Nick Hern Books

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
FounderNick Hern
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationShepherd's Bush
London, W12
United Kingdom
DistributionGrantham Books Services(UK)
Theatre Communications Group (USA)
Playwrights Canada Press (Canada)
Currency Press (Australia)[1]
Publication typesbooks, play-scripts


Nick Hern Books came into being in June 1988,[2] 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.[2]

First titles

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.[3]

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

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

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

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”,[15] 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).[16]

Shakespeare folios

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

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

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.


  1. "Trade Information". Nick Hern Books. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  2. Sarah Hemming Interview: Nick Hern, The Independent, 14 April 1994. Retrieved on 18 April 2009.
  3. Michael Coveney, "Mrs Klein" (review), What's On Stage, 30 October 2009.
  4. "Angels in America", IMDb TV Series Listing
  5. "Prize Winners by Year". Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-28. Retrieved 2010-09-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. The Laurence Olivier Awards: full list of winners 1976-2008.
  8. Rich See, "Disco Pigs" (review), CurtainUp.
  9. "Disco Pigs", IMDb.
  10. "East is East", IMDb.
  11. "18th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards". Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  12. "Caryl Churchill" Archived 2010-12-13 at the Wayback Machine, British Council – Writers.
  13. "A Number", IMDb.
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2010-09-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. Nick Hern (2010), Speaking English Journal, ed. Rosemary Ham, Vol. 43, No.1, Spring 2010, p. 13.
  16. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2010-09-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. "Adaptation", IMDb.
  18. "A Beautiful Mind", IMDb.
  19. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", IMDb.
  20. "Gosford Park", IMDb
  21. "The Ice Storm", IMDb.
  22. "The Shawshank Redemption", IMDb.
  23. "Slumdog Millionaire", IMDb.
  24. "The Truman Show", IMDb.
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