The Theatre Book Prize (for books published in 2010) at Drury Lane Theatre on 18th May

The Society for Theatre Research and the judges are pleased to announce the following short list for the Theatre Book Prize for books published in 2010, in alphabetical order:

Actors and Acting in Shakespeare’s Time by John H. Astington (Cambridge University Press)

Diaghilev & the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes 1909-1929 edited by Jane Pritchard (V & A Publishing)

Putting It On: the West End Theatre of Michael Codron by Michael Codron and Alan Strachan (Gerald Duckworth)

The Reluctant Escapologist by Mike Bradwell (Nick Hern Books)

Shakespeare on Stage: Thirteen Leading Actors on Thirteen Key Roles by Julian Curry (Nick Hern Books)

The winner of the Theatre Book Prize will be announced at 11.45 am on Wednesday May 18th 2011 at a reception in the Grand Saloon at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane  when the judges will speak about the books.

The Theatre Book Prize Judges:

Representing the theatrical profession
Mr Kerry Michael  Artistic Director Theatre Royal, Stratford East, succesor to the mantle of Jan Littlewood and Philip Hedley.

Representing the critics
Miss Jann Parry former ballet critic of The Observer and winner last year for her biography of Kenneth Macmillan A Different Drummer

Representing academia
Professor Michael Dobson  Birkbeck College Univ of London

The panel is chaired by Howard Loxton for the Society for Theatre Research, who votes only if there is a tie.

The Theatre Book Prize was first awarded for 1997 to celebrate the Jubilee of the Society for Theatre Research. It was created to encourage the writing and publication of books on British theatre history and practice, both those which present the theatre of the past and those which record contemporary theatre for the future. It is now presented annually for a book on British or British related theatre which an independent panel of judges considers to be the best published during the year. All new works of original research first published in English are eligible except for play texts and studies of drama as literature.

More about the Theatre Book Prize on www.str.org.uk/events/bookprize

Sheila Hancock Announced Winner for Theatre Book Prize

Thesps, academics, publishers and writers rubbed shoulders in the Grand Saloon at Drury Lane this morning as they gathered to discover the winner of this year’s Theatre Book Prize, awarded annually by the Society for Theatre Research.

Books ranged from the biography of magician David Dixon to academic writing about walking as performance with some heavy contenders among a short list that included a biography of the clown Grimaldi, a book of essays covering every aspect of Early Modern English theatre, a critique of and guide to the writing of theatre history, a history of ENO and a biography of dancer and choreographer Kenneth MacMillan.

Not even the judges knew the winner, for at their last meeting there was no clear victor. A final individual ballot completed only yesterday determined the result which actress Sheila Hancock (no mean writer herself) eventually revealed as giving the laurels to Different Drummer: the Life of Kenneth MacMillan by Jann Parry (published by Faber).

Earlier the judges all got the chance to talk about the short list and others of their favourites, and theatre critic Mark Shenton said of this title:

‘I don’t think I read a more fascinating or more exhaustively researched volume all year than Jann Parry’s Different Drummer, a biography of choreographer Kenneth MacMillan (published by Faber). It is based on countless interviews she conducted as well as access she was given to MacMillan’s personal papers, including his draft memoir and diaries, by MacMillan’s widow Deborah – which she had not herself read. Biography can be an act of remarkable trust, and Deborah MacMillan’s was rewarded with this candid, uncompromising, but loving portrait of a candid, uncompromising and complicated man. He was an intensely private man, and Parry points out that his family found out more about him from his ballets than from conversations at home.  Now, however, we can all have a posthumous conversation with a great man and see the work in the context of who created it. It is a remarkable achievement.’

Jan Parry was dance critic of the Observer from 1983 to 2004 and has written for many other puiblications.

The judges were Professor Jane Moody of York University, Mark Shenton critic for the Daily Express and blogger for The Stage, and actor Matthew Kelly chaired by Howard Loxton for the Society for Theatre Research.

The prize is given annually for the best book, published in english during the past year, on the history and technique of British or British-related theatre in all its aspects

For further information see http://www.str.org.uk/events/bookprize/

Theatre Book Prize will be announced by Sheila Hancock!

Well-loved actress Sheila Hancock OBE (herself a successful author) will announce the winner of the Theatre Book Prize and make the presentation at a reception at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on Tuesday 27th April 11.30 am next before an audience drawn from the worlds of theatre, books and academia. 

The judges for the prize: actor Matthew Kelly, critic Mark Shenton, Prof Jane Moody of the University of York and chair Howard Loxton for the Society for Theatre Research, will speak about the short- listed titles and other favourites among submissions.

The short list chosen from theatre books published in 2009 is

The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Historiography

by Thomas Postlewait (Cambridge University Press)

Different Drummer: the Life of Kenneth Macmillan

by Jann Parry (Faber)

Opera for Everybody:  The Story of English National Opera

by Susie Gilbert (Faber)

The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theatre

edited by Richard Dutton (Oxford University Press)

The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi

by Andrew Stott (Canongate)
The event will be introduced by actor Timothy West CBE

Miss Hancock is currently appearing in Sister Act at the Palladium.

Theatre Book Prize 2010 – Announcement of the Short List

The Theatre Book Prize was first awarded for 1997 to celebrate the Jubilee of the Society for Theatre Research. It was created to encourage the writing and publication of books on British theatre history and practice, both those which present the theatre of the past and those which record contemporary theatre for the future. It is now presented annually for a book onBritish or British related theatre which an independent panel of judges considers to be the best published during the year. All new works of original research first published in English are eligible except for play texts and studies of drama as literature.

The Society for Theatre Research and the judges have announced the following short list for the Theatre Book Prize for books published in 2009, in alphabetical order:

The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Historiography by Thomas Postlewait (Cambridge University Press)

Different Drummer: the Life of Kenneth Macmillan by Jan Parry (Faber)

Opera for Everybody:  The Story of English National Opera by Susie Gilbert (Faber)

The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theatre edited by Richard Dutton (Oxford University Press)

The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi by Andrew Stott (Canongate)

The winner of the Theatre Book Prize will be announced at 11.45 am on Tuesday April 27th 2010 at a reception in the Grand Saloon at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane when the judges will speak about the books.

Theatre Book Prize 2010 Judges

Representing the theatrical profession
Mr Matthew Kelly the well-loved actor who has recently received acclaim for his performances in Of Mice and Men, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and currently in Waiting for Godot – and of course well known to television viewers as former presenter of ‘Stars in Your Eyes’

Representing theatre critics
Mr Mark Shenton theatre critic for the Sunday Express and a regular columnist and blogger for The Stage, Playbill (USA) and other publications

Representing academia
Professor Jane Moody  holds a personal chair in the Centre for Eighteenth–Century Studies at the University of York and among her books on theatre Illegitimate Theatre in London was a runner up for this prize in 2000

The panel is chaired by Howard Loxton for the Society for Theatre Research, who votes only if there is a tie.

For More about the Theatre Book Prize, go on www.str.org.uk/events/bookprize

Steven Berkoff to present Theatre Book Prize

Theatre and movie star Steven Berkoff, currently appearing to great acclaim in his own production of On the Waterfront, will be the one to open the envelope and declare the winner at the Theatre Book Prize award event at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, next Tuesday.

As a poet, writer of short stories, autobiography and books on theatre as well as a successful playwright, actor and director Steven Berkoff bridges all the fields covered by the award that he is presenting. He is currently appearing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in his own production of Bud Schulberg’s On the Waterfront.