Jump to content

Recommended Posts

One of the plays we have in common, kelby-lake, is An Inspector Calls. A production of it a few years ago really held me.


My taste in plays is rather varied and often depends on the production I've seen (rather than read). Anyway - off the top of my head -


Henry IV, Parts I & II

King Lear

Twelfth Night

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Measure for Measure

Bedroom Farce - Alan Ayckbourn

Tamburlaine - Christopher Marlowe

History Boys - Alan Bennett

Link to post
Share on other sites
My taste in plays is rather varied and often depends on the production I've seen (rather than read).


You're absolutely right, this is so important, chuntzy. I'd never sit down and read a play by choice, so for me it is all about the performance.


Here's my choice of plays I've seen fine productions of over the years:


Shakespeare: Hamlet, King Lear, Twelfth Night

Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman, The Crucible

Sam Shepard: Buried Child

David Mamet: Glengarry Glen Ross, Speed-the-Plow

Harold Pinter: The Birthday Party

Edward Albee: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Samuel Beckett: Happy Days

David Eldridge: Festen

Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest

Terry Johnson: Insignificance

Edmond Rostand: Cyrano de Bergerac


Although it is a musical of sorts, special mention for Shock Headed Peter, probably the most extraordinary stage creation I've ever seen.

Link to post
Share on other sites
One of the plays we have in common, kelby-lake, is An Inspector Calls. A production of it a few years ago really held me.


My dad played Gerald in an amateur production when I was quite young. I like to watch a production and then read the play so I can see how well it's being done. Some plays are actually really readable- like novels but in a different format.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Oh wow, this is a tough call! But here's a sampling:

Shakespeare: The Tempest, As You Like It, King Lear, Hamlet, Henry V, "The Scottish Play" (I'm not in the theatre building right now, so guess I can say it: Macbeth)

Marlowe: Doctor Faustus

Middleton: The Revenger's Tragedy

Sheridan: The School for Scandal

Strindberg: Miss Julie

Miller: Death of A Saleman

Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire

Stoppard: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Real Inspector Hound

MacDonald: Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet

Shaffer: Royal Hunt of the Sun

Fornes: Fefu and Her Friends

Fry: The Lady's Not for Burning

Synge: Riders to the Sea, Playboy of the Western World

Shue: The Foreigner

I'm with Grammath on Cyrano and Earnest. Buried Child is powerful enough to be canonical, and I'd love to see a production of it (of Shepard, only seen Fool for Love and was quite impressed). My list has also included, at various times depending on where the studies took me, High Tor, Antigone, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Cloud Nine, Terra Nova and Arden of Faversham. Among others...


I like Ibsen too, but would like him better if I could find some translations that weren't so stilted and ponderous. Any suggestions? (Reading him in Norwegian is right out, sorry.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Wow I can't believe no one has mentioned by own two favourite Playwrights yet!


I love reading and watching plays but Brian Friel and Tennessee Williams are just magical for me.


My favourite Friel play is Aristocrats ....for anyone who hasnt read this, and likes Friel I would recommend this play so much, its just a very touching and poignant story, which also captures beautifully a changing Ireland, and Casimir is one of my favourite characters ever!.


My favourite Williams play has to be a tie between A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie - both just fantastic.


The four and five of my top five would be: The Field by John B Keane, and The Playboy of the Western World by JM Synge.


The only one I haven't the pleasure to see live is The Field and I would love to some day! :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite a lot of GBS, whose plays I read at a very young age but which seem to be performed rarely these days:

Pygmalion (saw it performed in 2007)

Arms And The Man

The Apple Cart

Major Barbara

Androcles And The Lion


Dodie Smith - best known currently for I Capture The Castle:

Dear Octopus, which used to be her most well known play

Call It A Day, in which I had my first AmDram acting rôle


Ariel Dorfman:

Death And The Maiden, which I have read and heard performed on the radio, but have not seen


Lee Hall:

Spoonface Steinberg, another which I have heard and read.


