What is Multiplay Drama?
Multiplay Drama is an exciting series of large-cast plays, specifically written to be performed by and appeal to young people.
Commissioned by some of the UK’s leading youth theatres and drama schools, and written by a mix of established writers and distinctive new voices, these plays have been selected not just for their quality, but also for the wealth and number of roles they offer to younger actors, as well as their bold, ambitious storytelling.
The plays span a wide range of styles, setting and subject matter – offering everything from fascinating, complex perspectives on some of the most urgent issues facing our world today, to sparkling historical dramas and action-packed adventures in outer space. Most offer flexible casting to adapt to the size and make-up of your particular group, and many provide the opportunity to incorporate other skills such as movement and singing.
Since Multiplay Drama was launched in 2019, the plays have been performed dozens of times by groups across the UK and beyond. The series was shortlisted for Outstanding Drama Education Resource at the 2020 Music & Drama Education Awards.
Twenty Multiplay Drama plays are now available to read and perform following the release of ten additional scripts in November 2023. Ideal for youth- and student-theatre groups, schools, sixth-form colleges, drama schools and amateur theatre companies, Multiplay Drama is perfect for anyone looking for big new plays for great big casts.
Multiplay Drama is published and licensed by theatre publishers and performing rights agents Nick Hern Books.
Praise for Multiplay Drama
'Some of the freshest and most relevant theatre being made today is when dynamic next-generation playwrights collaborate with young companies and drama schools. Making these plays available will continue to bring them to life in new and exciting ways. A brilliant initiative.' – Sarah Frankcom, Director
'This unique and important initiative gives young theatre-makers access to the very best in new writing for younger companies to create productions of their own. It offers opportunities which ensure that the next generation of theatre-makers, and those just interested in theatre generally, are working with the best writers and ideas - and that this glorious work has as far a reach as possible.' – Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director, Royal Court Theatre
'These plays are as ambitious in their imaginative scope as they are in their cast size! Unseen communities are brought vividly to life, family bonds tighten or fracture, and institutions and attitudes at the core of our society are challenged in this brilliant collection of contemporary ensemble plays.' – Rupert Goold, Artistic Director, Almeida Theatre
'I'm a big fan of this initiative, and these works by current voices deserve to reach audiences far and wide. Great storytelling shouldn't go to waste.' – Paul Roseby OBE, CEO and Artistic Director, National Youth Theatre
'Multiplay Drama contains a wealth of plays written with and for young performers who were ready to take space and shout loud about the world around them and the things it made them think and feel. I've been lucky enough to see the development of several of these stories; to see brilliant playwrights and actors galvanised and inspired by each other, and I can't wait to see them reimagined all over again by the next generation.' – Jude Christian, Director and Playwright, and Dramaturg at Royal Welsh College Music and Drama
'It's so great for actors, directors and writers that this collection of large-cast plays will be gathered together in one place. I hope these flexible and lively plays find lots of new voices to speak to them and spaces to exist in. It's really exciting to me to think of how future generations of theatre-makers will find new ways to explore the vitality of these playwrights' voices.' – Louise Stephens, Creative Director and CEO, Playwrights' Studio Scotland
How Multiplay Drama Works – as easy as 1-2-3!
a free extract
the full script
to perform the play
1. Download a free extract
Twenty Multiplay Drama plays are currently available to read and perform – you can find them by clicking 'The Plays' in the menu bar at the top of this website, and selecting the one you want from the drop-down menu.
Found a Multiplay Drama play you'd like to take a closer look at? A free extract of each play is available to read, completely for free! On each play's page, simply click the ‘DOWNLOAD EXTRACT’ button to open up a PDF of the first 20% of the script.
2. Request the full script
Enjoyed the extract and want to read more with a view to a production? Head back to that Multiplay Drama play's page and click on the ‘REQUEST SCRIPT’ button to request the full script, free of charge. The quickest way to do so is by filling out the pop-up form, but you can call also email us or call us on 020 8749 4953.
Your free script will be sent via email as a non-printable PDF. This will be watermarked on every page – either with your name or the name of your organisation, depending on the information you provide – and must not be shared with anyone else.
Alternatively, ebooks all of twenty Multiplay Drama plays are available to buy from the Nick Hern Books website, plus other ebook retailers.
3. Apply to perform the play and buy your scripts
Decided that this Multiplay Drama play is right for you? Great: you're ready to apply for the performing rights!
