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New Plays, Books & Musicals

New Plays, Books & Musicals

Our regular up-to-date selection of recently published books as well as new or re-released plays and musicals, many of which are now available for amateur performance.
Show listings are not proof that respective titles are available for amateur performance. Please make appropriate enquiries with respective licensors.


F: ConcordShows | T: @ConcordUKShows

Samuel French

HADESTOWN by Anaïs Mitchell

Full-Length Musical / F5, M3 / Fantasy / 978 0 573 70885 5 / £10.99

This intriguing and beautiful folk opera delivers a deeply resonant and defiantly hopeful theatrical experience. Following two intertwining love stories — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of immortal King Hades and Lady Persephone — Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Inspired by traditions of classic American folk music and vintage New Orleans jazz, Mitchell’s beguiling sung-through musical pits industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love.


HEATHERS THE MUSICAL by Laurence O’Keefe, Kevin Murphy

Full-Length Musical / F9, M8 / 1980s, Westerberg High School, Ohio / 978 0 573 70382 9 / £10.99

Heathers The Musical is the darkly delicious story of Veronica Sawyer, a brainy, beautiful teenage misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers. But before she can get comfortable atop the high school food chain, Veronica falls in love with the dangerously sexy new kid J.D. When Heather Chandler, the Almighty, kicks her out of the group, Veronica decides to bite the bullet and kiss Heather’s aerobicised ass… but J.D. has another plan for that bullet.
Brought to you by the award-winning creative team of Kevin Murphy (Reefer Madness, “Desperate Housewives”), Laurence O’Keefe (Bat Boy, Legally Blonde) and Andy Fickman (Reefer Madness, She’s the Man). Heathers The Musical is a hilarious, heartfelt, and homicidal new show based on the greatest teen comedy of all time. With its moving love story, laugh-out-loud comedy, and unflinching look at the joys and anguish of high school, Heathers will be New York’s most popular new musical. Are you in, or are you out?


IN THE HEIGHTS by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes

Full-Length Musical / F6, M6 / Contemporary, Present Day / DIG0000000438 / £4.00 (digital perusal score rental)

In the Heights tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighbourhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.


ONE GOOD TURN by Una McKevitt

Full-Length Play / F4, M2 / Present Day / 978 0 573 13270 4 / £9.99

Brenda wants Frank to do his exercises, Aoife wants to go to a wedding of all things, Fiona doesn’t know what she wants and Frank is looking for the gun.
One Good Turn brings us a family on the brink who are keeping the show on the road any which way they can. It is a wry and life-affirming exploration into the ups and downs of family bonds.



SIX by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss

Full-Length Musical / F6 / Present Day, 16th Century – Elizabethan

This title is not currently available for performance. To be informed as soon as it becomes available in the future, please submit a license application.
The Electrifying New Musical Phenomenon! From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the SIX wives of Henry VIII take the mic to reclaim their identities out of the shadow of their infamous spouse, remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st-Century girl power.Nominee:

  • Five 2019 Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical
  • Winner! 2019 Whatsonstage Award for Best Off-West End Production
  • Winner! 2019 BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for Best West End Musical

Rodgers and Hammerstein

PAL JOEY by Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, John O’Hara

Full-Length Musical / F4, M2 / 1940s – WWII / DIG0000000500 / £4.00 (digital perusal score rental)

The penultimate Rodgers & Hart collaboration introduced the first anti-hero to propel a musical. Joey is an opportunistic cad, but he always seems to land on his feet. He elbows his way into a job at a seedy Chicago nightclub and is soon juggling the affections of a naive chorus girl and a wealthy society dame who just happens to be married. Once Joey has charmed the socialite into setting him up in his own joint, he ditches the chorine and is riding high, playing the big-time operator. When a punk threatens to spill the whole business to the socialite’s husband, she decides that she’s bored with Joey anyway, dumping him and the club. Having had a taste of his own medicine, you’d think Joey would head back to the sweet kid who really loves him. Wrong. Some things never change, but you know what? He’s still on his feet.


SHOW BOAT by Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II, Edna Ferber

Full-Length Musical / F8, M9, 1 Girl / 1920s, 1910s – WWI, 1900-1910, 18th Century / DIG0000000522 / £4.00 (digital perusal score rental)

Spanning the years from 1880 to 1927, this lyrical masterpiece, centered around the Mississippi show boat Cotton Blossom, concerns the lives, loves and heartbreaks of three generations of show folk and their lifelong friends. Show Boat follows the story of the Hawkes family, including the captain’s naive daughter Magnolia, who wants to be a performer, as she marries a gambler and moves with him to Chicago. When his debts compound, he deserts her and their young daughter. Magnolia’s selfless best friend Julie, a performer on the Cotton Blossom, faces arrest on charges of miscegenation, which is illegal, and she spirals into despair. The passing of time reunites Magnolia and her now-grown daughter with Magnolia’s estranged husband, who returns offering a second chance at familial happiness.



Tams Witmark

BARNUM by Cy Coleman, Michael Stewart, Mark Bramble

Full-Length Musical / F3, M2 / 1835 – 1880. America and major capitals of the world / DIG0000000360 / £4.00 (digital perusal score rental)

P.T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman on Earth, combines razzle-dazzle with charm and brass to sell “humbug” to cheering crowds. A joyful and moving musical portrait of the nineteenth century’s greatest show-biz legend, Barnum is a colorful, dynamic spectacle with heart. Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart’s rousing score includes “There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute,” “Join the Circus,” “The Colors of My Life,” and “Come Follow The Band.”
Concord Theatricals has collaborated with Subplot Studio to create high-quality artwork that complies with your license. Promoting your show has never been easier!


PORGY AND BESS by George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, Dorothy Heyward, Ira Gershwin

Full-Length Musical / F4, M4 / Charleston, South Carolina. The early 1930s

Known worldwide as a masterpiece and an “American Folk Opera,” Porgy and Bess® was George Gershwin’s final work for the musical stage. Based on DuBose and Dorothy Heyward’s play Porgy, Porgy and Bess® combines elements of jazz, classical, and American folk music. Musical numbers include “Summertime,” “A Woman Is a Sometime Thing,” “My Man’s Gone Now,” “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “Bess, You Is My Woman Now,” and “I’m On My Way.”


TITANIC by Peter Stone, Maury Yeston

Full-Length Musical / F14, M23 / The RMS Titanic, between 10 – 15 April 1912 / DIG0000000299 / £4.00 (digital perusal score rental)

Titanic is available for licensing in two versions:

  • Titanic (Original): Designed for a large cast, with 14 lead roles and at least 23 supporting roles. Presented on Broadway with a cast of 37 performers.
  • Titanic – Ensemble Version: Designed for a total of 20 actors, with performers doubling or tripling on roles.

Concord Theatricals has collaborated with Subplot Studio to create high-quality artwork that complies with your license. Promoting your show has never been easier!

The sinking of the Titanic in the early hours of April 15, 1912, remains the quintessential disaster of the Twentieth Century. A total of 1,517 souls – men, women and children – lost their lives (only 711 survived). The fact that the finest, largest, strongest ship in the world – called, in fact, the “unsinkable” ship – should have been lost during its maiden voyage is so incredible that, had it not actually happened, no author would have dared to contrive it.
But the catastrophe had social ramifications that went far beyond that night’s events. For the first time since the beginning of the industrial revolution early in the 19th Century, bigger, faster and stronger did not prove automatically to be better. Suddenly the very essence of “progress” had to be questioned; might the advancement of technology not always be progress?
Nor was this the only question arising from the disaster. The accommodations of the ship, divided into 1st, 2nd and 3rd Classes, mirrored almost exactly the class structure (upper, middle and lower) of the English-speaking world. But when the wide discrepancy between the number of survivors from each of the ship’s classes was revealed – all but two of the women in 1st Class were saved while 155 women and children from 2nd and 3rd (mostly 3rd) drowned – there was a new, long-overdue scrutiny of the prevailing social system and its values.
It is not an exaggeration to state that the 19th Century, with its social stricture, its extravagant codes of honor and sacrifice, and its unswerving belief that God favored the rich, ended that night.
The musical play Titanic examines the causes, the conditions and the characters involved in this ever-fascinating drama. This is the factual story of that ship – of her officers, crew and passengers, to be sure – but she will not, as has happened so many times before, serve as merely the background against which fictional, melodramatic narratives are recounted. The central character of our Titanic is the Titanic herself.
Peter Stone


Musicals: Youth & Teen Editions

AMÉLIE: TEEN EDITION by Craig Lucas, Daniel Messé, Nathan Tysen & Daniel Messé, Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Guillaume Laurant

Full-Length Musical / F5, M7, 1 Girl / 1970s & 1990s Paris and the mind and imagination of Amélie Poulain / 978 0 573 70865 7 / £10.99

Amélie is an extraordinary young woman who lives quietly in the world but loudly in her mind. She covertly improvises small but surprising acts of kindness that bring joy and mayhem. But when a chance at love comes her way, Amélie realizes that to find happiness she’ll have to risk everything and say what’s in her heart. Be inspired by this imaginative dreamer who finds her voice, discovers the power of connection, and sees possibility around every corner.


Nick Hern Books

T: 020 8749 4953
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F: NickHernBooks | T: @NickHernBooks

Alexander Technique for Actors: A Practical Course by Penny O’Connor

Theatre book / 978 1 848 42758 7 / £14.99 (£11.99 direct from publisher)

Written by an experienced teacher of the Alexander Technique, this comprehensive, supportive and highly practical book takes you step by step through a series of eleven guided lessons, each exploring different elements and principles of the technique. With dozens of exercises and assignments to help you immediately put what you’ve learned into practice, and featuring illustrations throughout, this is the ideal introduction to everything the Alexander Technique has to offer – and its potential to benefit not just your work and career, but your entire life.
‘Penny O’Connor’s approach to the Alexander Technique is mindful and meaningful. She brings great skill, experience, wit and humanity to her work. I have learnt a great deal from her.’
Jeannette Nelson, Head of Voice, National Theatre.


Getting, Keeping & Working with Your Acting Agent: The Compact Guide by JBR

Theatre book / 978 1 848 42941 3 / £8.99 (£7.19 direct from publisher)

Perfect for any talented and committed amateur actor looking to make the leap into working professionally, this empowering, informative guide explains everything actors need to know about agents – how to find one, what they do, and how to work with them effectively to help you succeed if you want to make acting your career. Also included are invaluable tips on how to write a great CV; obtain attention-grabbing headshots, showreels and voicereels; prepare for and excel at auditions; embrace social media; protect your mental health; and much more.



