Nick Hern Books

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Nick Hern Books
Nick Hern Books (logo).jpg
Founded 1988
Founder Nick Hern
Country of origin United Kingdom
Headquarters location Shepherd's Bush, London
Publication types books, play-scripts
Official website

Nick Hern Books is a London-based independent specialist publisher of plays, theatre books and screenplays. The company was founded by the former Methuen drama editor Nicholas Hern in 1988.


Nick Hern Books came into being in June 1988,[1] when Nick Hern left Methuen to set up his own imprint under the aegis of Walker Books. In 1990 the NHB imprint was taken on by Random House. It became a fully independent company on 1 January 1993 when Nick Hern acquired the list from Random House, and he subsequently won the Sunday Times "Small Publisher of the Year Award" in 1994.[1]

First titles[edit]

The first title published by Nick Hern Books was Nicholas Wright’s Mrs. Klein, which opened at the National Theatre in August 1988 before transferring to the West End and Broadway.[2]

There followed plays by Caryl Churchill, Arthur Miller, Mike Leigh and Stephen Sondheim, alongside theatre books by Simon Callow, Michael Coveney and Antony Sher.

Notable titles[edit]

Notable titles published by Nick Hern Books include the following plays:

A selection of playscripts published by Nick Hern Books (Details).

Nick Hern Books has also published theatre books (biographies, journals, practical books, how-to guides, etc.) by, amongst others, Peter Brook, Simon Callow, Declan Donnellan, Oliver Ford Davies, William Gaskill, Barbara Houseman, Antony Sher, Max Stafford-Clark, Harriet Walter and Timothy West.


Drama Classics[edit]

Nick Hern Books launched its Drama Classics series in 1994 with the aim of creating a budget series of “the most well-known plays from the last 2000 years”,[14] in editions that are suitable for study as well as performance. The first six titles, all published in 1994, were Three Sisters, Medea, The Rivals, The Jew of Malta, The Hypochondriac and A Doll’s House. The series now ranges from The Oresteia (458 BC) to Blood Wedding (1933).[15]

Shakespeare Folios[edit]

This series of editions of Shakespeare’s works, edited by Nick de Somogyi, was launched in 2001 with an edition of Hamlet. The series aims to offer the absolute authority of the First Folio in an accessible form. On the recto page, the full text of the 1623 First Folio version of each play is presented in modern type, without altering or editing the text itself. All of the original spelling, punctuation and layout of the Folio is preserved. On the verso (facing) page, there is a fully modernised version of the corresponding text, enabling direct comparison with the Folio. Each edition also includes an individual introduction and textual notes.

Shooting scripts[edit]

Nick Hern Books also publishes a selection of shooting scripts from popular films. In addition to featuring the complete shooting script as used by the director during filming, these also include forewords and introductions by leading film directors and screenwriters, the dialogue of scenes cut during the editing process, colour photo sections, and complete cast and crew credits.

Screenplays published by Nick Hern Books include:

Performing rights[edit]

Nick Hern Books handles performing rights for most of the plays it publishes, issuing licenses for amateur performance both within the United Kingdom and abroad, through its worldwide partners, including Dominie Drama in Australia, Play Bureau in New Zealand and DALRO in South Africa.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sarah Hemming Interview: Nick Hern, The Independent, 14 April 1994. Retrieved on 18 April 2009.
  2. ^ Michael Coveney, "Mrs Klein" (review), What's On Stage, 30 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Angels in America", IMDb TV Series Listing
  4. ^ The Pulitzer Prizes – Drama.
  5. ^
  6. ^ The Laurence Olivier Awards: full list of winners 1976-2008.
  7. ^ Rich See, "Disco Pigs" (review), CurtainUp.
  8. ^ "Disco Pigs", IMDb.
  9. ^ "East is East", IMDb.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Caryl Churchill", British Council – Writers.
  12. ^ "A Number", IMDb.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Nick Hern (2010), Speaking English Journal, ed. Rosemary Ham, Vol. 43, No.1, Spring 2010, p. 13.
  15. ^,28
  16. ^ "Adaptation", IMDb.
  17. ^ "A Beautiful Mind", IMDb.
  18. ^ "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", IMDb.
  19. ^ "Gosford Park", IMDb
  20. ^ "The Ice Storm", IMDb.
  21. ^ "The Shawshank Redemption", IMDb.
  22. ^ "Slumdog Millionaire", IMDb.
  23. ^ "The Truman Show", IMDb.