On each play page, click the 'APPLY TO PERFORM' button – this will take you to our online performing rights application form, where we'll ask you to provide information about your proposed production. You'll then hear from the Nick Hern Books Performing Rights Department via email.
Once you've secured your performance licence, the last thing you need to do is buy your scripts. This will be supplied as a printable PDF file, so you can print as many copies as you need.
It's a condition of your licence that each member of the cast and production team working on the play have their own copy of the script. The price of your printable PDF will therefore depend on the total number of scripts you need to print:
Up to 10 copies: £45
11-20 copies: £60
21-30 copies: £75
31 copies or more: £90
Again, these printable scripts will be watermarked with your name or organisation, and must not be shared with anyone who is not involved in the production.
Well, as far as finding the right play goes, anyway...
We hope you have all the information you need to find the perfect Multiplay Drama play for you. If you're looking for further information, take a look at our FAQs below, or visit our Contact Us page to ask any questions you might have.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is behind Multiplay Drama?
Multiplay Drama is published and licensed by theatre publishers and performing rights agents Nick Hern Books.
How can I read the Multiplay Drama plays?
The Multiplay Drama plays are available in the following formats:
PDF extracts from each of the plays are available to download for free from the Multiplay Drama website
Non-printable, watermarked PDFs of the full scripts, for reading purposes, available upon request through the Multiplay Drama website
Printable, watermarked PDFs of the full scripts, for use in rehearsal and production, available for purchase with a performance licence
Ebooks of the full plays, available to purchase from the Nick Hern Books website and other ebook retailers
The Multiplay Drama plays are not currently available as paperbacks.
I / my organisation want to read a Multiplay Drama play to consider it for performance. How can we do this?
You can request a free non-printable, watermarked PDF of the full script, or purchase it as an ebook from the Nick Hern Books website.
Can I print my free watermarked PDF of the script?
No. You must purchase a printable, watermarked copy of the PDF.
What is a watermark?
A watermark is used to identify ownership of copyrighted material and to trace copyright infringements.
Your name or organisation will be used as the watermark on your PDF copy of a Multiplay Drama play. It will be printed on every page of the script to show that the script is yours to use and that access to it is your responsibility.
Your non-printable PDF of the full script will be watermarked with your name or organisation in grey diagonally across the middle of the page. You will be able to read the script through it. Your purchased, printable PDF of the full script will be watermarked with your name or organisation in grey horizontally across the bottom of the page.
Can I share PDF copies of the scripts?
Sharing of PDF copies of the Multiplay Drama scripts is restricted to within your organisation. You may share the PDF privately with members of your organisation. If you have purchased a printable PDF, you may print this and share it privately with members of your organisation.
Access to this PDF is your responsibility. It must not be shared with anyone who is not a member of your organisation. It must not be made publicly available by any means. Failure to comply with this is a breach of copyright law.
Am I allowed to photocopy the script?
No – it is a condition of your performance licence that you have a separate copy of the script for every performer and every member of the production team working on the play. The price of your printable PDF depends on the number of copies you need to print, but we've endeavoured to calculate this in a way that keeps the costs low and also doesn't become too expensive for the largest Multiplay Drama plays. See the How It Works section above for a full breakdown.
Can I print and share my ebook of the script for other members of my organisation to read?
Ebooks are non-printable. If several members of your organisation would like to read a Multiplay Drama play, they can each request a free non-printable, watermarked PDF of the full script as outlined above, or each purchase a copy of the ebook from the Nick Hern Books website.
Are the Multiplay Drama plays available as an anthology?
All the titles in the Multiplay Drama series are published individually and are not available as an anthology.
I want to perform one of the Multiplays Drama plays, what do I need to do?
You need to apply for an amateur performance licence.
This is a quick and straightforward process and can be done by filling out the pop-up form on each Multiplay Drama play page. If you need any help with your application, you can contact the Performing Rights Department at Nick Hern Books via email at email@example.com or call 020 8749 4953.
Can I use the Multiplay Drama cover images on the poster and marketing material for my production?
We are unable to grant permission for the use of the cover artwork. You can find copyright information for the cover images on the copyright page of each of the plays.
I’m a writer and I’d like to submit my script for Multiplay Drama. Can I do this?
Submissions can be emailed to Nick Hern Books' Commissioning Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that due to the number of submissions we generally receive, we are unable to reply to all proposals.