9 playwrights whose works are currently in the West End
From playwrights having their works debuted in the West End to revivals of plays by well-known writers, a successful West End show needs to feature a dazzling script. Read all about some of the playwrights whose works will be performed in the West End and book your tickets now to see these ten plays.
West End playwrights
Plays by Arthur Miller are collectively enjoying a revival across London theatres, with productions of The American Clock and All My Sons. One of the world’s critically-acclaimed playwrights, Arthur Miller has penned stage plays and books around the myths surrounding the American Dream, commenting on power conflicts and social responsibility. Sharon D. Clarke and Wendell Pierce star in Death of a Salesman, transferring to the Piccadilly Theatre. Read more about Arthur Miller here.
The twentieth-century playwright is one of the leading British dramatists, with his works including Blithe Spirit and Private Lives often revived in the West End. As well as writing plays, Coward composed dozens of musical theatre songs and short stories, regularly appearing in productions that he had written. Coward’s plays continue to charm West End audiences, with Present Laughter at the Old Vic set to bring a new audience to his works.
With two of her murder-mystery plays currently running in the West End, Agatha Christie is one of Britain’s leading playwrights. Mastering the art of writing a mysterious whodunnit, Christie went on to pen 66 novels during her lifetime. Christie herself was surprised at the longevity of The Mousetrap’s run when she was alive, initially thinking the play would only run for a few months. However, Christie’s plays continue to break records, with Witness for the Prosecution as the first production staged at London County Hall and The Mousetrap as the longest-running play in the world.
Read all about Agatha Christie’s career here.
Works by Tennessee Williams are often performed in West End venues, with recent revivals of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Glass Menagerie earning praise. The American playwright is often lauded as one of the twentieth-century greats, earning two Pulitzer Prizes and a Tony Award during his career.
The Night of the Iguana will return to the West End for the first time since 1992, bringing the story of Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon to audiences at the Noel Coward Theatre. Clive Owen, Anna Gunn, Lia Williams and Julian Glover will star in this hotly-anticipated production.
One of the leading figures in American literature, find out more about Tennessee Williams.
Henrik Ibsen was a prominent European playwright in the nineteenth century, whose famous works include A Doll’s House and The Lady from the Sea. From an early age, Ibsen wrote and staged plays for the theatre, later developing his theatrical style with plays questioning how people behaved in society. Throughout an Ibsen play, audiences can expect characters to ask philosophical questions to one another, with storylines often oriented around religion, ethics and morality. In 2019, Tom Burke and Hayley Atwell will star in Rosmersholm, a play where John Rosmer must balance his past and present thoughts for a considered future.
A double Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, Lynn Nottage is an American playwright whose plays are written after conducting interviews with communities around the world. Her first Pulitzer Prize was for Ruined (2009) which tells the story of women fleeing from the Democratic Republic of Congo after speaking to Congolese refugees in Africa. She won the award again for Sweat (2017) exploring what it means to live in a collapsing American community after interviewing residents of Reading, Pennsylvania in 2011; then one of the poorest towns in the United States.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, David Mamet’s play have regularly created controversy, with notable plays including Oleanna, a two-character play with a female university student accusing her male university professor of rape. In a career stretching 40 years, Mamet’s plays include Glengarry Glen Ross (1984) which earned him the Pulitzer Prize and Race (2009), offering intelligent insight into ethnicity and crime.
Bitter Wheat will receive its world premiere in 2019 at the Garrick Theatre, starring John Malkovich as Barney Fein, a disgraced Hollywood producer.
Best known for the multi-award-winning film Manchester by the Sea (2016), Kenneth Lonergan is an American writer for stage and screen. His plays include The Waverly Gallery (2000) that received a Pulitzer Prize nomination and Lobby Hero (2001), which premiered off-Broadway and later transferred to the West End. As well as plays, notable film credits include You Can Count On Me, which earned Lonergan a best new writer award by the American Film Institute and best screenplay at seven award ceremonies.
Matthew Broderick will make his West End debut as astronomer Mark Williams in The Starry Messenger, written by Kenneth Lonergan.
A French novellist and playwright, Florian Zeller is an award-winning writer, whose work has been translated into many languages. He has won several Molière Awards for his plays, with works including The Height of the Storm and The Son, soon to transfer from the Kiln Theatre to the Duke of York’s.
Feeling inspired to see a West End show after reading about these playwrights? Decide the show for you with our tailormade recommended guide for every audience member.