I'll have to have a think about favourite plays I have seen performed, as memories of my main theatre-going days require a little assistance from my collection of ancient programmes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My favourite play that I have seen is 'Up 'n Under' by John Godber. Funny and surprising. The film of it really doesn't do it justice.


Mind you, I don't generally enjoy going to the theatre. I find it very difficult to suspend my disbelief.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 6 months later...

Don't know why I haven't contributed to this thread.


A Streetcar Named Desire is probably my favourite play, closely followed by The Crucible. I have taught both several times, and they always go down well, and somehow my own enjoyment is enhanced rather than diminished by teaching them.

Similarly, I always enjoy teaching Romeo and Juliet. The Merchant of Venice and Othello are also Shakespeare favourites.

I like Ibsen - I saw Ghosts a while back, and I enjoyed it, but I prefer Hedda Gabler and A Doll's House.

I did a lot of German drama at uni, and I liked Ibsen's contemporaries, all the naturalist and realist stuff. As I remember it, there was a lot of turn of the century stuff with a real social conscience, like The Weavers by Gerhard Hauptmann, about the Luddite Rebellion. I've forgotten a lot of that stuff, but I really enjoyed it at the time.

I'll have a think and may return.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

Am getting more and more into theatre - think it's my favourite "art" at the moment!


Favourite plays ever seen:


Shaffer - Amadeus, Royal Hunt for the Sun, Equus

GBS - Saint Joan

Anouilh - The Lark, Antigone

Shakespeare - Hamlet (David Tennant and Roger Rees), Henry V, Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure (did it for A level and LOVED it)

Medoff - Children of a Lesser God (first play I saw in the West End aged about 14 - will stay with me forever)

Edward Albee - Three Tall Women - Think this might be the best piece of theatre I have ever seen - Maggie Smith and Frances De La Tour were beyond fantastic.


Good times!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Measure for Measure (did it for A level and LOVED it)
I think that's my favourite Shakespeare play, I'd love to see it performed. Lucky you!


Children of a Lesser God (first play I saw in the West End aged about 14 - will stay with me forever)

I didn't realise there was a play of this, I saw the William Hurt film when I was much younger and loved it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

Here I go-

The Death of a Salesman (A. Miller)

A Doll's House (Ibsen)

Dr. Faustus ( Marlowe)

Hamlet (Shakespeare)

The Glass Menagerie ( T. Williams)

The Hairy Ape (Eugene O' Neill)

Arms and The Man (G B Shaw)

Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett)

An Ideal Husband (Wilde)