Hamilton and Me: An Actor’s Journal by Giles Terera. Foreword by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Theatre Book / 978 1 848 42999 4 / £16.99 (£13.59 direct from publisher)

A unique, personal account of researching, rehearsing for and performing in the London production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash-hit musical Hamilton – by Giles Terera, the actor who won an Olivier Award for his performance as the West End’s Aaron Burr. It offfers an honest, intimate and thrilling look at everything involved in opening a once-in-a-generation production – the triumphs, breakthroughs and doubts, the camaraderie of the rehearsal room and the moments of quiet backstage contemplation – as well as a fascinating, in-depth exploration of now-iconic songs and moments from the musical, as seen from the inside.
‘Masterful and excellently written… offers audiences and readers the chance to not only be in the “room where it happens” but also to smell the sweat, feel the pulsing hearts and hear the resonance… deserves a permanent place on aspiring musical theatre performers’ bookshelves’
The Reviews Hub


How Plays Work (revised and updated edition) by David Edgar

Theatre book / 978 1 839 04031 3 / £14.99 (£11.99 direct from publisher)

In this fascinating masterclass for playwrights and playmakers, distinguished playwright David Edgar examines the mechanisms and techniques which dramatists throughout the ages have employed to structure their plays and to express their meaning. This new edition brings the book right up to date with analyses of many recent plays, as well as explorations of emerging genres and new innovations in playwriting practice.
‘An essential accompaniment for anyone fascinated by the craft of dramatic storytelling’
John Yorke



Learning Your Lines: The Compact Guide by Mark Channon

Theatre book / 978 1 848 42971 0 / £8.99 (£7.19 direct from publisher)

This accessible, systematic guide will teach you how to memorise your lines quickly and effectively, and let go of the fear of forgetting them – helping you build confidence and focus, and reducing anxiety and stress around auditions, rehearsal and performance. Discover dozens of tips, tricks and techniques, along with exercises and examples to illustrate how they work in practice.



What Country, Friends, Is This?: Directing Shakespeare with Young Performers by Max Hafler

Theatre Book / 978 1 848 42803 4 / £14.99 (£11.99 direct from publisher)

A highly practical, comprehensive guide to exploring Shakespeare with young people, or indeed performers of all ages – ideal for directors, youth-theatre leaders, workshop facilitators and teachers. Beginning with a series of workshops that introduce the skills and principles of voice and acting, this book sets out, step by step, how to use devising, develop short scenes, explore soliloquies, and unlock the themes, characters, stories and language of the plays. There is also useful advice on preparing for a production, editing and transposing the text, rehearsing scenes, and fostering an ensemble.
‘A must-own… full of exercises and advice to explore’
Teaching Drama on Max Hafler’s book Teaching Voice: Workshops for Young Performers


Music Theatre International (Europe)

T: 020 7580 2827
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F: mtieurope | T: mtieurope

Hans Christian Andersen Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser. Book by John Fearnley, Beverley Cross and Tommy Steele

Countless generations of children have been raised on the fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen. From “The Ugly Duckling” to “The Little Mermaid.” Now with music by legendary composer Frank Loesser, Hans Christian Andersen is a musical storybook that brings the timeless tales (and the man who created them) to life onstage.
A struggling cobbler in Denmark, Hans Christian Andersen is better at making stories than shoes. As he discovers his potential as a storyteller and writer, he ultimately gets the help he needs from the people who love him to make a future for himself.
A family-friendly show with generous ensemble roles for both adults and children, Hans Christian Andersen is a timeless treasure. It is based on the 1952 film starring Danny Kaye and features classic songs such as “I’m Hans Christian Andersen,” “Thumbelina,” “Anywhere I Wander,” and more!


A KILLER PARTY: A Murder Mystery Musical Music by Jason Howland. Lyrics by Nathan Tysen. Book by Kait Kerrigan and Rachel Axler

A Killer Party: A Murder Mystery Musical is an online, performance-ready show based on the successful streaming musical. This hilarious and irreverent send-up of the classic Murder Mystery features an all-star creative team that includes music by Jason Howland (Little Women), lyrics by Nathan Tysen (The Burnt Part Boys), and a book by the illustrious Kait Kerrigan and Rachel Axler.
MTI’s licensable version of this online show is a 90-minute, single piece designed to be pre-recorded and edited together for a streaming production shown on the platform.
When Varthur McArthur, the artistic director of a failing theater in Duluth, invites his troupe of disgruntled actors and collaborators to the first read of an “immersive murder mystery dinner party,” no one knew that he would be the victim. Or did they? Enter the eager, determined, and untested Detective Case. After sequestering the guests into separate rooms (because, you know, social-distancing), she gets down to finding out whodunnit, uncovering secret affairs, life-long grudges, backstage drama, and a lot of musical theater song and dance. Sifting through lies and red herrings and a truly baffling murder mystery script left by the deceased, Case vows to find the truth and secure her future as a great detective.


A-Wop Bop A-Loo Bop: A jukebox celebration of the early days of Rock & Roll! Book by Mark Brymer and John Jacobson

A-Wop Bop A-Loo Bop takes us back to the late 1950’s as Rock & Roll is taking the airwaves by storm. Roberta “Ruby” Lester and her friends are spunky teenagers with dreams of making it big in the music business. But sometimes dreams don’t go as planned. When the local radio station announces that “Rock‘n’Roll has got to go”, the kids take a stand for the music they love.
A-Wop Bop A-Loo Bop offers plenty of roles, along with a flexible ensemble you can tailor to your casting needs. Featuring hit songs like ‘Rock Around The Clock’, ‘Jailhouse Rock’, ‘Tutti Frutti’, ‘Up On the Roof’, ‘The Loco-Motion’, ‘I’m Sorry’ and ‘Land of 1000 Dances’, this new jukebox musical will get a whole new generation of rockin’ around the clock!


Surface Press / BANDCAMP


WILD TIME: a radical novelisation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, Rose Biggin, Keir Cooper


Paperback, signed paperback, e-book:
Ebook (Amazon):

Both funny and sexy on an astronomical scale. The Perfect Summer Read!
Rose Biggin and Keir Cooper’s Wild Time “breaks as many rules as it can”, sparking rave reviews, a must-read for those looking for an hilarious new twist in the tale that packs a punch.
As the theatre industry opens up this season we are seeing many productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (one of the world’s most beloved plays), as theatres around the UK welcome back their audiences.
Two award-winning theatremakers have made a “theatrical novel” Wild Time, a witty riff that rewrites the action of Dream, and begins a conversation about the sexual politics of this famous and frequently performed piece, in a wholly unique way.
Their theatrical bookclub at Camden People’s Theatre made the Guardian’s hotlist and Lyn Gardner’s Pick of the week.
Authors Rose Biggin and Keir Cooper offer us a mischievous ride into myth and magic, taking liberties with Greek gods and literary idols as if nothing is sacred.
A witty reinvention of Shakespeare for 21st Century politics and sex-positivity. An ideal world to get lost in this Summer.
The Duke of Athens and the Amazon Queen are getting married in the morning. It’s going to be a big one, and everyone’s invited. The King and Queen of the Fairies arrive into ancient Athens, ready to be guests of honour at the party of the age.
There’s a gifted new Changeling in town — a uniquely talented human who’s attracting some attention. Titania has plans, Oberon’s wound up about it, there’s a long night ahead and naturally it all comes down to who does what. The planets have their own ideas, and elsewhere, deep within the forest, we see a leatherworker and part-time male stripper rehearsing a play that’s ahead of its time…
This is A Midsummer Night’s Dream as you’ve never known it before. A punk revision of Shakespeare’s narratives of pleasure and power, WILD TIME is a new world composed of erotic and theatrical acrobatics, taking liberties with Greek gods and literary idols like nothing is sacred. It’s funny, it’s sexy, and you’ve got a front row seat.

“WILD TIME is a genuinely intoxicating night in the woods. Generous and witty, sexy and extremely smart, it torments Shakespeare with such lascivious glee and trips nimbly through the theatrical canon… To see the universe expanded out in prose, but also subverted and punked and stripped down and re-focussed is a constant joy. I’ve never read anything like it.”
Stewart Pringle, Dramaturg, National Theatre.

“A lusty reimagining of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, WILD TIME spins you at arm’s length in the middle of its heated embrace. Transgression is at its heart: this new version does its best to rip off the shackles of its originator, but pays homage to it too by breaking as many rules as it can – just as Puck and his cohorts are wont to do. It’s like being in a really fun, messy party where I want to be friends – and maybe more – with them all… erotic and direct, joyful and funny, WILD TIME entices as much as it shocks. There are dangerous pleasures to be had here… if you’re bold enough.”
Honour Bayes, Writer & Critic

“Funny and mischievous, WILD TIME is a delightful reinvention… a treat for lovers of theatre and the fantastical”
EJ Swift

“Boldly experimental and daring, not to mention fabulously entertaining… One of the most remarkable aspects of this book is the way it honours its source material: the bawdiness, the humour, the word play, the theatrical chaos – they’re all here, all mined knowingly and inventively and to delightful effect. The authors’ willingness to be bold and innovative in terms of language and form adds extra verve, and their understanding of and appreciation for *theatre* in every sense of the word results in a work that almost demands to be adapted for the stage. The poetry, humour and sheer joy… a book that will raise a sorely needed smile as these dark days encroach.”
Nina Allan

Rose Biggin & Keir Cooper are two experimental theatre artists who work with radical adaptation, literature and histories: between them, productions include a Don Quijote remix (**** Guardian, Time Out Critics Choice), queer flamenco-theatre on the Spanish Revolution, and a performance of poledance and electric guitar, feat. live art veteran Penny Arcade.

WILD TIME is their debut novel. Rose’s short fiction has been published by Jurassic London, Abaddon Books & Egaeus Press.
Their second theatrical novel has been funded by Arts Council England and is currently in development.


Neville Teller

T: 01625 879508
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MORE AUDIO DRAMA by Neville Teller

£11.99 paperback / £4.99 ebook (Amazon)

Neville Teller’s generous second helping of plays for audio. Charging no performance rights or royalties, More Audio Drama author Neville Teller gifts ten beautifully crafted literary classic adaptations for radio and audio to podcast producers looking for prepared audio scripts.
Following the success of the author’s unique first collection of ten radio plays published in 2019, veteran audio dramatist Neville Teller returns with his second helping of plays – More Audio Drama – to delight lovers of radio drama as well as producers, actors and podcasters everywhere.
In these 10 plays inspired by literary classics, Neville’s expert and finely tuned writing skills are displayed to full effect. Whether you are a podcast producer seeking fully realised audio drama scripts, or one of the worldwide listening audience who love radio drama with its power to create images in the mind’s eye, More Audio Drama is a book to treasure and enjoy.
Neville is a veteran radio dramatist, with more than 50 BBC radio plays under his belt and scores more produced and broadcast across America by the San Francisco-based Shoestring Radio Theatre.
Back in 2019 he published his first collection of ten radio plays, Audio Drama. They have been so welcomed that he decided to make another ten available. Here they are – 10 more of Neville’s plays for radio and podcast, all of which have been produced and broadcast. As in his first book, these scripts are offered to podcast producers with no strings attached. The books on which they are based are all literary classics in the public domain. No performance rights are required.
Whether you are a podcast producer seeking fully realised audio drama scripts, or one of the worldwide listening audience who love radio drama with its power to create images in the mind’s eye, More Audio Drama is a book to treasure and enjoy.
Neville says: “These easy-to-read radio scripts provide lovers of radio drama with the chance to create in their own minds the sort of radio drama that they enjoy. As for the worldwide community of podcast producers, here are 10 audio-ready scripts, offered with no strings attached.
“No royalties, no performance rights.”
Neville Teller is a veteran radio dramatist, with more than 50 BBC radio plays under his belt and scores more produced and broadcast across America by the San Francisco-based Shoestring Radio Theatre. Back in 2019 he published his first collection of ten radio plays, Audio Drama. They have been so welcomed that he decided to make another ten available. Here they are – 10 more of Neville’s plays for radio and podcast, all of which have been produced and broadcast. As in his first book, these scripts are offered to podcast producers with no strings attached. The books on which they are based are all literary classics in the public domain. No performance rights are required. Whether you are a podcast producer seeking fully realised audio drama scripts, or one of the worldwide listening audience who love radio drama with its power to create images in the mind’s eye, More Audio Drama is a book to treasure and enjoy.



