Shortlist announced for the 26th Society for Theatre Research Theatre Book Prize 2024

The Society for Theatre Research is delighted to reveal the shortlist for the Theatre Book Prize 2024 in its 26th year.

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 includes six titles ranging from a history of the National Theatre, to recollections of a musical triumphs and flops, and a celebration of Shakespeare by one of the UK’s most beloved actresses.
The shortlist is as follows:

• A Sense of Theatre by Richard Pilbrow (Unicorn)
• 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)
• Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent by Judi Dench (Michael Joseph)
2024 marks the 26th STR Theatre Book Prize, which was established in 1998 to celebrate the Society’s Golden Jubilee. The aim of the Book Prize 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 11th June 2024 at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. –

The Judges

Clive Davis has been chief theatre critic of The Times since 2020. He has more than forty years of experience in journalism. He started his career as a reporter and editor at West Indian World newspaper in Tottenham before joining the BBC as a news trainee. He began writing for The Times in 1987. When he is not loitering at premieres he writes about the less popular end of popular music, and contributes book reviews on history, politics and race.

Dr Kate Dorney is Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at the University of Manchester and was previously Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Performance at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Her research and teaching interests range from Shakespeare to rock and pop costumes by way of theatre historiography, biography and textual analysis. Her publications include Played in Britain: Modern Theatre in 100 Plays (with F. Gray), The Changing Language of Modern English Theatre 1945-2009 and (with M. Gale) Stage Women 1900-50 and Vivien Leigh: Actress and Icon. She is currently working on a book about Black British playwright Winsome Pinnock and (with Cara Berger) a co-edited collection on Curating Performance for Cambridge University Press.
Kevin Wilson launched his public relations company, KWPR, in 1995 after 18 years as a show- business journalist. He has since become a sought-after prize-winning theatre press rep across the West End, UK tours and fringe theatre, handling all kinds of productions from the biggest West End musicals, dramas and dance productions to one-man shows.
Howard Loxton worked in theatre before a career as a writer and publisher and has reviewed theatre in print and online since 2000.

To be eligible, titles must be about British or British-related theatre, be in English, first publications and carry the copyright date 2023. They may be on any form of theatrical performance and any aspect of production, history, architecture or management, whether presenting theatre of the past, recording contemporary theatre or looking forward to the future. Play texts and studies of drama as literature are excluded.

About the Society for Theatre Research
The Society for Theatre Research was founded in 1948 to serve all those interested in the history and technique of British and British-related theatre: academic and independent scholars, researchers, performers and other theatre workers – and of course theatregoers. The STR is the oldest society of its type in the English-speaking world, with a membership that is international. It continues to support theatre research through publications, its journal Theatre Notebook; staging an annual programme of events and funding new research. More details of these and other activities promoted by the Society are available on our website:
Press contact: Harriet Reed / theatr

Written by Theatrefullstop