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kelby_lake

Your Favourite Plays

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

 

I absolutely agree!! I saw this around 5 or 6 years ago and it had me in stitches – I think it's the best play I have ever seen and not enough people know about it!

 

As for other plays, I think Beckett's Waiting for Godot is a fair work of genius, and of course Wilde's plays are very cleverly written and full of unforgettable wit.

 

I also think Richard Brinsley Sheridan is completely underrated and deserves a higher place in the literary canon. The Rivals and The School for Scandal are extremely funny and I encourage everyone to read them!

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It's brilliant, isn't it, LitKit? (hope you don't mind the abbreviation. Abbrevs. are usually a sign of acceptance at BGO).

 

I've become a big fan of the band who wrote the music, the Tiger Lillies' since seeing SHP and gone to numerous gigs of theirs' since. I go to numerous gigs in general, but make an effort to seek them out.

 

SHP is one of the few plays I've seen staged more than once, although I missed it when another band, David Thomas and the Two Pale Boys, substituted for the Tiger Lillies.

 

I'm actually going to see one of my other favourite plays tomorrow afternoon, "The Crucible" which is coming to the end of a run at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park. Fingers crossed the weather holds.

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My faves to read are An Inspector Calls, Romeo and Juliet. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is an amazing read too - you lose so much of the joking around in performance lol!

 

In performance, I've seen ace productions of the Crucible (although I loathe John Proctor). Macbeth is usually a dead cert for performance, although I did see one years ago at the B'ham Rep in which lady M wore a red cocktail dress and simpered all the way through. Ghastly.

 

I love View from a Bridge by Miller, all of Teneesee Williams' plays, and Teachers and Bouncers by Godber.

 

The Caucasian Chalk Circle and The Threepenny Opera by Brecht are amazing too, simply because they make the audience challenge that 'removal of the fourth wall' aspect of watching a play.

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I've never been much of a play-goer, but for my GCE O-level in English Literature in 1974, I studied JB Priestly's "Time and the Conways." Wonderfully poignant, it left a lasting impression on me. I must find out if it was ever made into a film...

 

...rather bizarrely, I now discover that a 1994 BBC Radio 4 production was re-broadcast on Radio 7 only 6 weeks ago!

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Myself, I'd say:

 

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

A View From The Bridge

Another Country

In Camera

Titus Andronicus

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

An Inspector Calls

I like all of these plays each has their own qualities but a list would have to include for me

 

The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde

and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and who can resist The Birthday Party by Pinter :)

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Shakespeare: Hamlet, Titus Andronicus, Richard II

Glengarry Glenross - Mamet

Mr Roberts (but I've only seen the film) - by Joshua Logan from the novel by Thomas Heggen

Dr Faustus - Kit Marlowe

The Duchess of Malfi - John Webster

 

There must be others but I have to go and sort out plays from operas.

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My favourites have to be:

A Streetcar Named Desire - Williams

A View From The Bridge - Miller

Waiting For Godot - Beckett

An Inspector Calls - Priestly

The Birthday Party - Pinter

Huis Clos/No Exit - Sartre

Macbeth - Shakespeare 

 

I'm actually going to see a performance of A Streetcar Named Desire sometime in September!

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My favourites have to be:

A Streetcar Named Desire - Williams

 

I'm actually going to see a performance of A Streetcar Named Desire sometime in September!

Oh, where is it on? Did you see Gillian Anderson as Blanche in the one which was shown in cinemas?

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The Royal Exchange Theatre, in Manchester. It's showing from the 8th of September till the 15th of October and no I haven't seen that version, I might watch it though, it sounds good!

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The Royal Exchange Theatre, in Manchester. It's showing from the 8th of September till the 15th of October and no I haven't seen that version, I might watch it though, it sounds good!

Oh, sounds good. Wish I was nearer Manchester! I don't think the version I mentioned has ever come out on DVD, sadly: it was one of those cinema showings of a theatre production. They do sometimes appear on a site called digitaltheatre.com which is very good for seeing theatre you missed.

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I had a fantastic drama teacher back in highschool, who always used to suggest the play I should study for any written work I had to do. I always went with what she said because I invariably loved her choices.

The standouts for me were:

 

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Life of Galileo

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

No Sugar

End Game

The Bald Prima Donna

Waiting for Godot

 

You can tell I loved absurdism. Waiting for Godot in particular has a special place in my heart. I played Estragon, after being shafted into so many minor parts or off stage jobs because our teacher wasn't certain how to manage directing someone with low vision. I pretty much turned up to class and demanded a decent part for once since everyone else had had one. I have to admire my nerve now.

But I remember when reading the part with my best friend who was playing Vladimir, the line Estragon has:

  "No I was never in the Macon country! I've puked my puke of a life away here, I tell you! Here! In the Cackon country!"   and suddenly realising this was our entire class, pretty much. doomed to puke our lives away in a registered hole in Western Sydney.   I've loved the play ever since, and the best version by far is the radio play done by Naxos audio.

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Toad of Toad Hall - saw this at the (old) Birmingham Rep - in 1960/61 I think. Toad was played by a Welsh actor called William Ingram, who in later years wrote a few plays I heard performed on Radio4.

Not heard anything of him for years, but have had him brought to mind recently in a letter from an old friend who mentioned that particular visit to the theatre, and by finding, in a box of old photographs. an autographed  one I took of him back then,

 

edit: When I say he wrote a few plays, I mean I heard a few plays by him.

According to Wales Online:

he created scripts for more than 300 radio productions during a prolific career.

 

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