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Nick Hern Books
11 Nov

Finding the right play to perform can be a tricky task. We are here to help!
Whether you are looking for an historical piece or a comedy, a literary adaptation or a play for young people - here are some of our recommendations from the Nick Hern Books catalogue of plays to perform.

HISTORICAL PLAYS
Nell Gwynn
Jessica Swale
Full Length Play, Drama, Comedy, 17th Century
Cast: 7M, 5F
London, 1660. King Charles II has exploded onto the scene with a love of all things loud, extravagant and sexy. And at Drury Lane, a young Nell Gwynn is causing stirrings amongst the theatregoers.
Nell Gwynn charts the rise of an unlikely heroine, from her roots in Coal Yard Alley to her success as Britain's most celebrated actress, and her hard-won place in the heart of the King. But at a time when women are second-class citizens, can her charm and spirit protect her from the dangers of the Court?
more info

Blue Stockings
Jessica Swale
Full Length Play, Drama, 19th Century
Cast: 8M, 8F, 2M or F
A moving, comical and eye-opening story of four young women fighting for education and self-determination against the larger backdrop of women's suffrage.
1896. Girton College, Cambridge, the first college in Britain to admit women. The Girton girls study ferociously and match their male peers grade for grade. Yet, when the men graduate, the women leave with nothing but the stigma of being a 'blue stocking' - an unnatural, educated woman. They are denied degrees and go home unqualified and unmarriageable.
more info

Kindertransport
Diane Samuels
Full Length Play, Drama, 1940s / WWII
Cast: 1M, 5F
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 nine, Eva is brought to England with the promise of a new life...
Between 1939 until the outbreak of World War II, nearly 10,000 Jewish children were taken from their families in Nazi-occupied Germany and sent to live with foster families in Britain. Diane Samuels? seminal play, Kindertransport, imagines the fate of one such child.


COMEDIES
Around the World in 80 Days (stage version)
By Laura Eason Original author Jules Verne
Full Length Play, Drama, Adaptations (Literature), Comedy, 19th Century, Contemporary
Cast: 5M, 3F
The fabulously wealthy Victorian gentleman Phileas Fogg wagers his life's fortune that he can circumnavigate the globe in just eighty days.
Along with his hapless valet Passepartout, he sets out on a dazzling escapade that takes him from the misty alleys of London to the exotic subcontinent and on to the Wild West as they race against the clock on a dizzying succession of trains, steamers, a wind-propelled sledge and an elephant.
more info

The Hound of the Baskervilles (stage version)
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Adapted by Steven Canny Adapted by John Nicholson
Full Length Play, Drama, Comedy, Contemporary
Cast: 3M
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most celebrated Sherlock Holmes story gets a gloriously funny makeover.
When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on his estate, with a look of terror still etched on his face, and the paw prints of a gigantic hound beside his body, the great detective Sherlock Holmes is summoned from Baker Street, with Dr Watson in tow, to unravel the mysteries surrounding his death, and investigate the ancient curse of the Hound of the Baskervilles...
more info

Ladies' Day
Amanda Whittington
Full Length Play, Drama, Comedy, Contemporary
Cast: 1M, 4F
An exuberant comedy about four likely lasses from the Hull fish docks on a day trip to the races, from the author of Be My Baby.
Work, love and life are just one long, hard slog for the fish-filleting foursome Pearl, Jan, Shelley and Linda. But their fortunes are set to change when Linda finds tickets to Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot the year it relocated to York.
more info


LITERARY ADAPTATIONS 

The Railway Children
By E. Nesbit Adapted by Mike Kenny
Full Length Play, Drama, Adaptations (Literature), 1900-1910
Cast: 6M, 5F
Mike Kenny's imaginative stage adaptation of E. Nesbit's much-loved children's classic.
Famously filmed, this story of a prosperous Edwardian family - mother and three children - forced into near-penury in the rural north of England captures the anxieties and exhilarations of childhood with great tenderness and insight.
more info

Great Expectations (Royal Shakespeare Company version)
By Charles Dickens Adapted by Declan Donnellan Adapted by Nick Ormerod
Full Length Play, Drama
Cast: 16M, 7F
A gritty adaptation of Dickens' least sentimental love story with a cast of some of his most unforgettable characters.
Whilst at his parents' graveside, Pip is accosted by Magwitch, a convict escaped from one of the prison ships. Terrified, he is forced to help the man to get away. An unexpected invitation to the house of rich old Miss Havisham forces him into the path of her beautiful, cruel niece Estella and their strange, ruthless games. After an anonymous benefactor grants him a small fortune, Pip turns his back on his humble life as a blacksmith's apprentice ? he moves to London to become a gentleman in the hopes of winning Estella. But he has no idea of the dangers that await him there, or from where his salvation will come.
more info

Wuthering Heights (Brontë/Gough stage version)
By Emily Brontë Adapted by Lucy Gough
Full Length Play, Drama
Cast: 3M, 4F
In Lucy Gough's adaptation for the stage, the spirit of Emily Brontë's haunting novel is brought to exhilarating life.
Growing up together on the Yorkshire moors, Catherine Earnshaw and the gypsy Heathcliff are inseparable after he is adopted into her family. But when Catherine agrees to marry the refined Edgar Linton, Heathcliff sets his mind to revenge.
more info


PLAYS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Philip Pullman's Grimm Tales (stage version)
Adapted by Philip Wilson From Philip Pullman
Full Length Play, Drama, Fantasy/Adventure
Rediscover the magic and wonder of the original Grimm Tales, retold by master-storyteller Philip Pullman. In this stage version by Philip Wilson, you'll meet the familiar characters ? Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel ? and some unexpected ones too, such as Hans-My-Hedgehog, the Goose Girl at the Spring and the remarkable Thousandfurs.
Full of deliciously dark twists and turns, the tales come to life in all their glittering, macabre brilliance ? a delight for children and adults alike.
more info

Girls Like That
Evan Placey
Full Length Play, Drama, New Millennium/21st Century
Cast: 6F
An urgent and explosive play that explores the pressures on young people today in the wake of advancing technology.
When a naked photograph of Scarlett goes viral, she becomes the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons. But while rumours run wild and everyone forms an opinion, Scarlett just stays silent...
more info

The Wardrobe
Sam Holcroft
Full Length Play, Drama
Cast: 13M, 9F, 6M or F
A gripping journey through British history that shows how our country was shaped and how connected we are with our past.
Across seven centuries, small groups of children seek sanctuary in the same solid old wardrobe. It's the safest place they know -- but is it safe enough?








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