Romeo and Juliet (S.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Content

    • By kelby_lake
      What should Lady's accent sound like? I know she's Italian but she's lived in America since she was little.
    • By tuscan
      I was wondering if this essential book had been discussed at any length on this forum?
      I last read it and made notes from the abridged library book,long before it became available on the web.Is there a definitive version that comes in written form,or is it best viewed online?
    • By kelby_lake
      I'm really into American dramatists but haven't read anything by Eugene O'Neill yet. Which is his best play and what's it about?
    • By waawo
      Restored thread
      #1 23rd April 2012, 08:07 PM
      Modern Poetry Ebooks
      This may be a bit of an niche question, but I'd love to know what poetry any of you had found that could be downloaded onto a Kindle or similar device. I'd love to have a collection of poetry on mine, but am finding it hard to come by.
      Any recommendations?
      My main preference is for modern poetry, but I'm struggling to find any. Free would be great, but I'd be happy to pay proper money for a decent modern anthology in electronic form.
      Having said that, if you have any recommendations for older, classic works, I'd be glad to hear those too.
      #2 24th April 2012, 10:55 AM
      I had just the same quest as you have. By going to Kindle Store - Poetry, I found a huge selection, some free, some reasonably priced, a few expensive. Modern poetry anthologies are in short supply, but several individual modern poets works - RS Thomas for instance.
      I downloaded for free Six Centuries of English Poetry - Tennyson-Chaucer, by James Baldwin, and I'm pleased with it.
      Then I went to Gutenberg where all downloads, via the USB cable, are free. (Instructions for downloading are on a Kindle thread Nov-Dec- 2011, in Central Library forum). There is a large and varied selection up to modern:
      #3 24th April 2012, 05:27 PM
      Hi Lectora,
      I'm a frequent and enthusiastic visitor to Project Gutenberg! I haven't been too inspired by the poetry though. I downloaded Paradise Lost, The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner and The Wasteland, but that was all.
      I wish someone like Bloodaxe Books would put lots of their books on Kindle. Being Alive, and the two follow on books are my most read anthologies by a long way. There isn't very much modern poetry in the Kindle store at all
      I might check out the 6 Centuries one you mentioned - can't go far wrong, if it's free. Thanks!
      #4 24th April 2012, 09:32 PM
      I'm inclined to agree with you. The choice of books of poetry whether free or to buy is poor in both Project Gutenberg and Amazon. There is not a decent collection of Metaphysical Poetry to be had anywhere and as for Modern Poetry...... However I found Palgrave's Golden Treasury on Gutenberg and have downloaded that to be alongside Six Centuries of English Poetry, also T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. I'm also quite pleased with Selections from Wordsworth and Tennyson, Browning's Shorter Poems, Tennyson's Idylls of the King, and Lyrical Ballads (Wordsworth and Coleridge) (all free from Project Gutenberg)
      I don't think the e-books' creators have got their minds round how to lay out poetry in the line lengths as presented in the paper books they've converted. Alexander Pope's iambic pentameters (from Gutenberg) appear as prose. Fortunately this is rhymed verse but even so the appearance is odd and disconcerting.
      I'm just about to remove A E Housman's Last Poems (Gutenberg). The presentation is OK but I don't like the selection. I've just bought for £2.50 from Amazon via the BGO link, A Treasury of Christian Poetry by Day Williams. In the introduction he recalls a prisoner in Vietnam who recited whilst in prison all the religious poetry he could remember, and that included some of the greates pieces from the KJB. DW does not say he was the prisoner but I suspect he was. I was pleased to find the layout just about perfect, but of course, this book was custom-made for the Kindle. I think the selection is good. What pleased me most is that the Metaphysical poets are well represented, which I would expect as their poetry is nearly all religious.
      #5 24th April 2012, 10:23 PM
      When I read your OP I went straight to look for Staying Alive and Being Alive on Amazon, and was quite surprised not to find kindle editions. I browsed around for a bit, but there really isn't much at all by way of modern poetry produced as ebooks, and certainly no anthologies that I could see. 
      You might find a few by individual poets, but you'd have to know who you are looking for, as there are a lot of self-styled, self-published 'poets' around these days.
      #6 25th April 2012, 12:56 PM
      Salt Publishing have made a number of their titles available for Kindle if you#re looking for modern poets, as have Faber & Faber.
      #7 26th April 2012, 10:04 AM
      Thanks, Grammath. I'll look up Salt Publishing and Faber & Faber.
      In your message, when I clicked on the underlined modern poets, I was taken to a title proclaiming Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner! How do you define "modern poetry"? When I was a student, T.S. Eliot was "modern". Now he is referred to as "early decades of the 20th c." I plan to look up the work of the present (Carol Ann Duffy) and recent poet laureates.
      The fact is that most of the the poetry one "recollects in tranquility" is that which one read/heard and loved when young.
      #8 26th April 2012, 08:39 PM
      Very helpful, thanks Grammath. Lots of choice from Faber and Faber in particular. I'm interested to note that their ebooks are almost entirely books by a single poet, rather than anthologies. I wonder what's behind that decision. 
      One thing that hadn't occurred to me, before reading responses on this thread, is the issues relating to displaying poetry on a screen rather than a page, and the way that messes with line length.
    • By jfp
      Here's a quiz from today's Guardian.
      You scored 9 out of a possible 12
      Not bad – right in that meaty part of the curve
      Unfortunately only a minority of the questions actually ask you to identify lines...
  • Create New...