T: 01625 879508
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What goes on in the Pantheon by John Waterhouse

Full-Length Comedy / F6, M6 (or 3m, 3f with doubling)

Free preview script via Stage Scripts at
The Greek Gods have enjoyed centuries of relative stability under the rule of Zeus, notwithstanding a few affairs and shenanigans along the way. All seems well apart from the fact that Artemis, Goddess of the Moon and the Hunt (as well as chastity) has not been seen for a while.
Karen, a holiday-maker climbing Mount Olympus, enters a portal accidentally left open by the messenger God Hermes on a trip down to the underworld of Hades. Karen bears a strong resemblance to Artemis, albeit with much shorter hair, and the rest of Gods assume she has simply changed her appearance a little (which Gods can do).
Having quickly learnt there are dire consequences for mortals who enter the Pantheon, Karen decides to pose as the missing Goddess. This suits Hades perfectly, who has Artemis a prisoner in his underworld kingdom, as he plots to challenge the power of Zeus on Olympus.



Available at and for Sardines readers at a special price of £8 + £2 p&p by using code: GhostClub8

Despite the mind fog of these Covid times, can you, like me, just about remember the 16 March 2020? That’s when the first lockdown started and shows, even those that had survived multiple cast changes, came to a grinding halt.

I’m a freelance Company Stage Manager and like the vast majority of my fellow workers in the business had to accept I had even more time on my hands than usual.

The belief things would improve in a couple of months turned from hope to despair at times but I was cheered by a consistent story in the theatre’s trade papers and websites.

It seemed that though actors and audiences had vanished, there was still one thing performing nightly as long as managements had paid their electricity bills. It was that age old symbol of stage superstition, the Ghost Light. Every theatre now seemed to have one defiantly alight, keeping the dark shadows of dread and emptiness at bay.

Their stories made me want to emulate them. I wanted to do something positive to help lift my spirits and an idea began to form. As I couldn’t partake in shows or watch live performances, what about dead ones? It so happened that I had been collecting ghost stories of the theatre for most of my career and I saw this as an ideal opportunity to tell some of them. There was no lack of variety. After all, if I added up all the casts of Les Mis, Phantom, Mamma Mia! and The Mousetrap, they still couldn’t top my Chorus Line of ghosts.

I started going through my collection and quickly realised it would be unfair to only concentrate on past performing phantoms. I needed to broaden my outlook more widely. And so I added stories from backstage and also from the auditoriums. After all, spectral spectators abound throughout the land.

My list of sightings and experiences grew and grew and to accommodate a selection of the best I decided to divide my book in two. Starting in the West End, it visits many playhouses where multiple hauntings have been reported including the Adelphi, the Haymarket and Wyndham’s.

An interval is next where individual stories are related, and afterwards the book goes on tour around the country, before ending of course with a finale set in the most famous haunted theatre of them all, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
The end result is entitled Stage Ghosts and Haunted Theatres. It’s an illustrated paperback with a foreword by Richard O’Brien of The Rocky Horror Picture Show fame. It covers over fifty theatres and includes a host of terrors and apparitions that have been seen, felt, heard and even smelt. Those lonely lights onstage may be beginning to be turned off now as shows are cautiously re opening, but that does not mean the ghosts themselves have ever left the buildings…



Recently, we asked you to send us details of your production plans to reopen and welcome your audiences back into theatres up and down the UK.
You haven’t disappointed us. In fact we almost received too many shows to list.
There are two points why this news is so big:

  1. You must all be confident that audiences are ready to come back into theatres.
  2. Your own societies, casts & crews must also be ready to launch back into performing with aplomb.

We must admit to fearing a bigger level of hesitancy whilst, it turns out, all along, you’ve been waiting to get back to where you belong.
The next thing you need to do id check that your society’s contact ‘Admin’ has uploaded the production to our website. Here are some of your shows:

With somewhere in the region of over 10,000 amateur theatre societies in the UK, this obviously a tiny snapshot of what is going on across the length and breadth of the country.
Many of the societies shown here are listed on the Sardines website directory. However, some have merely responded to our video shoutouts on YouTube and sent us details of their reopening shows, plays and pantos.
If you spot your own society here then why not look on the Sardines website to see if the society and show are listed?

The website can be reached by visiting:

That said, not everybody will be able to upload information to the website. So here are the basic points:

  1. Individuals must register on the website before being able to do anything. However, it’s very quick and easy.
  2. Once registered you can add a society, a new service supplier profile, comment on any post or add a new post of your own. Just click on the ‘Add/Upload/Me’ link once you log in to add or edit something.
  3. Only the main society ‘Admin’ can update and add new details to a society page. This is usually the person who created the original society page, but not always. Email us ( with any queries or special ‘Admin’ requests you may have.
  4. Anybody can apply to be a ‘Co-Admin’ of a society page which means – if approved by the existing ‘Admin’ – they will be able to add productions, auditions and request a Sardines review for a production they have added.
  5. Any registered user can also ‘follow’ a society to receive notifications of additions, changes and uploads made to any particular theatre group.

If you get stuck our YouTube channel has a ‘Video Tutorials’ playlist to help out. Search YouTube for ‘Sardines Magazine’.



by Matthew Malthouse

To most people when they think of auditions, they think of X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent. No matter what level you perform at, auditions are part of an actor’s life – the school nativity, part-time drama group, local amateur dramatics society or even West End professional, one thing that remains consistent throughout is auditioning.
Whether you love or hate them, thrive under the pressure, or crumble every time, the reality is, auditions will always exist for actors.
According to Wikipedia: ‘Audition’ is rooted in the Latin verb ‘audire’, meaning ‘to hear’, and was first used in the late 16th Century to refer to the power or sense of hearing. … It wasn’t until late 19th Century that the noun ‘audition’ began being used for an entertainer’s trial performance.

I love the description ‘trial performance’ it conjures up the image of proving yourself to a jury, which is exactly how an audition can sometimes feel!

What is an audition?
If you are reading this, I imagine you are very familiar with auditions. If you have never had to audition… lucky you!
The format of auditions remains exactly the same no matter what level you are at.
They tend to follow this pattern:

  • Wait outside audition room pacing nervously.
  • Walking in the room – it suddenly feels the length of a football pitch.
  • Couple of minutes of awkward nervous chat.
  • Three to five minutes performing your songs, scenes or monologues – at this point your own internal monologue is going haywire. Clogging your brain with a series of unhelpful
  • Awkward goodbye and long walk to exit.
  • Spend the next few days agonising over what you should or could have done better.

Sound familiar? The problem with auditions is there is no real alternative to them. Many directors and casting directors have expressed that they feel auditions sometimes don’t get the best out of actors, but they just don’t have another viable alternative. I say viable with caution as that word can be triggering to actors… remember Fatima?

Self-tapes have become more and more popular for professional actors and drama schools. They are great as a first round as they allow casting directors to see more actors and save money on room-hire costs, meaning more people get the opportunity to audition even if it is remotely.

Don’t know what a self-tape is? Here is a tutorial I did to make a professional looking self-tape…

A lot of professional actors prefer self-tape auditions because you get the chance to re-do them if you aren’t happy with how you perform.

The majority of the time you will still be required to have an in-person audition to secure the job/part/ role or a place at drama school.

An in-person audition gives the creative team/panel a chance to see what your working relationship would be like and how you respond to direction and notes. This is especially important in drama school auditions where they will be working with you for three years.

Why are auditions important?
Auditions allow every actor an equal opportunity to secure a role. We all get our five mins to show what we would do with the part, or in a college audition situation we get five mins to showcase what skills we have to offer.
Yes, in drama groups or amateur societies, often, it turns out that the same people get all the best roles, but having an audition process means that occasionally someone gets cast in a part you would never expect. Without holding an audition this wouldn’t be possible.
So how do you get more comfortable and confident with auditions?

Here are my… ‘Top-5 Audition Tips’


When it comes to auditions at any level I believe the the old saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin and used by the army: “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” is key.
You can never do too much preparation before your audition. What that preparation would need to include, depends on the situation.
If you are auditioning for a role you should do some general research:

  • Composer
  • Lyricist
  • Writer
  • Previous productions

Next, you want to read the full script. Too many actors at every level make the mistake of only reading the section of the production that they have to perform for their auditions.
Take the time to source and read the full play. It will contain all the information you need about your character.
I can’t emphasis this point enough – read the full script!
The script will give you an idea of the style of the piece and the time period it is set in. You want to be looking for things like your characters:

  • Age
  • Job
  • Relationships
  • Social Class
  • Accent
  • Upbringing
  • Interests

This information will influence your physicality and the way you talk to others in the scene.
Everything the writer believes is important for your character will be in the writing.
It is essential to note where in the play your scene takes place and how it fits within the story arch. This will guide you to what the main objective of the scene is.
Whatever action has happened just before a scene can sometimes be the biggest influence to your characters mood, energy and motivation.
For classic plays like Shakespeare, reading the play can often be arduous, time-consuming work or, with some old musicals, finding a copy of the script can be difficult. In these situations you could watch a movie version – but be warned don’t copy the acting. You have to create your own character for a memorable performance.

Drama school audition preparation
Each college has their own audition specifications. Make sure you double-check that the pieces you choose match those requirements. Some colleges can be very specific – a play written post-1990 by a British playwright for example. If you are planning on auditioning for multiple colleges I would recommend you source all the requirements from the various schools before picking your monologues so you can use the same piece at multiple auditions.
I would also recommend doing some research on the college. Recent graduates, full-time teaching faculty, course content. Most of this information is available from their websites. Often you will be asked about this at the interview stage.
Don’t overlook the audition interview, it can be the deciding factor on whether you get a place or not. Knowing information about the college and teachers will convey the image of a professional, conscientious applicant.
I can’t overstate the importance of preparation. It is often the difference between failure and success.

Ignore the panel

The panel can be unbelievably distracting during your audition. If they start talking to each other as you perform, your internal monologue will start going crazy.
“They look bored”, “they hate me”, “I am rubbish” … (Very rarely does your internal monologue give you praise.)
Don’t worry. If the panel starts to talk, it is normally a good thing – they are discussing where they think you would fit within the production or they could be saying they like your energy and are seeing if the others panellists agree.
Panels don’t need to talk if they aren’t interested as there is nothing to discuss. Or if they have time on their side they will discuss you once you leave the room. You really never can tell, so don’t look into what you think the panel are thinking.
My top tip is to place your focus and eyeline just above the panels heads. That will mean they will be in softer focus and less distracting.

