Culture

The Best Plays Based on Books 

Buster McDermott
Updated June 14, 2019 573 votes 120 voters 12.9k views 38 items

List Rules Vote up the best stage plays that were originally based on a book.

There are a lot of famous movies that were made from plays, but there are a lot of amazing plays that have been based on books. These days, everything seems to be based (even loosely) on something else. But this isn't always a bad thing. Many books lend themselves well to the stage, as evidence by the plays on this list. What are the best plays based on books?

The plays on this list span genres and production styles. They include dramas, comedies, and romances. Did you know that some of the most famous plays in history were based on novels, autobiographies, or other books? It’s no wonder they're on this list since they’re based on stories we all know and love – stories that have actually made a significant impact on the literary world as well as the world of the stage.

The plays listed here have been ranked by the community as the best. This list features the best plays based on books including, Les Miserables, Ben Hur, A Christmas Carol, Young Frankenstein, Kite Runner, Albert Speer, and War Horse. Vote up the best plays based on books below and see where the plays you think are the best rank!
list ordered by
back to page 1
26
My Life As a 10-Year-Old... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Plays Based on Books
My Life As a 10-Year-Old Boy Nancy Cartwright, Rose Goss
Based on the book of the same name by Nancy Cartwright.
27
A Round-Heeled Woman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Plays Based on Books
A Round-Heeled Woman Jane Prowse
Based on the book A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-life Adventures in Sex and Romance by Jane Juska.
28
Love, Loss, and What I W... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Plays Based on Books
Love, Loss, and What I Wore Delia Ephron, Nora Ephron
Based on the 
29
Albert Speer is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Plays Based on Books
Albert Speer David Edgar
Based on the book Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth by Gitta Sereny.
30
Popcorn is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Plays Based on Books
Ben Elton
Based on the book of the same name by Ben Elton.
31
Aristo is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Plays Based on Books
Aristo Martin Sherman
Based on the book Nemesis by Peter Evans
32
I Am My Own Wife is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Plays Based on Books
I Am My Own Wife Doug Wright
Based on I Am My Own Wife by Charlotte von Mahlsdorf
33
Jeanie Deans is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Plays Based on Books
Jeanie Deans Dion Boucicault
Based on the book The Heart of Midlothian by Sir Walter Scott.
34
The Secret River is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Plays Based on Books
The Secret River Andrew Bovell
Based on the book of the same name by Kate Grenville
35
The Singular Life of Alb... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Plays Based on Books
The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs Simone Benmussa
Based on the book of the same name by George Moore
36
The Green Pastures is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Plays Based on Books
Marc Connelly
Based on the book Ol' Man Adam an' His Chillun by Roark Bradford.
37
The Pitmen Painters is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Plays Based on Books
The Pitmen Painters Lee Hall
Based on the book Pitmen Painters: The Ashington Group 1934-1984 by William Feaver.
38
Lombardi is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Plays Based on Books
Lombardi Eric Simonson
Based on the book When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi by David Maraniss.