Happy World Theatre Day everyone!
Theatre is a form of expression, unique and demanding. In order to watch a play, you have to live in it, to imagine the surroundings, to feel like the protagonists. So, the work of the playwright is a challenging one and this day it's the opportunity to honour all those who offered their effort into this art form. Here is a list of some popular and classic theatrical plays to check out today.
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Who can deny the power of Shakespeare's plays? Hamlet, the story of the young prince of Denmark who sees the ghost of his father, was written between 1599 and 1602. Today it's one of the most popular and most performed plays in the world.
The Misanthrope by Moliere
In contrast to the previous play, The Misanthrope is a comedy. It was first performed in 1666 and it satirizes the hypocrisy of the french aristocracy. This play was adapted several times in the modern theatre.
A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
Ibsen, the Norwegian playwright, with important works such as Peer Gynt, Hedda Gabler and The Wild Duck, is often called the father of realism and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre. A Doll's House was first performed in 1879 and tries to criticize the norms of marriage at the time. It was even considered controversial since its inspiration was the belief that a woman cannot be herself in that society.
Miss Julie by August Strindberg
Miss Julie premiered in 1889 and it's a story about the love between Miss Julie, an heir of an old aristocratic family, and Jean, the valet. It is one of the most performed plays in history.
The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov
The Cherry Orchard is the last play written by Chekhov. It was first performed in 1904 and that production was directed by Constantin Stanislavski. Chekhov intended this play to be a comedy, but Stanislavski directed it as a tragedy and up to this day those who wish to perform it has to decide which approach they like best.
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Death of a Salesman is one of the finest American plays in the 20th century. It premiered on Broadway in 1949 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. It's a satirical play about reality and illusion, as well as the American Dream.
The Caretaker by Harold Pinter
The Caretaker is the first commercial success by Harold Pinter. It was first performed in London in 1960. The play is a psychological study of the confluence of power among two brothers and a tramp. It mixes both tragic and comic elements and that's the reason why it's also described as a tragicomedy.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
First performed in 1962 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a play that explores the breakdown of the marriage of a middle-aged couple. The title of the play in a pun of the song Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? from Disney's Three Little Pigs (1933) and the couple sings it several times throughout the play. The dialogue in the first act of the play is often claimed to be the greatest in all American theatre.
Sleuth by Anthony Shaffer
Sleuth premiered in 1970. A mystery writer, Wykes, calls to his house the lover of his wife and convinces him to stage the robbery of his wife's jewellery. This proposal has a chain of events that makes the audience question what is real and what is Wykes' fantasy. It was awarded the Tony Award for Best Play and it was adapted for the cinema several times.
Amadeus by Peter Shaffer
Amadeus is a play by Peter Shaffer, the twin brother of Anthony Shaffer and premiered in 1979. It's a fictionalized account of the lives of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. It was inspired by a 1830 short play Mozart and Salieri by Alexander Pushkin. Shaffer himself adapted the script into a screenplay for the 1984 Academy Award Winning movie by the same title.
So, these are some of my favourite plays. Have you watched/read any of them? Which ones would you add to this list?