Follow Us on Twitter

Biography of Vivien Leigh wins STR Theatre Book Prize

DARK Star: A Biography of Vivien Leigh by Alan Strachan has been awarded the Society for Theatre Research Theatre Book Prize (for books published in 2019).

Theatre Book Prize Judge Panellist Professor Edith Hall, writes:

‘It has been a joy and a privilege to read all the books submitted, and being prompted to remember heady days and evenings in live theatres has been a boon during a period of national lockdown where we have been so starved of live entertainment of any kind whatsoever.’

The winner had been chosen from the following short list:

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 and Dr Maeve McKeown (Nick Hern Books)

Shakespeare Spelt Ruin: The Life of Frederick Balsir Chatterton, Drury Lane’s Last Bankrupt by Robert Whelan (Jacob Tonson)

Since 1998, the Society for Theatre Research has awarded the Theatre Book Prize annually to the best new book on any aspect of British or British-related theatre history and practice. The Prize is judged by an independent panel representing the theatrical profession, critics and academics.

The judges were Edith Hall, Professor in the Classics Department of King’s College London, a broadcaster and lecturer, co-founder of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama and a consultant to theatres; Graham Cowley, who has produced plays in a wide range of theatres, from West End and large scale tours to tiny fringe theatres; and Donald Hutera, a dance critic for The Times of London, who has written widely about theatre, especially on dance, mime and circus both in print and on line publications.

They were chaired by Howard Loxton representing the STR.