If you’re looking for a great story, great writing and something you can devour in a few hours then why not pick up a play? I adore reading plays and thought I would recommend some brilliant ones that anyone can really sink their teeth into.
The York Realist by Peter Gill
Purchase link: https://www.faber.co.uk/9780571347858-york-realist-the.html
I have such a huge soft spot for this play. After seeing Robert Hastie’s production at the Donmar Warehouse last year, I just had to pick up the playtext. Peter Gill’s writing is so beautiful and intimate, a perfect description of the relationship between the main characters George and John. The York Realist not only deals with the pressure of having a same sex relationship in a time where homosexuality was illegal, but it also touches upon the subject of class between people from the North of England and those in the South of England. It’s an absolutely stunning play.
Angels In America by Tony Kushner
Purchase link: https://www.nickhernbooks.co.uk/angelsinamerica
This is my favourite play. I was bowled over by the National Theatre’s production back in 2017 and I had serious envy of anyone and everyone who got to see it on Broadway in 2018. A play in two parts and performed at a running time of just under 8 hours, Angels in America is a theatrical epic. Set in 1980s New York, the play discusses what it was like for gay men to be living in that time in the midst of the Reagan administration and the AIDS crisis. Tony Kushner’s writing is magnetic and gripping. Angels In America is wild yet intimate. It is hilarious yet heartbreaking. It features an angel crashing through a man’s bedroom and the oldest living Bolshevik. What more could you possibly want?
Collective Rage by Jen Silverman
Purchase link: https://www.oberonbooks.com/collective-rage-a-play-in-five-betties.html
What do you get when you put 5 very different New York women named Betty in a play? Jen Silverman’s Collective Rage. Discussing topics of gender, sexuality, race and the theatre, Collective Rage follows 5 women who are ready to tear down the boxes they have been forced into by society. It’s an incredibly funny play and manages to tackle the above topics, a version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a song about vaginas all in the space of a 90 minute or so play.
People, Places & Things by Duncan Macmillan
Purchase link: https://www.oberonbooks.com/people-places-things.html
Sadly, I missed the opportunity to see this play when it was on in London a few years ago. But luckily, I managed to grab a copy of the playtext to find out what the hype was all about. PPT follows an actress called Emma who is sent to rehab to get help for her addictions. It’s a powerful play about recovery, truthfulness and the last scene contains a particularly hard hitting discussion about family.
Do you have any recommendations for plays to read? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,