Stay present in the room

It can be easy to become distracted in the room. Your mind can start to wander thinking “that bit wasn’t very good” or “maybe I need to do a gesture.”
If you find these thoughts flying around your head you aren’t present in the moment.
The more you concentrate on the words and story of the monologue/song you are performing, the more you will stay in the moment. This will lead to a more engaging truthful performance.
To help get into character or in ‘the zone’ take your time before you start. Auditions can be nerve wracking which leads to a surge of adrenaline and increased heart rate. This can cause you to rush and get over excited. Take a few breaths and a moment to get into character before you start. Taking ten secs to prepare will feel like an eternity to you in the room but the panel won’t notice.
Be brave and take that time as it can make a big difference.
Think about it as a performance

Auditions are a chance to perform. We act because we like to escape and play characters. Most of us start to act because above all it is fun and enjoyable. If you treat auditions as a chance to enjoy acting and performing, the pressure on them immediately decreases.
Acting and art is subjective. What someone thinks about your performance is down to their personal taste. How many times do you love an actor, singer or band and a friend isn’t as impressed?
The panel are the same. You can’t change their individual preferences. You can only show them your ability, show them what you would do with the role and let them decide.
Brian Cranston from Breaking Bad famously said of auditions: “You aren’t going there to get a job. You are going to present what you do.”…

Always remember the audition panel is on your side. Brilliant performers are wanted in their shows or drama schools. Don’t be scared or intimidated by them. They want you to do well.

Forget about it!

Once the audition is over you can’t change it. Don’t beat yourself up over what went wrong or the silly thing you said. It is done and you can’t go back.
Allow yourself time to be upset but don’t wallow for a sustained period of time.
When enough time has passed think about what you could have done better. Be objective and make those changes before any future auditions.
The more you audition, the less alien the situation becomes. With time they may even become enjoyable.

Need more Audition help?

Matt Malthouse is founder of Chiron Audition Prep… which has a goal to provide a programme that would have “benefited us when we auditioned for drama school.”

Before auditioning many students need to take extra tuition to prepare. If you need any help with an upcoming drama school audition Chiron Audition Prep offers 4 x Online courses: Acting, Singing, Dance and Musical theatre.

All courses have been designed after discussions with some of UK’s top drama schools to guarantee courses only contain the most relevant up to date audition specific content.

Head over to to find out more and sign up to receive a free audition guide.



“There’s a Light…”

The Rocky Horror Show might think it’s “Over at the Frankenstein Place,” but we – in the amateur theatre sector – all have our very own light to look out for… at last. As long as the Government doesn’t move the goalposts anytime soon, and the NHS’s vaccination programme stays on track, theatres are about to reopen on 17 May (with social distancing) followed by ditching the whole social distancing regulations pack from 21 June.

The news will come as music to our ears and will hopefully bring the worst fifteen months in our creative lifetimes to an end. The only worry comes as we look across the English Channel to our European neighbours, who are currently suffering a third wave of the Coronavirus infection rate and the associated lockdowns. Then again, the same countries appear to be a long way behind the UK’s efficient rollout of the vaccine delivery.

As long as we DO indeed reach the end of this theatrical nightmare over the coming months, societies up and down the country will be desperate to reopen their doors to welcome back live audiences… and then we’ll really find out where the level of public confidence lies.

You’ll see from our Strike Up the Band! pages (see 52 – 56) that the professional theatre industry is already planning to lift its curtains once more with shows all over the UK announcing their commencements.

Until then, we must religiously stick to streaming and rehearsing over Zoom in preparation for the big day. So get those licenses signed and runs booked in and contracts in place for our big return!
If all goes well then, at Sardines, we are also looking to make this issue – No.52 – our final online-only edition. That means we sincerely hope to print again by the time our June-July issue is published on 1 June.

Up until now we’ve restricted our subscription options to reflect our digital versions, but will soon be able to hopefully reactivate both our print subscription choices on the website.
Before then we do hope you enjoy reading what is in fact a jam-packed issue. We may be in lockdown at the current time but that hasn’t stopped us bringing you some high-profile star interviews. We are, of course, referring to our latest cover star, Shane Richie, who will need very little introduction having been part of the country’s biggest soap for years.

Also, for those of you who perhaps don’t rate his acting, we must point you in the direction of Mr. Richie’s newest dramatic project, Scaramouche Jones, which is now available to stream.
Elsewhere, apart from further star interviews with Aimie Atkinson and Lucie Jones (the former of which has gone from am-dram to the West End in a very short space of time), we bring you plenty of news and stories from the amateur theatre sector in our Your News and One Step Beyond! pages. Enjoy!

Stay safe, stay well, we will be back… very soon!

Paul & Fariba

I’LL BE IN MY TRAILER! – Keeping Up With the Joneses

I’LL BE IN MY TRAILER! – Keeping Up With the Joneses

Our regular series of coffee-break interviews… 15 minutes with… LUCIE JONES


Sardines first met Lucie Jones in 2017 just one week before her wedding day. It was at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley after she had been announced in the leading role of Elle Woods for the upcoming UK tour of Legally Blonde.

The award-winning actor and solo artist first came to prominence when she reached the finals of The X Factor in 2009.

Since then, Lucie has performed all over the world including representing the UK in 2017’s Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev. Never Give Up on You came 15th.

In addition to her one-woman show at London’s Adelphi Theatre just prior to lockdown, Lucie’s stage credits include playing Jenna in Waitress (West End), Rent (West End and UK Tour), Legally Blonde (Curve and UK Tour), Les Misérables (West End), American Psycho (off-West End), Ghost (International Tour), A Christmas Carol (West End), Girlfriends (off-West End), We Will Rock You (International Arena Tour) and The Wedding Singer (UK Tour).

The last time we spoke was the week before your wedding so I hope you remember it!

“I know! It was all a little bit mental at that time… and I’d just done Eurovision. We were rehearsing Legally Blonde. Then, the week before we opened, Ethan and I got married, and then we went out on the tour! Ha, ha!”

By the way have you seen Bill Ward’s photography book?

“Yes, I have; it’s absolutely gorgeous. I knew he was a great photographer and such a deep thinker. But he’s really captured some incredible moments in the empty theatres. It’s great. He wouldn’t have told you about his photography side when we first met because he’s not the kind of person to offer it up without being asked. He’s just not that way inclined; he’s a very quiet person who keeps himself to himself. He just so happens to also be an actor. The rest of us aren’t really like that are we… Ha, ha!”

Can you tell me a little about Treason and your involvement at Cadogan Hall in March?

“Absolutely! Treason is a new musical about the gunpowder plot: the attempt to blow up Parliament and kill the king, Guy Fawkes and the kind of stories we all grew up listening to. It was all because of a religious war that was going on, a religious battle.”

“It kind of does for British history what Hamilton did for the founding fathers and American history. We’re learning about the people around those who we already might know about. I play Martha Percy, the wife of one of the plotters, Thomas Percy. I nearly said ‘spoiler alert’ then but we kind of already know what happens. Obviously they didn’t quite get to blow up the intended target; they were caught and eventually came to a bit of a ‘sticky’ end, shall we say.”

“So I play the wife of one of the men. Martha’s a very simple woman with a quiet life, but who’s got this husband who goes off and becomes an extremist. She’s just trying to grapple with that whole role. It’s very interesting how it’s played out because it’s so many moons away from where we are now isn’t it. As a woman today, if my husband became an extremist I’d have something to say about it. But it was a different time and almost a different world they were living in. You had to just swallow it and get on with it.”

“Martha is probably the anchor of the emotional part of the story. It really is a joy to play, and the songs! Aaah! They’re absolutely amazing. The music is so good. It gives me Les Mis and Hamilton vibes; there are moments in Treason that bring about the feelings that those musicals manage to as well. I do lots of these types of workshops for musicals and, in that respect, I’m very lucky to be in a lot of rooms, but this one is really special. I really do feel that.”

Why do we concentrate on Guy Fawkes so much, HE’s not even on the poster?

“I know! Remember, remember, the fifth of November… the guy who was actually going to light the gunpowder was Guido Fawkes. So that’s where it comes from and how our obsession with Guy Fawkes came about. But this is why this part of the story is so important; he really didn’t do that much. So we’re learning all about the people around him. It’s kind of like in Hamilton where you’ve got George Washington, Hamilton, Aaron Burr and all the people around him… we’re just dealing with it in a slightly more British way, Ha, ha!”

Are you hoping to stay with the show right through to its full-blown version in 2021-22?
“The honest answer is that I’ve got no idea. Even with this Covid life, who knows what’s going to happen? Whatever does happen I shall support it all the way; the writers, the creatives… if I do have the chance to work with them again then I’m sure I would jump at it.”

Your concert at The Adelphi went on just prior to Lockdown. lucky timing or did you know something we didn’t?

“Ha! I’d like to think that the concert was so wonderful it simply shut down the world. On a serious note, we obviously had no idea what was coming and, interestingly, the day after the concert I flew to India to do a concert with the Philharmonic Orchestra in India. Looking back at it now you would say, ‘What were you thinking!’ But we just didn’t know did we. I think if our concert had been just a week later then people may have panicked and not come into London. It wasn’t long afterwards that the shows started to close. I remember that when I came back from India there was an event at the Royal Albert Hall which I went to watch. I brought some friends along and we all now refer to that night as the ‘Super-Spreader’ event; there was probably lots of people there who may or may not have contracted the virus. We simply didn’t know back then. It was also still the Winter when colds and flu weren’t that uncommon and you have that just-get-on-with-it attitude.”

“So, yes. We squeezed the concert in – which is one of the most favourite things I’ve ever done, and probably will ever do. The fact that we recorded the album that night, meaning we’ve got it forever, is amazing.”

Do you have a favourite track?

“I think from the actual night it would be She Used to be Mine. That’s the same theatre where Waitress played, so going back to the Adelphi, the last time I had sung it was on that stage. Sara Bareilles [writer of Waitress] was also in the audience with her family and Gavin Creel [Dr. Pomatter in Waitress]… it was just a very special moment to do that there.”

Weren’t you supposed to be returning to playing Jenna in Waitress after the concert?

“Yes, David [Hunter] and I were due to go back in on 23 March, which was unfortunately also the very start of lockdown. Weird eh! Years from now people will ask, ‘Where were you on March 23rd?’ ‘I should have been serving apple pies!’”

So, unlike much of the industry which may have been ‘resting’, you were pretty much on the front line at the start of 2020?

“Absolutely! We were ready and raring to go back – and we were excited about it too. It was certainly pretty gut-wrenching when we found out that the show wasn’t going to open again. But when we all got the email saying the show had to close temporarily I did think, ‘Oh God. We’re in this for the long haul.’ …and that’s even though I was hoping and trying to remain positive, thinking, ‘It could be a month and then we’d go back. Can we still get to see the run out?’”

“It does feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel now, with the vaccine, shows scheduling to reopen, Andrew Lloyd Webber talking about Cinderella and other exciting projects being talked about. I’m cautiously optimistic this time. Don’t get me wrong; I went to pick up a couple of Nando’s during the first ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ alog with everybody else. But hopefully this time we’re in a better position, plus with the experience of what happened before they’re able to make more informed decisions now.”

You’ve appeared in many streaming productions. It must be nice being at the top of the list – or do you have trouble saying ‘No’?

