Here I offer thoughts and information about some of the leading creators of theatrical drama in English.
William Shakespeare is peerless in any age. In my Shakespeare section you can read a brief biography of the man, see his family tree, read about the the assersion that the Stratford man didn't write the plays. I have also compiled a list of the plays, including some doubtful ones, in what I believe to be a probable timeline.
The Globe playhouse was not the first theatre in London, but because it was the first setting for many of the gems in Shakespeare's crown, “this Wooden O” is a fascinating subject for me and many others. In 1997 a replica was built on London's Bankside close to the site of the original, and the new Shakespeare's Globe has become a fresh exciting context in which to see the plays.
In the theatre section of our book shop I have listed some books about Shakespeare, the modern playwrights and the Globe that I can recommend.
Theatre was not invented in England, but during the latter half of the 16th century, while the first Elizabeth was on the throne, modern theatre suddenly blossomed in England, changing over a few decades from crude Mediaeval mystery plays on roving pageant wagons, to sophisticated human-scale dramas in permanent playhouses. A major contribution to this revolution was the emergence of a new breed of playwright including Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, and Shakespeare. People flocked to the new playhouses to be amused, moved to tears, terrified or shocked; made to sigh at lovers, jeer at villains, or cheer on heroes. Best of all were the plays that encouraged their audiences to identify with the characters on stage; to recognise themselves or someone they knew, and make them consider their own lives and actions in the context of these fictions.
Four hundred years later playgoers are still looking for the same rewards from theatre because human nature does not change. The best playwrights of the latter half of the 20th century and start of the 21st challenge us to examine our own lives evoking humour, shock and all our emotions to stimulate us into thinking about what it is to be human.