Theatre Book Prize shortlist announced

Published: 21 May 2020
Reporter: Tom Howard

In 1998, to mark the Golden Jubilee of its inauguration, the Society for Theatre Research established the Theatre Book Prize as an annual award for the best new book published in English about any aspect of British theatre.

It is judged by a panel made up of a theatre practitioner, a theatre critic and a theatre academic, chaired by an STR committee member. This year, for books published in 2019, they are producer Graham Cowley, dance critic Donald Hutera and Professor Edith Hall chaired by BTG’s own London critic Howard Loxton.

They have announced their short list (titles in alphabetical order):

  • The Art of the Artistic Director: Conversations with Leading Practitioners by Christopher Haydon (Methuen Drama)
  • The Birth of Modern Theatre: Rivalry, Riots, and Romance in the Age of Garrick by Norman S. Poser (Routledge)
  • Dark Star: A Biography of Vivien Leigh by Alan Strachan (I B Tauris)
  • An Illustrated History of British Theatre and Performance by Robert Leach (Routledge)
  • Playwriting: Structure, Character, How and What to Write by Stephen Jeffreys (Nick Hern Books)
  • Shakespeare Spelt Ruin: The Life of Frederick Balsir Chatterton, Drury Lane's Last Bankrupt by Robert Whelan (Jacob Tonson)

The winner will be announced on 18 June 2020.

For fuller coverage, see our feature-length report.