Amber Lane Press is a small independent publisher specialising in drama. We are based in the Cotswolds market town of Charlbury between Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon, and have been publishing plays and books on the theatre for over 30 years. We have many well-known modern and established dramatists on our list, including 'Biyi Bandele, Steven Berkoff, Ronald Harwood, Julian Mitchell, Martin Sherman, Hugh Whitemore
and Sir Arnold Wesker.

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THE DRESSER

The Dresser by Ronald Harwood, published by Amber Lane Press

In 2015 Ronald Harwood's play The Dresser, a West-End hit in 1980, was adapted for television by Richard Eyre, starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins. It was aired on BBC Two on 31 October 2015 to wide acclaim. Now, another major production has taken to the stage.



Olivier Award winner Ken Stott and BAFTA Award winner Reece Shearsmith come together as lead actor “Sir” and Norman “the dresser” in this eagerly awaited revival of “a wonderfully affectionate and intelligent play” The Guardian.


As World War II rages, backstage in a provincial English theatre, an ageing, once-famous classical actor is troubled. Sir, the last in a dying breed of great Shakespearean actors, is unwilling to take to the stage and it falls to his faithful dresser Norman to rouse another great performance.

The Dresser runs from October 2015 to 14 January 2017 at the Duke of York's Theatre in London and then transfers to the Chichester Festival Theatre until February 2017.

 

The Dresser is available from Amber Lane Press along with Ronald Harwood's biography of the great stage actor that inspired it, Sir Donald Wolfit His Life and Work in the Unfashionable Theatre.

 


You can read more about Ronald Harwood and his other plays here.

For information on ordering any of our books please go to our 'How to order' page.

 


 

The Business of Murder by Richard Harris publisher Amber Lane Press
 
Cancer Tales by Nell Dunn ISBN: 1872868355 publisher Amber Lane Press
 
A Letter of Resignation by Hugh Whitemore published by Amber Lane Press

Every year sees new productions of our most popular plays across the world. These are a few of them. Cancer Tales had its radio debut in 2009 on BBC Radio 4; and a tour of the play by the Strawberry Hill Creative in partnership with Mundipharma Ireland won the Allianz Business to Arts "Creativity" award which was presented by the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, in Dublin. Later in the year that other favourite by Nell Dunn – Steaming – was performed by the Bovington Players, Hertfordshire, while Solana Beach, California was the venue for Ronald Harwood's classic backstage drama The Dresser, presented by the North West Repertory Theater. Still on that side of the pond the City of Sumter, South Carolina staged The Business of Murder, as did the Canyon Moon Theatre Company in Sedona, Arizona this January. In 2010 the play was also staged in Portuguese – A Arte do Crime – at the Companhia Teatral do Chiado in Lisbon. Richard Harris’s archetypal suspense thriller last toured Britain extensively in 2008 and remains a perrenial favourite among drama groups and audiences alike – as is Sand Castles. Centred around that most British of institutions, the beach hut, Bob Larbey’s play was produced in 2009 by the Rainham Amateur Theatrical Society, and they were followed by such diverse companies as the Mercia Island Players in West Mercia, and the Basin Theatre Group down under in Mt Dandenong, Victoria. Groups staging Sand Castles in 2010 included The Castle Players in Beaumaris, Gwynedd, the Rackheath Players near Norwich and Limelight Productions in Warminster. Sadly, Sand Castles is now out of print..

New Boy - adapted from William Sutcliffe's novel by Russell Labey publisher Amber Lane Press
 
Once a Catholic by Mary O'Malley published by Amber Lane Press
 
Sand Castles by Bob Larbey publisher Amber Lane Press

Once a Catholic – Mary O’Malley’s popular and hilarious comedy of life in a 1950s London convent school – has probably been performed somewhere every year since its West End premier over 30 years ago. In 2009 it was produced by the Neston players in Cheshire, and by the Loft Theatre Company Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate, London; and 2010 saw productions by the Little Theatre Company at the Brewhouse, Burton upon Trent, and at the Landor Theatre in Clapham. The latest major revival was staged at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, London, directed by Kathy Burke for two months from November 2013. In 2010 London's Trafalgar Studios were the venue for a staging of New Boy starring Skins star Nicholas Hoult making his West End debut in this tale about the new boy at school, and the sexual and social confusion he sparks. Also at Trafalgar Studios, March 2014 saw the opening of the Chichester Festival Theatre revival of Julian Mitchell's Another Country. 2009 saw revivals of two plays by the prolific writer Hugh Whitemore. God Only Knows was presented by the Company of Ten at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans; and the Nottinghamshire-based Radcliffe-on-Trent Drama Group produced A Letter of Resignation which dramatises the occasion when Harold Macmillan, staying with friends in Scotland, received a political bombshell – a letter of resignation from his war minister, Profumo.

Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig - publisher Amber Lane Press
 
When She Danced by Martin Sherman published by Amber Lane Press
 
Speculators by Tony Marchant publisher Amber Lane Press

In 2010 When She Danced by Martin Sherman was staged at the Meli Theatre in Athens, and also in a highly praised version by TimeLine Theatre Company in Chicago. This award-winning play is about one day in the life of "the mother of modern dance" – Isadora Duncan. More recently in the US Trial By Fire TheatreWorks in Oregon produced Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig (translated by Allan Baker); while back in London at the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama there was a timely revival of Tony Marchant's Speculators which is set in the foreign exchange dealing room of a City of London bank.

It is Martin Sherman's modern classic Bent which has been most revived recently having celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2010. There were productions in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Rising Action Theatre), Espace 4001 in Montreal (Altera Vitae Productions), and in California at The Empire Theatre in Santa Ana, the Diversionary Theatre in San Diego, and the Nitery Theater at Stanford University. Last year it was staged at the Belvoir Street Downstairs Theatre in Sydney by Focus Theatre to coincide with the annual Mardi Gras Festival. But perhaps the most interesting new production of Bent was at the Landor Theatre in Clapham London in 2010. The producer and director – Andrew Keates – graduated from drama school the year before and through his experience, determination and love of the piece was granted the honour of being the youngest gay director to produce the play professionally in the UK by the playwright himself - Martin Sherman.

Bent by Martin Sherman publisher Amber Lane Press

 

All our books can be purchased here at a discount.

Submissions and Job Opportunities

Please note that we are not actively publishing at present. Consequently, we no longer wish to receive any unsolicited plays or manuscripts; nor are there any job vacancies of any kind, either in-house or freelance. We also regret that we are not able to offer work experience.


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