The best plays ever written and my mission to read them

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:

    1. Hamlet – Shakespeare
    2. Macbeth- Shakespeare
    3. The Importance of Being Earnest- Oscar Wilde
    4. Waiting for Godot- Samuel Beckett
    5. A Midsummer Nights Dream- Shakespeare
    6. Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare
    7. Othello- Shakespeare
    8. King Lear – Shakespeare
    9. Rosencrantz and Guildenstein are dead- Tom Stoppard
    10. Pygmalion- George Bernard Shaw
    11. Antigone- Sophocles
    12. Death of a Salesman- Arthur Miller
    13. A Streetcar Named Desire- Tennessee Williams
    14. Our Town- Thornton Wilder
    15. Oedipus Rex – Sophocles
    16. A Dolls House – Ibsen
    17. The Crucible- Arthur Miller
    18. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof- Tennessee Williams
    19. Cyrano de Bergerac – Edmond Rostand
    20. The Cherry Orchard – Chekhov
    21. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf- Edward Albee
    22. The Tempest- Shakespeare
    23. A Raisin in the Sun- Lorraine Hansberry
    24. Arcadia – Tom Stoppard
    25. The Glass Menagerie- Tennessee Williams
    26. The Misanthrope- Moliere
    27. Amadeus – Peter Shaffer
    28. No Exit and three other plays- Jean Paul Sartre
    29. Twelfth Night – Shakespeare
    30. 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?

India x


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