Recommended Theatre Books

Books for Young Actors

Maureen Hughes is the author of The Pocket Guide to Musicals and The Pocket Guide to Plays and Playwrights. Both these books are now in High Street shops and on all the usual on line sites. The guides have also been added to the official reading list of several professional and academic colleges/universities as well as numerous 6th form colleges and schools.           

1. The Pocket Guide to Musicals                                  August   2008  

Foreword by Richard Jordan                        

2. The Pocket Guide to Plays and Playwrights              July       2009  

Foreword by Michael Billington

3. The Pocket Guide to Classic Books                            March   2010

4. The Pocket Guide to Ballroom Dancing                    Sept      2020

5. The Pocket Guide to Pantomimes                             TBA  


The foreword for this book was written by Michael Billington, drama critic of The Guardian Newspaper; drama critic for Country Life and frequent contributor to the New York Times.  

“Maureen Hughes has done a remarkable job. She has packed a vast amount of information into a confined space...

...I would suggest close study of Maureen Hughes's invaluable pocket guide which takes you on a roller-coaster ride through over two millennia of theatrical history.” 


... a vital, instant reference work to a drama student ...  


Maureen is currently Head of Musical Theatre at Laine Theatre Arts, one of the country’s leading vocational colleges where, amongst others she has had the pleasure of teaching such stars as Victoria Beckham.  Along with her husband, she has written no fewer than eight musicals, all of which have been professionally produced, including one at The Dominion Theatre in The West End of London.  In addition, she has written original plays as well as adaptations of classical literature both for performance as well as teaching guides; she has also toured the States with two of her musicals, worked in the film industry as a Drama Coach for an American film company and lectured on Musical Theatre at an American college for the performing arts.   


Tel: 020 8393 4220

Novel and Blog Launched for Teen Theatre-Lovers

Building on the popularity of “Glee” and “High School Musical”, author S.M. Stevens has launched “Bit Players, Has-Been Actors and Other Posers,” one of the first novels written for teens who love theatre. 


“Amazingly, there are not a lot of books or other resources out there for teenagers who love to perform,” explained Stevens. “This novel, hopefully the first in a series, takes readers into the fascinating, emotional and political world of a high school drama club. Readers who already perform will recognize the characters and emotions involved in putting on a show. Readers who don’t understand this world will finally have a view into it,” Stevens said.

In addition to the novel, a companion website and blog have been launched at, as have Facebook  and Twitter  pages. Using these social media, teens can not only learn about the book, they can connect with other teen theatre buffs.

“Ask other teens for pre-audition advice, post a video from your favorite performance, or write a review of the book. The sky’s the limit,” Stevens said.

Taking advantage of technology, the e-book contains YouTube links for songs referenced in the novel, so readers can listen to the music while they read, if their device allows this. Paperback readers can access the songs via

Book Summary -- Theatre-lover Sadie Hawkins is on a quest for an elusive lead role in the school play as the Crudup High School drama club makes its own musical out of “Twilight.” Intrigue abounds. Why does Sadie’s rival Lucey really get the role of Bella? What’s behind foreign exchange student Nigel’s interest in high school theatre? And where does the show’s director, Mr. Ellison, disappear to three days before opening night? With everything falling apart, can the cast even pull off the show?

Author Background -- S.M. Stevens wanted to be a star, but didn’t have the lack of inhibition or abundance of self-confidence to make it to the top (of her high school drama program). Still, she stayed involved in school, university and community theatre in various roles, including performing, working backstage, and front-of-house jobs. Today, her two teens wear the thespian mantle for the family.