A year or so ago I made the decision that if I wanted to write good plays, I had to read good plays. I did a quick Google search and found a list- ‘Good Reads top 100 plays’.
I copied the list down and decided to work my way through them. A lot of them (mainly the Shakespeare ones) I had studied at school or at college. But I have to admit that when I say ‘study’ I mean googling the plot points and the characters and maybe reading a few pages to look like I had done the work. So I don’t really feel that method of discovering a play counts, but it gives me an excuse to read it all over again but with a different frame of mind.
It’s like when you rewatch Disney films as an adult and realise there’s adult jokes in there that you didn’t understand before.
I’m going to write down that list of plays and strike them through when I’ve finished them.
Top 30 plays:
- Hamlet – Shakespeare
- Macbeth- Shakespeare
- The Importance of Being Earnest- Oscar Wilde
Waiting for Godot- Samuel Beckett
- A Midsummer Nights Dream- Shakespeare
- Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare
- Othello- Shakespeare
- King Lear – Shakespeare
- Rosencrantz and Guildenstein are dead- Tom Stoppard
- Pygmalion- George Bernard Shaw
Antigone- Sophocles Death of a Salesman- Arthur Miller A Streetcar Named Desire- Tennessee Williams
- Our Town- Thornton Wilder
Oedipus Rex – Sophocles
- A Dolls House – Ibsen
The Crucible- Arthur Miller Cat on a Hot Tin Roof- Tennessee Williams
- Cyrano de Bergerac – Edmond Rostand
- The Cherry Orchard – Chekhov
- Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf- Edward Albee
- The Tempest- Shakespeare
- A Raisin in the Sun- Lorraine Hansberry
Arcadia – Tom Stoppard The Glass Menagerie- Tennessee Williams
- The Misanthrope- Moliere
- Amadeus – Peter Shaffer
- No Exit and three other plays- Jean Paul Sartre
- Twelfth Night – Shakespeare
- Long Days Journey into Night- Eugene O’Neill
Maybe after reading them all I can make my own list how I would rank them 1-30. I’m excited to get into this!
So far I have completed: 9/30
What’s your favourite play? Do you agree with this list? Any recommendations?