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)

1
T. S. Eliot is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 77 (1888-1965)
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 ...more

2
Ben Elton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
age 59
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 ...more

3
Anthony Burgess is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 76 (1917-1993)
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, ...more

4
Sarah Kane is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 28 (1971-1999)
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 ...more

5
Harold Pinter is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 78 (1930-2008)
Harold Pinter, CH, CBE was a Nobel Prize-winning English playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his writing career spanned more than ...more

6
Noël Coward is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 74 (1899-1973)
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a ...more

7
Alan Bennett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
age 84
Alan Bennett is an English playwright, screenwriter, actor and author. He was born in Leeds and attended Oxford University where he studied history and performed with the Oxford Revue. He stayed ...more

8
Graham Greene is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 87 (1904-1991)
Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH was an English novelist and author regarded as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Combining literary acclaim with widespread popularity, Greene had ...more

9
Robert Bolt is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 71 (1924-1995)
Robert Oxton Bolt, CBE was an English playwright and a two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter, known for writing the screenplays for Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and A Man for All Seasons, ...more

10
P. G. Wodehouse is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 94 (1881-1975)
Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE was an English humourist whose body of work includes novels, short stories, plays, humorous verses, poems, song lyrics, and magazine articles. He enjoyed ...more

11
Terence Rattigan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 66 (1911-1977)
Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan, CBE was a British dramatist. He was one of England's most popular mid twentieth century dramatists. His plays are typically set in an upper-middle-class background. ...more

12
Joe Orton is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 34 (1933-1967)
John Kingsley "Joe" Orton was an English playwright and author. His public career was short but prolific, lasting from 1964 until his death three years later. During this brief period ...more

13
Peter Wildeblood is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 76 (1923-1999)
Peter Wildeblood was an Anglo-Canadian journalist, novelist, playwright and gay rights campaigner. He was one of the first men in the UK to publicly declare his homosexuality.

14
John Dryden is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 69 (1631-1700)
John Dryden was an English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who was made Poet Laureate in 1668. He is seen as dominating the literary life of Restoration England to such a point ...more

15
Laura Wade is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
age 41
Laura Wade is an English playwright.

16
Benjamin Zephaniah is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
age 60
Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is an English writer, dub poet and Rastafari. He was included in The Times list of Britain's top 50 post-war writers in 2008.

17
Ben Jonson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 65 (1572-1637)
Ben Jonson was an English playwright, poet, and literary critic of the seventeenth century, whose artistry exerted a lasting impact upon English poetry and stage comedy. He popularised the ...more

18
William Corlett is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 67 (1938-2005)
William Corlett, was an English author, best known for his quartet of children's novels, The Magician's House, published between 1990 and 1992.

19
Charlotte Lennox is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 74 (1730-1804)
"Mrs Lenox was the author of "The Female Quixote" and various other works . In he "Shakespeare Illustrated" she gives an account of the source of whence the poet derived ...more

20
Aphra Behn is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 49 (1640-1689)
Aphra Behn [Aphara] was a British playwright, poet, translator and fiction writer from the Restoration era. As one of the first English women to earn her living by her writing, she broke ...more

21
Jane West is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 94 (1758-1852)
Jane West, who published as Prudentia Homespun and Mrs. West, was an English novelist, poet, playwright, and writer of conduct literature and educational tracts.

22
John Galsworthy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 66 (1867-1933)
John Galsworthy OM was an English novelist and playwright. Notable works include The Forsyte Saga and its sequels, A Modern Comedy and End of the Chapter. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in

23
A. A. Milne is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 74 (1882-1956)
Alan Alexander Milne was an English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for various children's poems. Milne was a noted writer, primarily as a playwright, ...more

24
Sebastian Shaw is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 89 (1905-1994)
Sebastian Lewis Shaw was an English actor, director, novelist, playwright and poet. During his 65-year career, he appeared in dozens of stage performances and more than 40 film and television ...more

25
Dorothy L. Sayers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Playwrights from England
Dec. at 64 (1893-1957)
Dorothy Leigh Sayers was a renowned English writer, poet, playwright, essayist, translator and Christian humanist. She was also a student of classical and modern languages. She is best known for ...more