“Oh, gosh! Thank you, but I don’t know if it’s really about being top of the list. I’d done the concert and just finished the show. I think I’ve forced myself to be fresh in people’s minds. Good timing I guess. I’m very, very grateful… but I have said ‘no’ to things. Theatre has been such a special thing to be a part of. The things I have done I shall cherish forever. I’ve not done a project without working with someone who I’ve looked up to throughout my whole life; I’ve worked with Jenna Russell, Brian Conley… I just look around rooms that I’ve ended up in and think, ‘How the hell did I manage to blag a ticket into this room?’ …and they’re asking me to sing! It’s just amazing, and is quite overwhelming at times.”

“You do need to carry a professional attitude with you. It’s not about just turning up; you’ve got to do the job well otherwise you wouldn’t get asked back for the next thing would you. You can’t ever drop the ball.”

You’ve also appeared in a handful of TV dramas. Is straight acting something you’d like to expand upon?

“Oh my gosh. Yes, I love that side of it. As time goes on, the older I get and the more work I do, the more I enjoy and appreciate the character breakdown and analysis. That’s probably why I also enjoy teaching so much; delving into a character and speaking to young people about how they can get to know a character they’re about to play or sing. So, yes, I’m definitely hoping to do a lot more acting, but at the minute I love my musicals and will continue for as long as people want me to. I’m not going to walk away from something I love so much.”

Search for ‘Lucie Jones Live at the Adelphi.’
Twitter: @luciejones1
Istagram: @luciejones1
Spotify: artist/36iiHfBQwMbT4UNrxesTjU
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New Plays,  Books & Musicals

New Plays, Books & Musicals

Our regular up-to-date selection of recently published books as well as new or re-released plays and musicals, many of which are now available for amateur performance. As a result of the pandemic
some licensors are now offering special online-performance arrangements, so please get in touch with the appropriate company to find out more.

F: ConcordShows | T: @ConcordUKShows



Full-Length Musical, Comedy | F10, M5, Girl1, Boys2 | Present day | DIGLIB0000123 | £4 Digital Perusal Score Rental

The death of a much loved husband prompts a group of ordinary women in a small Yorkshire Women’s Institute to do an extraordinary thing. Blasting away all preconceptions of what it is to be in a women’s institute, they decide to do an artistic nude calendar to raise money for charity. Upturning preconceptions is a dangerous business and none of them expect the emotional and personal ramifications, but gradually the making of the fabulous and funny calendar brings each woman unexpectedly into flower.
The true story of the Calendar Girls launched a global phenomenon, a million copycat calendars, a record breaking movie, stage play and musical written by Tim Firth and Gary Barlow which coined the term “craughing” – the act of crying and laughing at the same time.
With unforgettable songs, every performance continues to add to the millions already raised for charity and also prove that there is no such thing as an ordinary woman.

Lifeboat by Nicola McCartney

Full Length Play, Drama | F2 | 1940s / WWII | 978 0 573 11695 7 | £9.99 Paperback

Tuesday, 17 September 1940: two fifteen-year-old child evacuees, Bess Walder and Beth Cummings, are fast asleep on board a steam passage ship, The City of Benares, sailing away from World War Two torn Britain and relentless German bombing. Just before midnight they are violently awoken when the ship is hit by a German torpedo and starts to sink. Bess and Beth join the stampede to the lifeboats. Then begins their desperate battle to survive, clinging on to an upturned lifeboat for a night and a day, in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Out of ninety children on board The City of Benares, Bess and Beth were among only a few who survived. Based on an extraordinary true story, Lifeboat is a tale of courage in the face of overwhelming danger, lifelong friendship and the will to survive.
Winner! TMA/Barclays Equity Award for Best Show for Children and Young People 2002.




GETTING TO KNOW… RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S OKLAHOMA! by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II

Short Musical, Comedy | F4, M5 | 1900 – 1910, Wild West | DIGLIB0000059 | £4 Digital Perusal Score Rental

Getting To Know… Oklahoma! is part of the Getting To Know… series: musicals adapted specifically for youth performers.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first collaboration remains, in many ways, their most innovative, setting the standards and rules of modern musical theatre. In a Western territory just after the turn of the 20th Century, a high-spirited rivalry between local farmers and cowboys provides a colourful background for Curly, a charming cowboy, and Laurey, a feisty farm girl, to play out their love story. Their romantic journey, as bumpy as a surrey ride down a country road, contrasts with the comic exploits of brazen Ado Annie and hapless Will Parker in a musical adventure embracing hope, determination and the promise of a new land.
In this adaptation for students, the content has been edited to better suit younger attention spans, but all the elements that make this show a classic remain. You and your students will be enchanted by the timeless story and the dazzling score, while at the same time learning about theatre and its production.


Short Musical, Drama | F5, M8 | 19th Century | DIGLIB0000160 | £4 Digital Perusal Score Rental

In 1862, an English widow, Anna Leonowens, and her young son arrive at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, Siam, having been summoned by the King to serve as tutor to his many children and wives. The King is largely considered to be a “barbarian” by those in the West and he seeks Anna’s assistance in changing his image, if not his ways. With both keeping a firm grip on their respective traditions and values, Anna and the King grow to understand and, eventually, respect one another, in a truly unique love story.
In this adaptation for pre-high school students, the content has been edited to better suit younger attention spans, but all the magic and beauty of the original are still in place. You and your students will be enchanted by the timeless story and the dazzling score, while at the same time learning about theatre and its production.


GETTING TO KNOW… THE SOUND OF MUSIC by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse

Short Musical, Dramatic Comedy | F6, M4, Girls5, Boys2 | 1940s / WWII, 1930s | DIGLIB0000048 | £4 Digital Perusal Score Rental

The final collaboration between Rodgers & Hammerstein was destined to become the world’s most beloved musical. Featuring a trove of cherished songs, including Climb Ev’ry Mountain, My Favorite Things, Do Re Mi, Sixteeen Going on Seventeen and the title number, The Sound of Music won the hearts of audiences worldwide, earning five Tony Awards and five Oscars. The inspirational story, based on the memoir of Maria Augusta Trapp, follows Maria, an ebullient postulant who serves as governess to the seven children of the imperious Captain Von Trapp, bringing music and joy to the household. But as the forces of Nazism take hold of Austria, the Von Trapp family must make a moral decision.
In this adaptation for school students, the content has been edited to better suit younger attention spans, but all the elements that make this show a classic are still in place. You and your students will be enchanted by the timeless story and the dazzling score, while at the same time learning about theatre and its production.


Short Musical, Comedy | F6, M4 | 16th Century / Elizabethan, 17th Century, 15th Century | DIGLIB0000161 | £4 Digital Perusal Score Rental

Note: In addition to this 60-minute edition, three full-length versions of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella are available for licensing. To compare and contrast the four versions, please visit the Concord website.
The timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale is reborn with the Rodgers & Hammerstein hallmarks of originality, charm and elegance. Originally presented on television in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella was the most widely viewed program in the history of the medium. Its recreation in 1965 starring Lesley Ann Warren was no less successful in transporting a new generation to the miraculous kingdom of dreams-come-true, and so was a second remake in 1997, which starred Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as her Fairy Godmother. As adapted for the stage, with great warmth and more than a touch of hilarity, this enthralling fairy tale still warms the hearts of children and adults alike.
In this specially created Getting to Know… version, all the beloved songs and familiar characters are present and accounted for. However, the entire script has been condensed to better suit young attention spans, and the plot has been slightly altered to highlight some important lessons for contemporary audiences.


Full-Length Musical, Comedy | F3, M2 | Contemporary | DIGLIB0000274 | £4 Digital Perusal Score Rental

More than those of any composer or lyricist writing for the stage, the songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein have become an integral part of our everyday lives. We sing them in the shower; we dance to them in ballrooms; we hear them on the radio and in clubs and, yes, in elevators and supermarkets, too. This stunning collection of Rodgers & Hammerstein compositions places five performers in a theatrical setting: first ‘backstage,’ where the songs are sung as personal interplay, and then ‘onstage,’ where the songs are presented to an audience. Offering its performers an opportunity to explore timeless songs within their own styles and sensibilities, Some Enchanted Evening delights its audience with a glorious parade of genuine hits.



ANYTHING GOES (1962) by Cole Porter, Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse

Full Length Musical, Comedy | F4, M3 | 1930s. S.S. American (a luxury liner) | DIGLIB0000096 | £4 Digital Perusal Score Rental

Music, dance, laughs, and the age-old tale of Boy Meets Girl… Anything Goes is Delightful, Delicious, and De-Lovely.
Professional artwork is available for your production. Concord Theatricals has collaborated with Subplot Studio to create high-quality artwork that complies with your license. Promoting your show has never been easier! Learn more at Subplot Studio.
Two versions of Anything Goes are available for presentation: this 1962 version and the Beaumont 2018 Revision, each based on the same story. Both may be accompanied by a piano, a small instrumental combo or a full orchestra. The Beaumont 2018 Revision has twice as much dance music as this 1962 version, and the orchestration features a shipboard sound derived from the utility band and on-deck acoustics.
Both versions include I Get A Kick Out Of You; You’re The Top; Bon Voyage; Friendship; It’s De-Lovely; Anything Goes; Blow, Gabriel, Blow; Be Like The Bluebird and All Through The Night. This 1962 version also includes Heaven Hop, Let’s Step Out, Let’s Misbehave and Take Me Back To Manhattan. The Beaumont 2018 Revision also includes Easy To Love; Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye; The Gypsy in Me and Buddie Beware.

CABARET (REVISED 1987) by Joe Masteroff, John Van Druten, Christopher Isherwood, John Kander, Fred Ebb

Full Length Musical, Drama | F3, M4 | 1930s | DIGLIB0000122 | £4 Digital Perusal Score Rental

In a Berlin nightclub, as the 1920s draw to a close, a garish Master of Ceremonies welcomes the audience and assures them they will forget all their troubles at the Cabaret. With the Emcee’s bawdy songs as wry commentary, Cabaret explores the dark, heady, and tumultuous life of Berlin’s natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich. Cliff, a young American writer newly arrived in Berlin, is immediately taken with English singer Sally Bowles. Meanwhile, Fräulein Schneider, proprietor of Cliff and Sally’s boarding house, tentatively begins a romance with Herr Schultz, a mild-mannered fruit seller who happens to be Jewish. Musical numbers include Willkommen; Cabaret; Don’t Tell Mama and Two Ladies.
Concord Theatricals has collaborated with Subplot Studio to create high-quality artwork that complies with your license. Promoting your show has never been easier! Learn more at Subplot Studio.
NOTE: Three Broadway versions of this show (1966, 1987, and 1998) are available for licensing. Though all three follow the same story and share most songs, there are some differences in the script and score for each:

  • Only the Original 1966 version includes Why Should I Wake Up? and Meeskite.
  • Only this Revised 1987 version includes Don’t Go.
  • Only the 1998 version includes Mein Herr and Maybe This Time.
  • The 1966 and 1987 versions include The Telephone Song and Sitting Pretty. The 1998 version does not.
  • The 1987 and 1998 versions include The Money Song and I Don’t Care Much. This Original 1966 version does not.
  • The three versions differ in their treatment of the character of Cliff: In the Original 1966 version, there is no suggestion that he may be gay or bisexual. In the Revised 1987 version his bisexuality is implied, and in the 1998 version, he is clearly gay or bisexual.

