13 February 2015

Date of Sheridan Morley Prize ceremony announced

For those of you who cannot bear the suspense much longer comes the happy news that the ceremony for the Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography is to be held on 19th March at the Garrick Club.

The judges this year are journalist and drama critic Kate Bassett and actors Gemma Jones and Michael Simkins (the latter also no slouch as a writer), so fingers (or talons) crossed that Freddie's autobiography Funny Bones, cowritten with Anthony Teague, might meet with approval. Going by last year the shortlist is likely to be announced within a couple of weeks.

Funny Bones has also been entered for the Society for Theatre Research's Theatre Book Prize, whose judges are Christopher Morahan, Matt Wolf and Vivien Gardner. According to industry website bookbrunch, a shortlist will be announced for this in March, and a winner in late April or early May.

Regardless of what happens in either case, here's hoping that entering Funny Bones for these prizes may help it gain the attention of a wider audience. As its cowriter I am naturally biased but others have told me that as well as Freddie's dedicated fans Funny Bones will be of interest to students of comedy and anyone else who wants to know about those vanished worlds in which Freddie and his comedian grandfather moved: variety halls, Northern clubs, summer seasons.

And if you want to be ahead of the game, why not make up your own mind about the book which writer and producer John Fisher (Heroes of Comedy etc) has declared "a cornerstone of its genre"? It's available from amazon (paperback) and other online stores or direct from Scratching Shed Publishing, where you can also buy the limited edition hardback. Read an extract here.

Read John Fisher on Funny Bones here.