READ Famous Playwrights from England

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List of notable or famous playwrights from England, with bios and photos, including the top playwrights born in England and even some popular playwrights who immigrated to England. If you're trying to find out the names of famous English playwrights then this list is the perfect resource for you. These playwrights are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known playwright from England is included when available.

A factual list, featuring people like Aphra Behn and Ben Elton.

This historic playwrights from England list can help answer the questions "Who are some English playwrights of note?" and "Who are the most famous playwrights from England?" These prominent playwrights of England may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected English playwrights.

Use this list of renowned English playwrights to discover some new playwrights that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. (310 items)
T. S. Eliot is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Photo:  Hulton Deutsch/Getty Images

Thomas Stearns Eliot OM, usually known as T. S. Eliot, was an essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic, and "one of the twentieth century's major poets". He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to an old Yankee family. He immigrated to England in 1914, settling, working and marrying there. He was eventually naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39, renouncing his American citizenship. Eliot attracted widespread attention for his poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, which is seen as a masterpiece of the Modernist movement. It was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language, including The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, Ash Wednesday, and Four ...more

Age: Died at 77 (1888-1965)

Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

Also Ranked

#60 on The Best Writers of All Time

#8 on The Best English Poets of All Time

#17 on The Best Gay Authors

#26 on The Greatest Poets of All Time

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Ben Elton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Photo:  Stuart Wilson/Getty Images

Benjamin Charles "Ben" Elton is an English comedian, author, playwright, actor and director. He was a part of London's alternative comedy movement of the 1980s and became a writer on series such as The Young Ones and Blackadder, as well as continuing as a stand-up comedian on stage and television. His style in the 1980s was left-wing political satire. Since then he has published 15 novels and written the musicals We Will Rock You and Love Never Dies, the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. ...more

Age: 58

Birthplace: Catford, London, United Kingdom

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Anthony Burgess is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Photo:  Hulton Deutsch/Getty Images

John Anthony Burgess Wilson, FRSL – who published under the pen name Anthony Burgess – was an English writer and composer. From relatively modest beginnings in a Catholic family in Manchester, he eventually became one of the best known English literary figures of the latter half of the twentieth century. Although Burgess was predominantly a comic writer, his dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange remains his best known novel. In 1971 it was adapted into a highly controversial film by Stanley Kubrick, which Burgess said was chiefly responsible for the popularity of the book. Burgess produced numerous other novels, including the Enderby quartet, and Earthly Powers, regarded by most critics as his ...more

Age: Died at 76 (1917-1993)

Birthplace: Harpurhey, United Kingdom

Also Ranked

#25 on The Best Catholic Authors

#83 on The Best Science-Fiction Authors

#64 on The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time

#26 on The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History

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Sarah Kane is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Photo: via Reddit

Sarah Kane was an English playwright. Her plays deal with themes of redemptive love, sexual desire, pain, torture — both physical and psychological — and death. They are characterised by a poetic intensity, pared-down language, exploration of theatrical form and, in her earlier work, the use of extreme and violent stage action. Kane herself, as well as scholars of her work, such as Graham Saunders, identify some of her inspirations as expressionist theatre and Jacobean tragedy. The critic Aleks Sierz has seen her work as part of what he has termed In-Yer-Face theatre, a form of drama which broke away from the conventions of naturalist theatre. Kane's published work consists of five plays, ...more

Age: Died at 28 (1971-1999)

Birthplace: Brentwood, United Kingdom

Also Ranked

#50 on The Greatest Playwrights in History

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