We're kicking off 2020 with some seriously good drama, starting with Lucy Kirkwood's new play, The Welkin, at the National Theatre, with a cast including Maxine Peake.

Also this month is Conor McPherson's new adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, opening in the West End with Toby Jones as the title character, directed by Ian Rickson.

Plus, a female Faustus from Headlong, great drama for young performers from National Theatre Connections, new plays from John O'Donovan, Janice Okoh and Al Blyth, and a collection of new plays from London's VAULT Festival, which launches this month in Waterloo.

If you're an actor, don't miss the Surviving Actors convention in London on 8 February – we'll be there, along with several of our authors. Come along and say hello!
The Welkin
The Welkin
Lucy Kirkwood
Lucy Kirkwood's new play, set in 18th-century rural Suffolk, is about a woman sentenced to hang for murder, and whose fate is to be decided by a jury of twelve matrons. Premiere at the National Theatre, London, this month.
When They Go Low
When They Go Low
Natalie Mitchell
A National Theatre Connections play about everyday feminism, consent and the changing face of teenage sexuality in an online world. Written specifically for young people, with particularly strong roles for young women.
The Gift
The Gift
Janice Okoh

An outrageous play about imperialism, cross-racial adoption, cultural appropriation – and tea. Premiering this month at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry in a co-production with Eclipse Theatre, followed by a UK tour.
Uncle Vanya
Uncle Vanya
Anton Chekhov
adapt. Conor McPherson

Conor McPherson's stunning adaptation of Chekhov's masterpiece is full of tumultuous frustration, dark humour and hidden passions. West End premiere this month, starring Toby Jones.
The Small Hours
The Small Hours
Katherine Soper

A play about teenagers, nightlife, and the small choices that have momentous consequences. Written for the 2019 National Theatre Connections Festival, it offers rich opportunities for a large cast of young performers.
The Haystack
The Haystack
Al Blyth

An explosive espionage thriller that explores how we can live honestly, freely and authentically when cutting-edge technology outpaces the law. Premiering at Hampstead Theatre this month.
Faustus: That Damned Woman
Chris Bush
Chris Bush's radical reimagining of the Faust myth is premiered this month at the Lyric Hammersmith, in a co-production with Headlong and Birmingham Rep, prior to a UK tour.
Flights & Sink
Flights & Sink
John O'Donovan
Two plays about life in contemporary Ireland, from award-winning writer John O'Donovan, published alongside the premiere of Flights this month in Ennis, Dublin and London. Also included is Sink, premiered at the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2019.
Plays from VAULT 5
Plays from VAULT 5

A new collection of five of the best plays from this year's exciting VAULT Festival in London. Includes brilliant new work by Tatty Hennessy, Charlotte Chimuanya, Rosa Hesmondhalgh, Isabel Dixon and Écoute Theatre.
Playscript Subscriptions
The new Playscript Subscriptions service from Nick Hern Books is the best way to keep up to date with the most exciting contemporary plays by today's top writers.

Each month we'll send you (or your chosen recipient) one newly published Nick Hern Books playscript selected by our expert team. It could be a major premiere from a big-name playwright, a timely new version of a classic, or a fresh and exciting work by a talented, up-and-coming writer – all hot off the press, and straight from the UK and Ireland's most renowned stages.
January's selected title was Dear Evan Hansen, the complete book and lyrics of the Tony Award-winning musical by Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, now running in the West End. Our edition comes with exclusive extra content and colour photos of the West End production.

Don't miss out on future titles – subscribe now!

Nick Hern Books Playscript Subscriptions come in 6-Month or 12-Month packages. More details here.
Blog post
'There’s this patronising, anachronistic idea about men, that they don’t know what they’re feeling – that if they just expressed themselves they wouldn’t be so fucked up.'

John O'Donovan, the writer of Flights, Sink and If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You, discusses the current crisis in masculinity, and how our conventional views about it overlook what's really going on.

Read more on our blog, and see Flights at Project Arts Centre, Dublin 21 January–8 February, then at Omnibus Theatre, Clapham, 11–29 February.
Playwriting at the National Theatre with Joel Horwood.

This session in the 'Playwriting at the NT' series, aimed at developing your playwriting skills, is led by NHB playwright Joel Horwood, whose plays include I Caught Crabs in Walberswick, Wolves Are Coming For You and the National Theatre's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

National Theatre (Clore Learning Centre), London
Saturday 25 January 2020, 10.30am
Tickets £40 (£25 concessions) from the NT website
Join Nick Hern Books and some of our authors at Surviving Actors, the actors' convention, on 8 February.

Seminars include Andy Nyman on the golden rules of acting, and a distinguished panel including George Turvey of Papatango, Natasha Gordon, Lily Bevan and David William Bryan on how actors can get into writing.

Surviving Actors, ETC Bishopsgate, Spitalfields, London
Saturday 8 February 2020

More details and booking on the Surviving Actors website
Watch Amsterdam by Maya Arad Yasur for free online, captured live at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond. Streaming on 27 January at 7.30pm.

A strikingly original, audacious thriller, Amsterdam received its UK premiere at the Orange Tree in 2019, directed by Matthew Xia.

An Israeli violinist, living in her trendy canal-side Amsterdam apartment. Nine months pregnant. One day a mysterious unpaid gas bill from 1944 arrives. It awakens unsettling feelings of collective identity, foreignness and alienation. Stories of a devastating past are compellingly reconstructed to try and make sense of the present.

Amsterdam can be viewed online for free here, prior to a UK tour in 2020.
Click here to see more of our titles currently on stage around the UK.

Girl from the North CountryTeenage DickSwiveYou Stupid Darkness!
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