The Society for Theatre Research

STR Theatre Book Prize for books published in 2017

To mark the occasion of its Golden Jubilee in 1998 the Society decided to sponsor an annual Theatre Book Prize, with the first award being made in 1998 to a book published during the calendar year 1997.

Eligibility is confined to books, in English, of original research into any aspect of the history and technique of British or British related theatre history and practice. It is not restricted to authors of British nationality nor to books solely from British publishers. The current value of the Prize is £500, given to the author.

The winner is chosen by a different panel of judges usually comprised of a theatre practitioner, a theatre critic and a theatre academic chaired by a representative of the Society. The Prize money and administrative expenses are derived from investment capital already accrued from donations from Society members and other sympathetic donors. Further sponsorship and donations are welcomed so that a more generous Prize may be given in future years.

Publishers wishing to enter books should email for details of criteria and submission procedure.

The Judges

The judges for 2017 titles are Paul Miller, Artistic Director of the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, theatre critic Sam Marlowe and Professor Jeffery Richards. They are chaired by Howard Loxton representing the Society for Theatre Research.

The winner will be announced by Rory Kinnear at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 21 June when the judges will speak about the year's entries and the prize awarded.

Paul MillerPaul Miller became Artistic Director at the in-the-round Orange Tree Theatre in 2014 after being Associate Director at Sheffield Theatres. He had directed plays for the National Theatre, the Royal Court, in the West End, and among others Hampstead Theatre, the Bush, the Arcola and the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Sam MarloweSam Marlowe is a theatre critic who trained as an actor and began her writing career as a critic and features writer for What's On In London magazine. She later became that magazine's theatre editor, before going on to work at The Independent, where she regularly contributed arts features. She is now a freelance arts journalist and regular theatre critic for The Times, Metro and The Chicago Tribune, and a judge for Theatre Awards UK.

Jeffery RichardsJeffery Richards is Emeritus Professor of Cultural History at Lancaster University. His numerous publications include Sir Henry Irving: a Victorian Actor and his World, which was short-listed for the STR Theatre Book Prize in 2005.

Entry for the year 2017 is now closed and a list of the books received can be found here.


Balancing Acts
by Nicholas Hytner (Jonathan Cape)

Black British Drama - A Transnational Story
by Michael Pearce (Routledge)

Child Actors on the London Stage, c 1600
by Julie Ackroyd (Sussex Academic Press)

Costume in Performance
by Donatella Barbieri (Bloomsbury)

London Theatres
by Michael Coveney and Peter Dazeley (Frances Lincoln)

Shakespeare on Stage: Vol 2 ­ Twelve Leading Actors on Twelve Key Roles
by Julian Curry (Nick Hern Books)

Previous winners

2016Stage Management Chaos by Jackie Harvey, with Tim Kelleher (McFarland)
2015The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 by Steve Nicholson
(University of Exeter Press)
2014Oliver! by Marc Napolitano (Oxford University Press)
2013The National Theatre Story by Daniel Rosenthal (Oberon)
2012Mr Foote's Other Leg by Ian Kelly (Picador)
2011Covering McKellen by David Weston (Rickshaw Publishing)
2010The Reluctant Escapologist by Mike Bradwell (Nick Hern Books)
2009Different Drummer: the Life of Kenneth Macmillan by Jann Parry (Faber & Faber)
2008Theatre and Globalisation: Irish Drama in the Celtic Tiger Era by Patrick Lonergan (Palgrave Macmillan)
2007State of the Nation by Michael Billington (Faber & Faber)
2006John Osborne: A Patriot for Us by John Heilpern (Chatto & Windus)
20051599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro  (Faber & Faber)
2004Margot Fonteyn by Meredith Daneman (Penguin/Viking)
2003National Service by Richard Eyre (Bloomsbury)
2002A History of Irish Theatre 1601-2000 by Christopher Morash
(Cambridge University Press)
2001Reflecting the Audience: London Theatregoing, 1840-1880 by Jim Davis & Victor Emeljanow (Iowa University Press/University of Hertfordshire Press)
2000Politics, Prudery and Perversion.... Censorship 1906-68 by Nicholas de Jongh
1999Garrick by Ian McIntyre (Allen Lane)
1998Threads of Time by Peter Brook (Methuen)
1997The Life of Margaret Ramsay, Play Agent by Colin Chambers  (Nick Hern)

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