The performing arts publisher


quick | advanced


My Cart

Items : 0
Sub total : $0.00

View Cart 
Shipping Policy

How Plays Work  

How Plays Work $23.63 ex GST
$25.99 inc GST

A masterclass in the art of playwriting by an accomplished and successful practitioner . How Plays Work has grown out of Edgar’s teaching the University of Birmingham’s MA course in Playwriting Studies. The book analyses the basic elements of dramatic structure – action, plot, character, dialogue, genre – through historical and modern examples. By looking at existing plays and drawing lessons from them, it builds a unique toolkit of theatrical devices for use by other playwrights – as well as by other theatre practitioners and students of drama.

'Lucid, deeply intelligent... combines theoretical acumen with the assured know-how of a working dramatist.'  Terry Eagleton,  TLS

Nick Hern Books, UK | 978-1-85459-371-9 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB


DAVID EDGAR is one of Britain's leading playwrights. He calls himself ' a writer of public life', and once remarked that he wanted to be 'a secretary for the times through which I'm living'. His many plays include Nicholas Nickleby for the RSC (adaptation), Destiny, Maydays, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Pentecost, The Prisoner’s Dilemma, The Shape of the Table, Entertaining Strangers (with Judi Dench), Albert Speer and, most recently, Playing with Fire.  His bestselling book How Plays Work was published by NHB in 2009. He also writes for radio, television, and film and is a frequent commentator on political and theatre issues, as both essayist and public speaker. He founded the Theatre Writer's Union, as well as Britain's first graduate playwriting course at Birmingham.

By David Edgar, available through Currency Press - see all