Monday 21 December 2015

#ReadaPlayaWeek 2015

This year, for the 2nd year running, we have tweeted about a play each week as a reading recommendation. Plays, of course, are meant to be seen and not read, but it’s not always possible to see every production. And even if no one on Twitter is taking up the #ReadaPlayaWeek scheme regularly, that’s fine, as its purpose is to challenge us and others to read more broadly. One of the great joys of the idea is that it means we can find old and dusty playtexts of lesser known plays in libraries or available on Amazon for a cheap deal. It is true that the weekly choices include plays which are recognisable and more established in the theatrical canon, such as Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano and Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. However, there are also plays which we feel we have (re)discovered. Plays such as Che Walker’s Been So Long and Moira Buffini’s Dinner may be fairly well-known plays to some but may not have been by us and other Twitter followers. It has been a pleasure, then, to find and read plays that a year ago we might not have known. To read plays full of interesting, challenging and daring ideas; plays with poetic, surreal and witty language; plays which have the potential to create powerful, colourful and striking images on stage.

This year, out of the 52 plays included in the initiative, we have chosen 26 plays by men and 26 plays by women. This is something with which we will strive to continue in 2016, even if it might be a challenge to find 26 different female playwrights whose play texts are easily accessible.
Without further ado, here are the #ReadaPlayaWeek choices for 2015:

·        Three Days of Rain by Richard Greenberg (1997)
·        Flare Path by Terence Rattigan (1942)
·        The Misanthrope by Martin Crimp (1996) after Moliere (1666)
·        The Dame of Sark by William Douglas Home (1974)
·        Jumpy by April de Angeles (2011)

·        That Face by Polly Stenham (2007)
·        Table Manners by Alan Ayckbourn (1975)
·        Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker (1988)
·        Here by Michael Frayn (1993)

·        Dinner by Moira Buffini (2002)
·        Smack Family Robinson by Richard Bean (2003; revised 2013)
·        Electra by Frank McGuinness (1997) after Sophocles (c.405BC)
·        Rules for Living by Sam Holcroft (2015)

·        Her Naked Skin by Rebecca Lenkiewicz (2008)
·        The Talking Cure by Christopher Hampton (2002)
·        ‘Art’ by Yasmina Reza (1994)
·        Shades by Alia Bano (2009)

·        Broken Glass by Arthur Miller (1994)
·        Knives in Hens by David Harrower (1995)
·        The Initiate by Alexandra Wood (2014)
·        Humble Boy by Charlotte Jones (2001)
·        The Sugar Syndrome by Lucy Prebble (2003)

·        Masterpieces by Sarah Daniels (1983)
·        Afore Night Come by David Rudkin (1962)
·        Foxfinder by Dawn King (2011)
·        Mojo by Jez Butterworth (1995)

·        Dealer’s Choice by Patrick Marber (1995)
·        Sing Yer Heart out for the Lads by Roy Williams (2002; revised 2004)
·        Old Money by Sarah Wooley (2012)
·        Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler (2008; revised 2015)
·        Proof by David Auburn (2000)

·        Night Watch by Lucille Fletcher (1972)
·        Cymbeline by William Shakespeare (c.1609)
·        My Mother Said I Never Should by Charlotte Keatley (1987)
·        Venus in Fur by David Ives (2010)

·        Victory by Howard Barker (1983)
·        The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence by Madeleine George (2013)
·        Fur Coat, No Knickers by Mike Harding (1980)
·        Splendour by Abi Morgan (2000)

·        Taking Sides by Ronald Harwood (1995)
·        The Thrill of Love by Amanda Whittington (2013)
·        Skirmishes by Catherine Hayes (1981)
·        The Bald Prima Donna by Eugene Ionesco (1950; 1956 translation by Donald Watson)
·        The Great White Hope by Howard Sackler (1967)

·        And Then Come the Nightjars by Bea Roberts (2015)
·        Murmuring Judges by David Hare (1991)
·        Been So Long by Che Walker (1998)
·        A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (1959)

·        Low in the Dark by Marina Carr (1989)
·        The Sport of My Mad Mother by Ann Jellicoe (1958)
·        Ashes and Sand by Judy Upton (1994)
·        A Second of Pleasure by Neil LaBute (2009)

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