Great Reads: Plays

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I love going to the theatre as much as possible, but when I can’t make it, just simply reading a play will do. Here are my top five favourites that I think are GREAT!

These plays are in no particular order.

1

The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie

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A group of strangers is stranded in a boarding house during a snow storm, one of whom is a murderer. – from Goodreads.com

I first saw this play on tour when it came to Eastbourne and then I saw it in London where it is the longest running play ever, and has been running for 64 years! Also THAT PLOT TWIST THO

2

An Inspector Calls by JB Priestly

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The action of the play occurs in an English industrial city, where a young girl commits suicide and an eminently respectable British family is subject to a routine inquiry in connection with the death. An inspector calls to interrogate the family, and during the course of his questioning, all members of the group are implicated lightly or deeply in the girl’s undoing. The surprising revelation, however, is in the inspector… – from Goodreads.com

I studied this play at school, as one does, and was also completely blown away by the ending! I’ve not ever seen it live on stage but the BBC did a fantastic adaptation of it with David Thewlis as the Inspector, and it’s definitely worth a watch!

3

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

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The enduring classic drama of the Salem witch trials was inspired by the political witch-hunting activities of Senator Joseph McCarthy in the ’50s. Though set in the 17th century, “The Crucible” presents issues still gnawing at modern society. – from Goodreads.com

Another that I’ve never seen live but the movie with Daniel Day-Lewis is outstanding! This was another play that I read and studied in school and I still love it even to this day.

4

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

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It is 1890’s England and two young gentlemen are being somewhat limited with the truth. To inject some excitement into their lives, Mr Worthing invents a brother, Earnest, as an excuse to leave his dull country life behind him to pursue the object of his desire, the ravishing Gwendolyn. While across town Algernon Montecrieff decides to take the name Earnest, when visiting Worthing’s young ward Cecily. The real fun and confusion begins when the two end up together and their deceptions are in danger of being revealed. – from Goodreads.com

Again, I’ve never seen the Importance of Being Earnest on the stage but I’ve read the play and seen the film starring Rupert Everett and Colin Firth which is brilliant! A definitely must for fans of the play, or for someone looking to know the story better.

5

Blood Brothers by Willy Russell

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A Liverpudlian West Side Story: twin brothers are separated at birth because their mother cannot afford to keep them both. She gives one of them away to wealthy Mrs Lyons and they grow up as friends in ignorance of their fraternity until the inevitable quarrel unleashes a blood-bath. – from Goodreads.com

I first studied this play in GCSE Drama which ignited my love for it. Blood Brothers by Willy Russell was the basis for the musical of the same name, which I saw when I was in the US and cried my eyes out. It’s such an amazing piece of work and I would recommend it to anyone!

So those are my top five dramatic recommendations. Do you read plays a lot? Do you have any on your list you’d like to recommend to me? Let me know in the comments!

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Book Adaptation List: TV Edition

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In light of Shadowhunters: The TV Show (based off of the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, and beginning with City of Bones) dropping this New Year, I’ve thought long and hard about what books I would love to see be adapted into TV shows. Why not movies? I hear you ask. Good question. Some books are just too complicated or too layered to be compacted into a film, and once you see my list, you’ll understand why.

These books are in no particular order.

1

The Heather Wells Mysteries

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Heather’s perfectly happy with her new size 12 shape (the average for the American woman!) and her new job as an assistant dorm director at one of New York’s top colleges. That is, until the dead body of a female student from Heather’s residence hall is discovered at the bottom of an elevator shaft. – from Goodreads.com

Can you imagine a comedy/drama/crime TV featuring a body positive message and exciting murder mysteries? Talk about breaking the mould, much. I can only imagine Jen Morrison in the role as Heather Wells the badass amateur sleuth and Ben Barnes her gorgeous love interest Cooper. Does it sound perfect? It does to me.

2

Nineteen Minutes

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Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens–until the day its complacency is shattered by an act of violence. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state’s best witness, but she can’t remember what happened before her very own eyes–or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show–destroying the closest of friendships and families. – from Goodreads.com

One of the things I loved the most about this book was it’s ensemble of characters, and how all of them played a vital role in the plot. Picoult crafted this book so well, with moral complexity, layers and much more, and I can definitely see it being adapted in the near future.

3

 Dorothy Must Die

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Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a yellow brick road – but even that’s crumbling. – from Goodreads.com

I would love nothing more than to see Danielle Paige’s new (but not improved) world of Oz come to life. Everyone loves the character of Dorothy, but now that it’s under her rule, I want everyone to see what she’s been up to whilst we’ve been away.

4

Paper Valentine

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The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls. – from Goodreads.com

For fans of Pretty Little Liars, I think this book would fill the void it our hearts once our precious PLL ends. *sob*

5

Fallen

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17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart. – from Goodreads.com

Yes, I know Fallen is already in the works to be made into a movie, but City of Bones was a movie before it was part of the Shadowhunters TV Series. I think what really drew me into this book was Luce’s adventures at Sword and Cross, which I think would translate really well to TV. Who knows? Hopefully if the movie is successful they can make a TV off the back of it?

So this is the list (so far) of books I think would make good TV shows. What are yours? Let me know down in the comments if I’m missing out on any adaptation gems!