Sarah Lambie

Nick Hern Books invites applications for amateur online productions

5:41, 22nd May 2020

Nick Hern Books is now inviting applications for amateur online performances.

Theatre publishers and performing rights agents Nick Hern Books (NHB) have announced they are now accepting applications for amateur online productions, with dozens of plays by leading contemporary writers available for amateur companies, schools, colleges, youth theatres and others to perform online via platforms such as Zoom, YouTube and Vimeo.

Licences are available for both live-streamed performances and broadcasts of recorded productions, at a discounted rate of £60 plus VAT (or less for shorter plays) for each live performance or day that the production remains online. Playwrights whose work is covered by the initiative include Mike Bartlett, Chris Bush, Phoebe Eclair-Powell, David Edgar, James Fritz, Stacey Gregg, David Haig, Rona Munro, Diane Samuels, Sam Steiner, Jessica Swale, Polly Teale and Amanda Whittington. 

Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the NHB website at https://www.nickhernbooks.co.uk/plays-to-perform/online-performances for more information on how the process works, some of the range of plays available for online performance, and the relevant terms and conditions. Productions will be considered for approval on a case-by-case basis. For any further questions, please contact the NHB Performing Rights Department by emailing rights@nickhernbooks.co.uk or calling +(44)20 8749 4953.


Matt Applewhite, Managing Director of Nick Hern Books, said:

‘With the UK’s theatres currently closed, online performances are the perfect way for amateur groups, youth theatres and others to bring their members or students together to keep sharing their passion, experience great new plays by today’s most exciting writers, and stay active and connected. We’ve loved watching the broadcasts of professional productions, and are now delighted to offer the opportunity for amateur theatre-makers to keep creating and sharing work in this challenging time. 

We want to express huge thanks to all of the brilliant authors and agents who’ve worked hard with us to make these online performances possible, and for their openness and understanding in these unprecedented times.’


Amanda Whittington, writer of plays including Be My Baby and Ladies’ Day, and currently Associate Artist at Nottingham Playhouse, said:

‘This is a very exciting move for the amateur sector. Theatres may be closed but as we’re seeing, the art form goes on. Online performance means companies can continue to bring new work to their audience and find innovative ways to produce it. I’m delighted my plays will be out there and I’ll look forward to watching in lockdown!’


Sam Steiner, writer of plays including Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons and You Stupid Darkness!, and currently a Genesis Almeida New Playwright, said:

‘Being part of amateur and community drama groups was and continues to be fundamental to how I think about plays. I’m delighted that NHB have found a way of sustaining that work through the crisis – and the idea that my plays may be of some use to such groups in this strange and frightening moment brings me a great deal of joy.’

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