, see below for more information or visit Oberon Books’s website.
From Nick Hern Books
Three plays by Helen Edmundson
One of the busiest and most acclaimed writers around at the moment, Helen Edmundson has two productions currently on tour that are now available to buy. Mary Shelley, touring the UK in a Shared Experience/Nottingham Playhouse/West Yorkshire Playhouse co-production until 17 July, explores a crucial episode in the early life of the author of Frankenstein. Edmundson has worked on a series of adaptations for Shared Experience, including Anna Karenina, The Mill on the Floss and War and Peace.
Mary Shelley, Helen Edmundson (Nick Hern Books, £9.99, ISBN 978 1 84842 257 5).
Edmundson also works widely with other companies, having recently adapted Coram Boy for The National Theatre. Her adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons is in the middle of its UK tour following sell-out performances at the Bristol Old Vic and in the West End. With songs by Neil Hannon, Edmundson has brought this children’s classic to life with a wonderfully witty and theatrical adaptation that retains all the energy and heart of the original novel.
Swallows and Amazons, Helen Edmundson with songs by Neil Hannon (Nick Hern Books, £9.99, ISBN 978 1 84842 237 7).
Elsewhere, original play The Heresy of Love was recently at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre. Commissioned and premiered by the RSC, this powerful drama is based on the extraordinary life of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a poet, nun and major literary figure in Mexico
The Heresy of Love, Helen Edmundson (Nick Hern Books, £9.99, ISBN 978 1 84842 239 1)
Foxfinder by Dawn King
In 2011, Dawn King won the Papatango New Writing Competition with Foxfinder, a gripping and unsettling piece of work set in a world that is both familiar yet darkly strange and different. Foxfinder was performed at the Finborough Theatre last year and received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. A gripping new drama for audiences and readers today.
Foxfinder, Dawn King (Nick Hern Books, £9.99, ISBN 978 1 84842 244 5).
The Gatekeeper by Chloe Moss
Recently receiving its world premiere at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, Chloe Moss’ new play is a darkly comic story about a family get-together that falls apart piece by piece until things disintegrate entirely. Moss is the author of This Wide Night, which won the 2009 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
The Gatekeeper, Chloe Moss (Nick Hern Books, £9.99, ISBN 978 1 84842 260 5).
Lagan by Stacey Gregg
This exciting play premiered last year at London’s Ovalhouse. A kaleidoscopic view of the world, the script comprises a collection of stories from post-Troubles Belfast drawn together into an account of a city that has a past like no other. Absorbing, intimate and urgent, this is a gripping read, as funny and lighthearted as it is sombre and contemplative.
Lagan, Stacey Gregg (Nick Hern Books, £9.99, ISBN 978 1 84842 231 5).
From Oberon Books
The No Rules Handbook for Writers by Lisa Goldman
If you’re fed up with writing guides that tell you what to do and how to do it rather than encouraging your own style and bringing out your voice, this might be the book for you. Jam-packed with exclusive contributions from writers as diverse as Philip Ridley, Lucy Preeble and Tanika Gupta, the handbook is designed to be suitable for whatever medium you write in. It helps writers to master various literary conventions while challenging the power and relevancy of received wisdom from the worlds of theatre, television, film, radio and novel writing. Written by former Artistic Director of the Soho Theatre Lisa Goldman, who has worked with hundreds of writers and supported their work, this handbook is full of meaningful, relevant advice to help you wherever you are on your journey to a finished text
The No Rules Handbook for Writers, Lisa Goldman (Oberon Books, £14.99, ISBN 978 1 84943 111 8). Released 6 April.