All three versions include Willkommen; So What; Don’t Tell Mama; Perfectly Marvelous; Two Ladies; It Couldn’t Please Me More (The Pineapple Song); Tomorrow Belongs to Me; Married; If You Could See Her and Cabaret.

CRAZY FOR YOU™ by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Ken Ludwig, Mike Ockrent, Guy Bolton, John McGowan

Full Length Musical, Comedy | F3, M4 | 1930s. New York City and Deadrock, Nevada. | DIGLIB0000132 | £4 Digital Perusal Score Rental

A zany rich-boy-meets-hometown-girl romantic comedy, Crazy For You® tells the story of young New York banker Bobby Child, who is sent to Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose on a rundown theatre. In Deadrock, Bobby falls for spunky Polly Baker, the theatre owner’s daughter. But Polly takes an instant dislike to the city slicker, so Bobby vows – through cunning, razzmatazz, and a hilarious case of mistaken identity – to win Polly’s heart and save the theatre. Memorable Gershwin tunes from the score include I Got Rhythm; Naughty Baby; They Can’t Take That Away from Me; Embraceable You; But Not for Me; Nice Work if You Can Get It” and Someone to Watch Over Me.
Concord Theatricals has collaborated with Subplot Studio to create high-quality artwork that complies with your license. Promoting your show has never been easier! Learn more at Subplot Studio.


KISS ME, KATE (REVISED 1999) by Cole Porter, Samuel Spewack, Bella Spewack

Full Length Musical, Comedy | F3, M7 | 1940s / WWII, 16th Century / Elizabethan. | DIGLIB0000076 | £4 Digital Perusal Score Rental

Passions run high as leading lady Lilli Vanessi and her ex-husband, actor/director Fred Graham, battle onstage and off in a production of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. With romance, comedy, sophistication, and behind-the-scenes high jinks, Kiss Me, Kate combines the irreverent humour of four brilliant writers: Sam and Bella Spewack, Cole Porter and William Shakespeare. Musical numbers include So In Love; Wunderbar; Tom, Dick or Harry; Too Darn Hot; Brush Up Your Shakespeare; I Hate Men; Always True to You (In My Fashion) and Another Op’nin, Another Show.
Concord Theatricals has collaborated with Subplot Studio to create high-quality artwork that complies with your license. Kiss Me, Kate was originally produced in 1948, and is considered one of Broadway’s great treasures. It was revived on Broadway in 1999, taking advantage of new technology in music and reflecting evolving social values. This Revised Version features a brand-new orchestration and a refined script. All seventeen of the original songs remain in the revised score, with the addition of From This Moment On, from Porter’s Out of This World and the 1953 film adaptation of Kiss Me, Kate. Among the script changes, the character of Harrison Howell is now a general with political ambitions, adding some topical humor from the show’s time period.

MAN OF LA MANCHA by Dale Wasserman, Mitch Leigh, Joe Darion

Full Length Musical, Comedy | F5, M6 | 17th Century | DIGLIB0000068 | £4 Digital Perusal Score Rental

Man of La Mancha is one of the world’s most popular musicals. Inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th Century masterwork Don Quixote and set during the Spanish Inquisition, the original 1965 production won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Cervantes is in prison awaiting trial during the Spanish Inquisition. He and his fellow prisoners perform a play-within-a-play, telling the story of the elderly Alonso Quijana, who renames himself ‘Don Quixote’ and goes on a quest to right all wrongs in the world. The rousing, Spanish-inflected score includes the classic numbers The Impossible Dream; I, Don Quixote; Dulcinea; I Really Like Him; and ;Little Bird.
Concord Theatricals has collaborated with Subplot Studio to create high-quality artwork that complies with your license.




IT’S A BIRD… IT’S A PLANE… IT’S SUPERMAN® by Charles Strouse, Lee Adams, David Newman, Robert Benton

Full Length Musical, Comedy | F2, M5 | 1950s | DIGLIB0000185 | £4 Digital Perusal Score Rental

Campy, dynamic, and larger than life, It’s A Bird… It’s A Plane… It’s Superman® captures the sights and sounds of 1960s New York City as Superman battles a vengeful scientist determined to destroy the world’s symbol of good. Meanwhile, Daily Planet writer Lois Lane struggles to make sense of her rocky romance with the superhero, and Lois’ ambitious coworker Max vows to make a name for himself by unveiling the Man of Steel’s secret identity.




Full Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy | F3, M4 | Contemporary, Present Day, New Millenium / 21st Century | 978 0 573 70260 0 | £10.99 paperback

The Scenic Route of See Rock City and Other Destinations is a school version of the original musical that has been adapted to be more community-friendly. Most of the original script remains unchanged with the exception of the Coney Island scene/ songs. Much of the language has been changed to suit more youthful audiences and performers. The original version contains a glossary of the suggested terms that can be substituted in lieu of curse words; this edition applies these changes, making this musical an ideal choice for schools and other youth-based performing groups.
A wanderer believes his destiny is written on rooftops along the North Carolina Interstate. A young man yearns to connect with intelligent life in Roswell, New Mexico. A woman at the Alamo steps out of the shadow of her grandparents’ idealised romance to take a chance on love. Three estranged sisters cruise to Glacier Bay to scatter their father’s ashes. Two high school boys face unexpected fears in the Coney Island Spook House. A terrified bride-to-be ponders taking the leap… over Niagara Falls.
With a book full of humor and humanity, and a score that incorporates pop, rock, folk and more, each story builds on the last to create a vivid travelogue of Americans learning to overcome their fears and expectations in order to connect.
Winner! 2008 Richard Rogers Award; Winner! 2007 Jerry Bock Award; Winner! 2011 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical.

THE SECRET GARDEN, SPRING VERSION by Marsha Norman, Lucy Simon, Frances Hodgson Burnett

Full Length Musical, Drama | F7, M8, Girl1, Boy1 | Colonial India & Misselthwaite Manor in England. 1906. | 978 0 573 69759 3 | £10.99 paperback

The long-awaited new 70-minute version of the beloved musical, The Secret Garden, is as beautiful and spirited as the original in just half the time. This new Spring Version promises to be a treasure for children and adults!
This enchanting classic of children’s literature is reimagined in brilliant musical style by composer Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of ‘Night Mother.
Orphaned in India, 11-year-old Mary Lennox returns to Yorkshire to live with her embittered, reclusive uncle Archibald and his invalid son Colin. The estate’s many wonders include a magic garden which beckons the children with haunting melodies and the Dreamers, spirits from Mary’s past who guide her through her new life, dramatising The Secret Garden’s compelling tale of forgiveness and renewal.

ZOMBIE PROM: ATOMIC EDITION by John Dempsey, Hugh Murphy, Dana P. Rowe, Marc Tumminelli

Full Length Musical, Comedy | F5, M5 | 1950s. | 978 0 573 70229 7 | £10.99 paperback

This girl-loves-ghoul rock ‘n’ roll Off-Broadway musical is set in the atomic 1950s at Enrico Fermi High, where the law is laid down by a zany, tyrannical principal. Pretty senior Toffee has fallen for the class bad boy. Family pressure forces her to end the romance, and he charges off on his motorcycle to the nuclear waste dump. He returns glowing and determined to reclaim Toffee’s heart. He still wants to graduate, but most of all he wants to take Toffee to the prom. The principal orders him to drop dead while a scandal-seeking reporter seizes on him as the freak du jour. History comes to his rescue while a tuneful selection of original songs in the style of 50s hits keeps the action rocking across the stage.




Bloomsbury – Methuen Drama
T: 01256 302699
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F: BloomsburyPublishing | T: @bloomsburybooks

A brand new series from The Arden Shakespeare…
Arden Performance Companions
The Arden Performance Companions is a sister series to the Arden Performance Editions, offering practical guidance on how Shakespeare’s plays can be brought to life in contemporary performance. The series launches on 22nd April with 3 volumes:

Shakespearean Rhetoric by Benet Brandreth

Theatre Book | 978 1 350 08796 5 | £16.99




Shakespeare and Meisner by Aileen Gonsalves & Tracy Irish

Theatre Book | 978 1 350 11839 3 | £14.99




‘You’ and ‘Thou’ in Shakespeare by Penelope Freedman

Theatre Book | 978 1 350 11867 6 | £14.99




The Outstanding Actor: Seven Keys to Success by Ken Rea

Theatre Book | 978 1 350 15235 9 | £19.99

Drawing on Ken Rea’s thirty-five years’ teaching experience and research, as well as interviews with top actors and directors, The Outstanding Actor identifies seven key qualities that the most successful actors manifest, along with practical exercises that help nurture those qualities and videos to demonstrate them.



Heather Raffo’s Iraq Plays: The Things That Can’t Be Said by Heather Raffo

Play Collection | 978 1 350 14517 7 | £24.99

Three plays that explore the indelible effects of war on Iraqis, Americans, and the refugees caught between the two cultures.



Rob Drummond Plays with Participation by Rob Drummond

Play Collection | 978 1 350 09528 1 | £26.99

Offering a fascinating insight into the award-winning collaborations of playwright Rob Drummond and director David Overend, this collection re-imagines the traditional playtext to incorporate conversation between playwright, director and audience.



Hymn by Lolita Chakrabarti

Full-Length Play | 978 1 350 24305 7 | £10.99

A searching and soulful new play from Lolita Chakrabarti that asks what it takes to be a good father, brother or son.



Sadie by David Ireland

Full-Length Play | 978 1 350 25657 6 | £10.99

David Ireland’s latest black comedy follows a sharp-witted cleaner who develops an intense and dysfunctional relationship with a much younger man – triggering a psychological showdown with the remnant demons of her past.




David Collison
T: 01594 810966 | E:


Theatre Book

Namedropping in the Wings tells how as a very green 17-year old David Collison wangled his way into a job at the Arts Theatre Club where, among many other shows, ha worked on the original production of Waiting for Godot. Becoming friendly with the young artistic director called Peter Hall and, later, when he directed a play in the West End starring Peter Sellers, David and Peter recorded all the weird sound effects together. This led to a career creating sounds for other directors, and when Peter Hall formed the Royal Shakespeare Company, David was contracted for several seasons during the period of the Histories plays and Vanessa Regrave in As You Like It.
In 1963, although he knew nothing about musicals, designer Sean Kenny persuaded David to visit the pre-London production of “Pickwick” in Manchester where the PA system was so bad that Harry Secombe’s voice was inaudible. Fortunately, he came up with a solution and, when the word got round, was asked to work on other musicals.
Hence, David Collison became the first person to be called a Theatre Sound Designer and for a period of some eight years, was the only one in the West End. Shows worked on included Fiddler on The Roof, Jesus Christ Superstar, Company, Cabaret, Grease, A Little Nightmusic, etc.
Namedropping in the Wings is full of anecdotes about the shows and many names are dropped, such as Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Hal Prince, Cameron Mackintosh, Julie Andrews, Diana Rigg, Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Bennett, Ginger Rogers… among others.
During the 70s, David became known as a sound consultant, designing permanent systems for new theatres, including the National Theatre and the Barbican.


