Lane Press is a small independent publisher specialising
in drama. We
are based in the Cotswolds
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.
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. A year later, another major production took to the stage.
Olivier Award winner Ken Stott and BAFTA Award winner Reece Shearsmith came 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 opened at the Duke of York's Theatre in London and then transferred 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.
can read more about Ronald Harwood and his other plays
information on ordering any of our books please go to
our 'How to order' page.
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..
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.
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
which is set in the foreign exchange dealing room of a
City of London bank.
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.