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Theatre Book Prize 2024 shortlist


Richard Pilbrow's final book, the 2023 story of the development of the National Theatre, is one of the shortlisted titles
Richard Pilbrow's final book, the 2023 story of the development of the National Theatre, is one of the shortlisted titles

Books from Dame Judi Dench, director Bill Alexander and the late Richard Pilbrow are among the six shortlisted today for the Society for Theatre Research's 26th Theatre Book Prize.

Cover of The Man Who Pays the Rent

Judged by theatre critic Clive Davis, lecturer Dr Kate Dorney and PR rep Kevin Wilson on a panel chaired by STR committee member Howard Loxton, the shortlist has subjects ranging from a history of the National Theatre to recollections of musical triumphs and flops and a celebration of Shakespeare by Dame Judi Dench, of the UK’s most beloved actresses.

The books are: A Sense of Theatre by Richard Pilbrow (Unicorn), who died in January; Different Aspects by Michael Ball (Blink Publishing); Exploring Shakespeare by Bill Alexander (Nick Hern Books); Out for Blood by Chris Adams (Methuen Drama); Searching for Juliet by Sophie Duncan (Sceptre), and Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent by Judi Dench (Michael Joseph).

The Prize was was established in 1998 to celebrate the Society’s Golden Jubilee. The aim is to encourage the writing and publication of books on British-related theatre history and practice.

Recent winners include An Actor's Life in 12 Productions by Oliver Ford Davies; Stirring Up Sheffield by Colin and Tedd George; Black British Women's Theatre by Nicola Abram, and Year of the Mad King: The King Lear Diaries by Antony Sher.

Previous members of the judging panel include actors Cleo Sylvestre and Corin Redgrave, producer Thelma Holt, actress-director Yvonne Brewster and critics Michael Billington and Cindy Marcolina.

The winner of this year’s prize will be announced on June 11 at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre.


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