Plays 2 Enjoy

A message from the award-winning playwright Mark Robberts…


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the performing arts, mirroring its impact across all arts sectors. None have been more badly affected than the am-dram area, due to physical distancing requirements, the closure of venues and curtailing not only public performances but also rehearsals. It has sapped life out of dedicated groups throughout the country.
But, there is now a chink of light that offers hope for our struggling industry. And boy, do we need it. Theatre in its many forms is on the floor, but certainly not down and out. All it needs is the oxygen of hope and enthusiasm to renew that dedication.
However, what stands out is the never-ending devotion to their profession of our lovely National Health Service workers. What would we have done without them? To say they have shed sweat, blood and tears is no exaggeration. They deserve and are entitled to much more than a mere ‘thank you’.
Therefore, and in view of the enthusiastic response already received, I am extending the following to theatres and drama groups throughout the country. One that embraces not only a means to say, ‘thank you’, but offers much more by injecting fresh life and enthusiasm into drama groups.
From a portfolio of award-winning, one-act stage plays, I am offering groups and theatres the option of choosing plays that they may perform as and when able. But on the following terms; that NHS staff and associated workers are invited – free of charge – as a means of saying ’thank you’.
I have been delighted by the response from those already contacted, not only from the amateur stage but also professionals.
However, the intention is not to stop there. There is also a project under consideration that will bring the same ‘live’ theatre into Care and Retirement homes throughout the UK.
May I also extend my thanks to those playwrights who have offered their works for this project.
Interested stage groups may contact Sardines Magazine, or email: for further details.


Box Office Radio
T: 07894 614859
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F: boxofficeradio | T: @boxofficeradio

Play of the Week on Box Office Radio

During these challenging times when venues are closed and all amateur productions are postponed, Box Office Radio is continuing to reach out to theatre fans across the UK.
From May 2021 a new ‘Play of the Week’ feature will be included in the station’s schedule. Each week a new play that has been produced, performed, and submitted by an amateur theatres group will be broadcast in the station’s new slot.
Box Office Radio Owner Josh Haywood said, “It is our intention to give as much national exposure to as many amateur theatre groups as possible. We are looking for groups to submit any play that they would like to be considered for broadcast for the new weekly programme. Our hope is to showcase the talents from the amateur theatre scene and present their productions to a national audience in a time when plays are so infrequent on the radio.”
Details of how to submit a production to ‘Play of the Week’ can be found on the website at
Box Office Radio is an online radio station for fans and enthusiasts of all thing’s musical theatre. Playing music from Broadway and the West End as well as soundtracks from the greatest movies ever made.
Box Office Radio is available online, via the FREE app and on your smart speaker.


Nick Hern Books
T: 020 8749 4953
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F: NickHernBooks | T: @NickHernBooks

Audition Songs for Women Edited by Paul Harvard

Theatre book | 978 1 848 42457 9 | £10.39 paperback/ePub

If you’re auditioning for a musical – or needing to choose a song to perform for an exam, showcase or drama-school application – it’s vital you find a song that shows off your voice and reveals your full potential as both a singer and an actor.
In this invaluable book, you’ll find comprehensive introductions to fifty of the best songs from musical theatre, for soprano, mezzosoprano and alto voices, and in a variety of periods, styles, genres and tempos. Each song comes with detailed textual, vocal and musical analysis, and a practical performance guide to ensure you perform it to maximum effect in your own unique way.
Drawing on his experience as a performer, musical director and teacher at several leading drama schools, Paul Harvard gives his top tips for performing each song, note by note, moment by moment. He also recommends soundtrack recordings to inspire you, and tells you where to find the correct sheet music for your chosen song (please note: the book does not contain the sheet music itself).
The selection includes songs from acclaimed contemporary musicals such as In the Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Songs for a New World by Jason Robert Brown, as well as Next to Normal, Miss Saigon, The Color Purple, Sister Act and Ragtime – alongside much-loved classics like The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, My Fair Lady, Anything Goes, and five of Sondheim’s masterpieces.

Audition Songs for men Edited by Paul Harvard

Theatre book | 978 1 788 50341 9 | £10.39 paperback/ePub

As above plus… This selection includes songs from acclaimed contemporary musicals such as Children of Eden and Pippin by Stephen Schwartz, Parade and The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown, as well as Martin Guerre, The Wild Party, Taboo and The Lion King – alongside many much-loved classics like Carousel, Fiddler on the Roof, 42nd Street, Kiss Me, Kate, and six of Sondheim’s masterpieces.


Contemporary Monologues for Women: Volume 2 Edited by Trilby James

Theatre book | 978 1 848 42972 7 | £8.79 paperback/ePub

Whether you’re applying for drama school, taking an exam, or auditioning for a role, it’s likely you’ll be required to perform one or more monologues, including a piece from a contemporary play. It’s vital to come up with something fresh that’s suited both to you – in order to allow you to express who you are as a performer – and to the specific purposes of the audition.
In this book, you’ll find forty fantastic speeches featuring female roles, all written and premiered since the year 2014, by some of the most exciting dramatic voices writing today. Playwrights include Mike Bartlett, Andrew Bovell, Chris Bush, Jez Butterworth, Vivienne Franzmann, Ella Hickson, Lucy Kirkwood, Chinonyerem Odimba, Frances Poet and Stef Smith. The plays featured were premiered at leading venues including the National, the Royal Court, Soho and Hampstead in London, prestigious theatres in Cardiff, Chichester, Edinburgh and Sheffield, and by renowned companies including Clean Break, Frantic Assembly and HighTide.
Drawing on her experience as an actor, director and teacher at several leading drama schools, Trilby James introduces each speech with a user-friendly, bullet-point list of ten essential things you need to know about the character, and then five inspiring ideas to help you perform the monologue.

Contemporary Monologues for Men: Volume 2 Edited by Trilby James

Theatre book | 978 1 848 42973 4 | £8.79 paperback/ePub

As above plus… Playwrights include Annie Baker, Andrew Bovell, Jez Butterworth, Caryl Churchill, Mark Gatiss, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Anna Jordan, Arinzé Kene, Rona Munro and Evan Placey. The plays featured were premiered at leading venues including the National, the Royal Court, the Bush and Hampstead in London, prestigious theatres in Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Manchester, and by renowned companies including Frantic Assembly and Paines Plough.


The Writer’s Toolkit – Exercises, Techniques and Ideas for Playwrights and Screenwriters by Paul Kalburgi

Theatre book | 978 1 848 42863 8 | £10.39 paperback/ePub

Perfect for playwrights and screenwriters of all levels of experience, The Writer’s Toolkit will equip you with everything required to kickstart your creativity, develop your craft, and make your writing the very best that it can be.
Written by an experienced playwright, screenwriter and producer, this essential book is packed with almost two hundred practical exercises, techniques and ideas for every part of your process, designed to be used either solo or in a group. It includes:

  • Writing warm-ups to focus your mind and get your creative muscles in gear
  • Dozens of exercises to strengthen fundamental elements of your writing such as developing characters, improving dialogue, layering in subtext, creating a strong setting and constructing a compelling plot
  • Immersive-writing techniques to lift the world of your script off the page and allow you to shape it more effectively
  • A blueprint for writing a ten-minute play – a great way to practise your craft, explore a new idea and add to your portfolio
  • A Submission Surgery with exercises and pointers so you can review and fine-tune your completed work before sending it out
  • 101 quick-fire writing prompts to help you warm up, take a break from your current project, or just keep you feeling productive

Also included are mindful meditations to use at the beginning and end of your writing sessions, to help you relax, boost your productivity and maximise your creative output.
Whatever you need as a writer – whether that’s to crack a problem in your current script, develop ideas for future projects, build up your skills and experience, or bust through writer’s block – this book will give you the right tools for the job. So get writing!

THE FERRYMAN by Jez Butterworth

Full-length Play | F8, M13 | Northern Ireland, 1981, two interiors and one exterior | 978 1 848 42638 2 | £7.99 paperback/ePub

County Armagh, Northern Ireland, 1981. The Carney farmhouse is a hive of activity with preparations for the annual harvest. A day of hard work on the land and a traditional night of feasting and celebrations lie ahead. But this year they will be interrupted by a visitor.
Developed by Sonia Friedman Productions, Jez Butterworth’s play The Ferryman premiered to huge acclaim at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in April 2017, before transferring to the West End and then Broadway. The production was directed by Sam Mendes.
It went on to win the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play, and the Critics’ Circle, Olivier and WhatsOnStage Awards for Best New Play. It also won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Play.

“A serious, seriously good, grown-up play… something special.”
The Times

SWIVE [ELIZABETH] by Ella Hickson

Full-length Play | F2, M2 (with specified doubling) | Flexible staging (minimal requirements) | 978 1 848 42926 0 | £7.99 paperback/ePub

Elizabeth I is the only unmarried woman to have ever ruled England. And she reigned for forty-four years. Mastermind. Seductress. Survivor.
Created by award-winning writer Ella Hickson and director Natalie Abrahami, Swive [Elizabeth] shines a light on the ways and means by which women in power negotiate patriarchal pressure in order to get their way.
It premiered in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe, London, in December 2019.

“A potent study of women, power and patriarchy… Hickson writes with her usual mix of wit, intelligence, empathy and a metallic clarity of thought, interlacing history with anachronism to show how the pressure that women face to attach themselves to a man – or else mark themselves as ‘other’ – remains little changed.”
The Stage

THREE KINGS by Stephen Beresford

Full-length Play | M1 | Contemporary, can be simply staged | 978 1 848 42977 2 | £7.99 paperback/ePub

When Patrick is eight years old, his absent father returns unexpectedly for a brief but memorable encounter. Years later – recalling that meeting, and the revelations that followed – Patrick traces the events of his father’s life, laying bare a journey of grandiose plans, aching disappointments and audacious self-delusion. A heartbreaking and hilarious play about fathers and sons, the gifts and burdens of inheritance, and the unfathomable puzzle of human relationships, Three Kings was first written for and starred Andrew Scott, live-streamed from the Old Vic Theatre, London, in 2020.

“A superb monologue – short, sharp, unsettling and upsetting… in its rich mix of light and shade it’s almost a male correlative to Fleabag.”

UNCLE VANYA by Anton Chekhov/Conor McPherson

Full-length Play | F4, M4 | 1890s rural Russia, four locations in one house | 978 1 848 42928 4 | £7.99 paperback/ePub

A stunning, acclaimed new adaptation of Chekhov’s masterpiece, by the award-winning writer of such plays as The Weir, Shining City and The Night Alive. In the heat of summer, Sonya and her Uncle Vanya while away their days on a crumbling estate deep in the countryside, visited occasionally by the only local doctor Astrov. However, when Sonya’s father, Professor Serebryakov, suddenly returns with his restless, alluring, new wife, declaring his intention to sell the house, the polite façades crumble and long-repressed feelings start to emerge with devastating consequences. First seen at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End in January 2020, a filmed version is currently available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

“Radical and revelatory without ever being gimmicky or insensitive… McPherson pulls off a feat of magical reinvention, and allows us to see the play anew.”

ONLINE PERFORMANCES courtesy of Nick Hern Books

Nick Hern Books are currently inviting applications to license their plays for amateur online performance.

“As we navigate these unprecedented times, an online performance is the perfect way to bring your members or students together to keep sharing your passion, experience great new plays by today’s most exciting writers, and stay active and connected. The pandemic and ever-changing restrictions, means it can be difficult to plan productions with confidence right now – and so online performances can offer certainty and peace of mind, freeing you up to focus on making fantastic theatre.

