Top Ten Best Playwrights

The Contenders: Page 4

61 Boris Vian Boris Vian Boris Vian (10 March 1920 – 23 June 1959) was a French polymath: writer, poet, musician, singer, translator, critic, actor, inventor and engineer. ...read more.

Playwright, jazz musician and actor, Vian wrote one of the all-time great absurdist plays: 'The Empire Builders'. A work of genius.

62 Wendy Wasserstein

A wonderful playwright. Esp recommend 'The Heidi Chronicles' and 'The Sisters Rosensweig'.

63 Jean Genet Jean Genet

Genet, a one-time thief, prostitute, convict and deserter, said: 'On the planet Uranus the atmosphere is so heavy that the animals drag themselves about crushed by the weight of the gasses. It is with these humiliated creatures crawling on their bellies that I want to mingle. '

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64 Thornton Wilder

Our Town is perhaps the best American play of the century, heartfelt, sweet, magical and profound in almost every line

The bespectacled old literary gent enters unexpectedly into world of theatrical greatness.

A magisterial detachment and a thick-skinned noggin distinguish this literary notable.

'Our Town' is an iconic American play.

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65 N.F. Simpson

Nonsense, satire and parody masking serious philosophical intent.

'A Resounding Tinkle' knocked my socks off. Surely due for a revival.

Championed by Tynan as one of the English Theatre's greatest humourists.

66 Tarell Alvin McCraney
67 Vaclav Havel

From playwright to politician.

68 Vladimir Mayakovsky Vladimir Mayakovsky Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky (19 July [O.S. 7 July] 1893 – 14 April 1930) was a Russian Soviet poet, playwright, artist, and actor.

A powerful sense of history and the heroic aspects of human nature animate his work.

69 Alan Bennett

A quiet achiever. Nothing flashy about these plays but deeply felt.

He can see quite clearly through those thick-lensed specs.

Northern drollery laced with melancholy.

70 Joe Orton

Great satirist. Died young (hammer blow to head). In danger of being forgotten.

71 Dennis Potter

Underrated because his best plays were written for television; but nevertheless a dramatist of singular vision.

'Pennies From Heaven', 'The Singing Detective': brilliant stuff.

Agreed. Also a great technical innovator.

72 Alfred Jarry Alfred Jarry Alfred Jarry (8 September 1873 – 1 November 1907) was a French symbolist writer who is best known for his play Ubu Roi (1896). He also coined the term and philosophical concept of 'pataphysics.

A madman wielding a toilet brush.

The profane Ubu Roi and its sequels: masterpieces of theatrical anarchy.

The immortal Pere Ubu!

73 Terence Rattigan

Master of the 'well made play'. Fell badly and unfairly out of fashion in the sixties, but now being rehabilitated.

The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version, The Deep Blue Sea...

74 J.B. Priestley

Like Rattigan he was out of fashion for a time, but revivals of such plays as 'An Inspector Calls' have put him back on the map.

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75 John Guare

One of America's best. I can't believe he's not already listed.

You can get tipsy watching this stuff.

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76 Marshall Napier

Saw his play 'Freak Winds' in New York and was mesmerised. A very intense theatrical experience.

I also saw this production! Couldn't get the damn thing out of my head for days.

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77 Arthur Kopit

A midnight buffoon with a leaky fountain pen.

An absurdist with a Yankee accent.

78 Wallace Shawn

Has been described as 'a theatrical walrus with tusks of solid gold'.

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79 Patrick Marber

Brilliantly slick and sophisticated dialogue. A crowd pleaser.

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80 Jez Butterworth V 1 Comment
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