2009 Theatre Book Prize
Different Drummer: the Life of Kenneth Macmillan
Jann Parry (Faber & Faber)
Thesps, academics, publishers and writers rubbed shoulders in the Grand Saloon at Drury Lane as they gathered to discover the winner of the 2009 Theatre Book Prize, awarded annually by the Society for Theatre Research. Books ranged from the biography of magician David Nixon to academic writing about walking as performance with some heavy contenders among a short list that included:
a biography of the clown Grimaldi
a book of essays covering every aspect of Early Modern English theatre
a critique of and guide to the writing of theatre history
a history of ENO
a biography of dancer and choreographer Kenneth MacMillan.
Not even the judges knew the winner, for at their last meeting there was no clear victor. A final individual ballot completed only yesterday determined the result which actress Sheila Hancock (no mean writer herself) eventually revealed as giving the laurels to Different Drummer: the Life of Kenneth MacMillan by Jann Parry (published by Faber).
The judges were:
Professor Jane Moody, York University
Mark Shenton, critic for the Daily Express and blogger for The Stage
Matthew Kelly, actor
chaired by Howard Loxton