“Whether you’re looking to share a play you’ve always been passionate about (maybe even getting a former cast together for a revival!), test out a show you’ve had your eye on for a future, fully-staged production, or try something completely different, we’re here to support you in making that happen.

“Online performance licences are available for both live-streamed performances and broadcasts of recorded productions. If you’re able to perform your show to a physically present audience, we can also discuss options to present it online, allowing you to reduce the impact of social distancing on your audience capacity.

“For more information on how the whole process works, check out:

  • NHB Online Performance FAQs page;
  • NHB full Performing Rights Terms and Conditions (which you’ll need to read and agree to before your licence can be granted);
  • NHB Online Performance Advice and Compliance Guide, providing technical guidance and links to external resources and support where necessary, plus some things to think about for your production.

“We know there’s lots to think about at the moment when planning your production – so if you have any further questions, please email our friendly Performing Rights team at:

“For some suggestions of great plays to consider for online performance, use the NHB Play Finder on our website to search through our full list of plays by lots of different criteria (genre, cast size, length etc.), or get in touch so we can help find the right show for you.

“As usual, you’ll need to secure approval and a licence for your production. Just because a play is suggested, it doesn’t mean it’s automatically available, and all applications will be considered on a case- by-case basis. Once you’re ready to apply for your online performance licence, please fill out a form.

“Thanks to the authors and agents who’ve worked hard to make this possible.”

ONE STEP BEYOND! – Garden Suburb Theatre

ONE STEP BEYOND! – Garden Suburb Theatre

Garden Suburb Theatre’s 2015 open-air production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing in North London’s Little Oak Wood.

by Steve Chapman

CHILDREN: (together): What did you do in the Great Pandemic of 2020/21?

PARENT: Well, dearest children, I sang, played musical instruments, read plays aloud with other hardy souls, auditioned for parts, read poetry, wrote my own poetry, directed my first play, wrote my first script and quizzed until my brain popped!

CHILDREN: (confused): Huh?

Yes, faced with a total shutdown of all things drama-related for a long, long time, North London’s Garden Suburb Theatre swung into action and, by harnessing the various and numerous skills from within its membership, was able to provide a much-needed tonic over the past twelve months (and as I write undoubtedly longer) by organising a carousel of activities members could dip into as and when they wanted.

Utilising the wonders of Zoom technology, email and other social media platforms, the heart of this activity was the GST Newsletter, increased in frequency, informing members of calendar dates, activities, providing links to said activities and ultimately giving a sense of purpose and cohesion – as well as inclusion to all GST was doing.

Members are encouraged to get involved but it’s not mandatory and much pleasure is derived from being a willing observer, there to be entertained. Fresh ideas are sought and welcomed. One such initiative being the Isle of Zoom festival of dramatic and other creativity on 10-11 April which, incidentally, has grown from a one-day event.

Wednesday evenings have tended to be themed, when members come along – via Zoom – to read, sing or perform based on a particular theme. Recent subject matter includes pets, travel and relatives.

Sundays are usually given over to play-readings which have helped ‘keep your hand in’ as well as trying out new material. From Shakespeare to Chekhov, Ionesco to Ayckbourn and Shaffer to Schiller, all have featured… and these are but a mere handful of what have been performed. However, if you’re thinking this activity is restricted to oldies, think again. The GST Junior membership has also been busy, including a recent rehearsed reading of Anne of Green Gables.

Quizzes make for popular events and there is plenty of opportunity for personal contributions. For example a hugely enjoyable Tom Lehrer evening was the result of several members expressing a mutual admiration for the singing, song-writing mathematician.

First-time directors took part in Snippets (where a cast is rehearsed to present a twenty-minute play segment). Plans are even afoot to present full-length versions online. And for budding Stoppard’s, a script-writing workshop was launched, tutored by a professional play-writing member.

Auditions have been held, via Zoom, for future productions. GST very much hopes that the lockdown rules will be relaxed enough for the re-opening of its open-air theatre space in Big Wood, Hampstead Garden Suburb, in Summer 2021.

Undoubtedly this mammoth and ongoing choice of activities has enabled GST to fulfil many roles over the past past year to keep in touch with others and allow reciprocation, inform and entertain during what has been a bleak and lonely period, encourage creativity in those who wouldn’t normally have tried and lastly to work and achieve as a group.

Whilst these endeavours and the commitment to give such a rich and rewarding programme of events should be roundly praised, the fact remains that to perform these activities in person, face-to-face or in a group is what we all miss. We also miss visiting theatre (amateur & professional) and to share in a common love and appreciation for the performing arts. The laughter and camaraderie is at the heart of being involved with a drama group and that’s why we are all desperate to get back together.

For more contact:

If you have a story for Sardines where you may have gone One Step Beyond! to help your society stand out from the crowd, then we would love to hear from you.

Please email: …and please don’t forget to keep a photo record!



YOUR NEWS – Don’t Call Us Vulnerable!

YOUR NEWS – Don’t Call Us Vulnerable!

Babs Oakley and Roger Barker in more modern times

By Dr Marcel Kay

Loughton Amateur Drama Society’s most senior citizens performing and entertaining their Essex community when most actors are unable to.

Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, when theatres, music venues, cinemas and live entertainment of most kinds stopped very suddenly, it is simply amazing that a 90-year-old and an 85-year-old from Loughton have been able to perform once more for audiences.

Babs Oakley will be 91 this year and she joined her local drama group, Loughton Amateur Drama Society (LADS) in 1951. So, this year will be the 70th anniversary of her joining the society. In comparison Roger Barker is a mere 85 years old and became a LADS member in 1956.

Both Roger and Babs retired from the stage some time ago, yet the new phenomenon of Zoom calls has given a new lease of acting life for the elderly duo.

After several online performances to LADS’ members and its audiences since the pandemic first surfaced in early 2020, both actors performed via Zoom and YouTube once again in A Walk on the Wild Side.

The production, which took place in March, formed LADS’ offering for the Epping Forest Festival of Culture, 2021.

The pair on stage in 1956 (sixty-four years ago!) when they appeared together in Much Ado About Nothing.

As Babs explained, “One benefit is it’s given us both a chance to perform again, when we might have thought that our performing days were over in terms of acting on stage. It’s been interesting. At 90 years of age, I’m not what you’d describe as an easy technology adopter, I’m afraid, and I felt a little threatened by it to begin with.

“For me being on stage and having an interaction with a live audience is the 99% success criteria for any production and, of course, that’s what you miss with something like Zoom as you’re just performing on camera with no immediate feedback.

However, if you’re a performer, technology like Zoom has definitely served its purpose during these difficult times. Yes, it doesn’t give you what I think is the real thrill of a performance or that contact with an audience always, but it does allow me still to perform and show what we can do once more from a theatrical perspective.”

“Also, it was lovely being part of the drama society again, being with people that enjoy performing. It’s all very well to sit at home and have your own memories, but it is that contact that you miss very much. So, it was lovely just to be able to work on a character and see it included in a little production really. It felt very inclusive,” added Roger.

“I found I had to concentrate on the talking more, rather than being both seen and talking as you would on stage. You have to think and concentrate on the words as well as your character and your tone of voice and that sort of thing. So, yes, I enjoyed doing it a lot.

“LADS have been so good to us,” Roger and Babs concluded. “They’ve opened so many doors not only for friendships and people, but for a wonderful understanding of the world and certainly the world of theatre. Both of us at times have lived in the theatre, and it’s been absolutely blissful when I think about all the productions that we’ve seen and been involved in. We’ve been so lucky.”

For more information visit: (where you can also find the LADS YouTube link to listen to the society’s Walk on the Wild Side entry HERE


YOUR NEWS – Celebrating Local Theatre

YOUR NEWS – Celebrating Local Theatre

Music Theatre International Invites Schools and Theatres Around the World to Celebrate and Support the Return of Live Theatre.

By Bert Fink

Music Theatre International (MTI) announces the creation of a weekend-long event, All Together Now!: A Global Event Celebrating Local Theatre, in which schools and theatres around the world are empowered to produce and perform locally an exclusive musical revue featuring songs and scenes from MTI’s shows.

Developed by MTI, and through the generous support of the authors who are contributing their songs to the revue, MTI’s All Together Now! will be entirely free-of-charge to license with no royalty or rental fees. Participating organisations may license MTI’s All Together Now! as a fundraiser for their theatre, and perform it live, streamed or a combination of both.

The event will be scheduled during one weekend (Fri – Mon) at such a time when it is possible to celebrate the return of live theatrical performance safely. The brand-new musical revue will include wonderful selections from everyone’s favourite MTI shows. More details about the specific scenes and songs included in the show will be forthcoming.

“Since March, despite enormous challenges, theatres across Europe have tried valiantly to continue performing whenever and however they can,” said Seán Gray, MD of MTI Europe. “Shows have taken place in pub gardens, makeshift outdoor venues and theatres with greatly reduced capacity during the latter half of 2020 and into 2021. MTI’s All Together Now! will be a powerful way for theatre folk everywhere to celebrate the ‘great reopening’ while raising funding for theatre companies as they recover from the financial impact of the pandemic, and plan for a more hopeful future.”

“We wanted to find a way for everyone in the theatrical community to come together and connect through our shared love of theatre. We knew that with MTI’s reach and resources, we could help affect positive change. We worked together with our authors, global offices and business partners to offer schools and theatres across the world the opportunity to kickstart their programs with an exclusive musical revue of MTI songs. MTI’s All Together Now! is our way to say ‘thank you’ and give back to all of the hard-working directors and teachers who give so much of themselves to this art form every day,” stated John Prignano, MTI’s COO and Director of Education & Development.

“Throughout the pandemic, the MTI-represented authors and rights-holders around the world have been unanimous and forthcoming in generously offering support to MTI’s customers in every way they’ve been asked,” MTI’s President and CEO, Drew Cohen said. “Now, as we are hopefully on a more discernible path to the return of live theatre, they are contributing material from their beloved (and valuable) shows for our customers to perform in their own venues. While we are realistic and sensitive to the fact that the pandemic remains a reality and unpredictable, we couldn’t be more proud or more excited to plan MTI’s All Together Now! as a way to signal to the world that theatre is coming back.”

Carol Edelson, MTI’s Senior Vice President for Professional Licensing commented, “The theatre industry is essentially like one big family. We are grateful to the authors who are helping us create an entirely new show for theatres to present to their patrons. We hope that by offering this stellar new revue on a complimentary basis, theatres can use MTI’s All Together Now! as a way to generate funds for their programs. We’ve never done anything like this before, and we can’t wait to see how our customers embrace this brand-new work.”

Stuart Hendricks, MD of MTI Australasia, remarked, “With the global closure of theatres, 2020 tested the mettle of our community. Theatres and schools had to find new ways to engage their performers and connect with their patrons. Through virtual choirs, streaming, and socially distanced performances, they rose to the challenge and showed remarkable resilience. MTI’s All Together Now! is a unique musical celebration that our groups can perform as a fundraiser, and serves as a ‘thank you’ to our valued clients across the world for keeping theatre alive.”

Further details on the date and instructions on how groups can participate in this worldwide event celebrating our shared love of theatre will be announced in the coming weeks and months.
Visit to sign up for the All Together Now! event mailing list.