If you think penning a drama is as easy as picking a pen and scribbling a sequential story or plot, go ahead. It won’t be too long before you realize that there is more to playwriting that mere play of words. You need inherent creative prowess, engrained ingenuity, vivid imagination and a gripping story to actually write a play. And still it is a job half done for what is a playwright if not for great actors who live up the characters! Coming to playwriting and playwrights, Britain has been the hotspot of theatrical shows since times immemorial. London stage has had the privilege of hosting plays by some of the most creative and original playwrights of the world. Needless to say, British playwrights are masters in this art form of literature – they have an intrinsic understanding of dramatic structure and a deep-embedded insight and knowledge for playwriting. Some of the flourishing British playwrights who have swayed the audience with their play of words and storytelling capabilities include William Shakespeare, Harold Pinter, John Osborne, Lord Byron, D.H. Lawrence, Caryl Churchill, Howard Barker, George Bernard Shaw, Alan Plater, Stephen Lowe and Roy Williams. Keep on reading to get an exhaustive list of some of the famous British playwrights of all times.
William ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare
26 April 1564
Martin McDonaghMartin McDonagh
26 March 1970
Playwright, Screenwriter, Filmmaker

Sophie HunterSophie Hunter
16 March 1978
Theatre Director

Lashana LynchLashana Lynch
27 November 1987

Mark RylanceMark Rylance
18 January 1960

D. H. LawrenceD. H. Lawrence
11 September 1885
Harold PinterHarold Pinter
10 October 1930
Nobel Prize Winner in Literature

J. B. PriestleyJ. B. Priestley
13 September 1894
Novelist and Playwright

Ben JonsonBen Jonson
11 June 1572
Dramatist, Poet & Actor

Tom StoppardTom Stoppard
03 July 1937
Doris LessingDoris Lessing
22 October 1919
Novelist, Short Story Writer

John DrydenJohn Dryden
09 August 1631
Oliver GoldsmithOliver Goldsmith
10 November 1728
Novelist, Playwright, Poet

Joseph AddisonJoseph Addison
01 May 1672
Essayist & Poet

Caryl ChurchillCaryl Churchill
03 September 1938
Dramatist, Women's Rights Activist
Frances BurneyFrances Burney
13 June 1752

John GayJohn Gay
30 June 1685
Dramatist & Poet
Alfred NoyesAlfred Noyes
16 September 1880

Adrian MitchellAdrian Mitchell
24 October 1932

William MaughamWilliam Maugham
25 January 1874
Novelist & Playwright
A.P. HerbertA.P. Herbert
24 September 1890
Humorist, Novelist, Playwright & Law Reform

Rebecca HumphriesRebecca Humphries
03 October 1987
Actress, Playwright
Russell ToveyRussell Tovey
14 November 1981
Actor, Playwright

Arthur Conan DoyleArthur Conan Doyle
22 May 1859
Physician, Writer, Poet, Cricketer, Novelist,

Percy Bysshe ShelleyPercy Bysshe Shelley
04 August 1792
Linguist, Poet, Translator, Writer, Playwright,

Christopher MarloweChristopher Marlowe
26 February 1564
Playwright, Poet, Writer, Translator
Jeffrey ArcherJeffrey Archer
15 April 1940
Politician, Novelist, Writer, Playwright, Science
Sally WainwrightSally Wainwright
1963 AD
television producer, screenwriter, playwright

Ian McEwanIan McEwan
21 June 1948
Writer, Screenwriter, Novelist, Playwright, Film

Philip PullmanPhilip Pullman
19 October 1946
Writer, Novelist, University teacher, Playwright,

Clive BarkerClive Barker
05 October 1952
Film director, Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter,
W. Somerset MaughamW. Somerset Maugham
25 January 1874
Playwright, Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter

Stephen PoliakoffStephen Poliakoff
01 December 1952
Writer, Screenwriter, Playwright

Ben EltonBen Elton
03 May 1959
Actor, Comedian, Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter,

Anthony MinghellaAnthony Minghella
06 January 1954
Screenwriter, Playwright, Film director, Film

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Anthony NewleyAnthony Newley
24 September 1931
Actor, Songwriter, Singer-songwriter, Composer,
Peter MorganPeter Morgan
10 April 1963
screenwriter, playwright, writer

Stefan ZweigStefan Zweig
28 November 1881
Writer, Translator, Journalist, Playwright, Poet,
Steven BerkoffSteven Berkoff
03 August 1937

Mike LeighMike Leigh
20 February 1943
Film director, Actor, Playwright, Theatre

Beverley CrossBeverley Cross
13 April 1931
Screenwriter, Librettist
Irvine WelshIrvine Welsh
27 September 1958
Writer, Screenwriter, Novelist, Playwright,

Alan BennettAlan Bennett
09 May 1934
Actor, Screenwriter, Playwright, Diarist, Writer
Dorothy L. SayersDorothy L. Sayers
13 June 1893
Writer, Translator, Novelist, Playwright,

Ivor NovelloIvor Novello
15 January 1893
Actor, Playwright, Composer, Writer, Screenwriter,

Leigh LawsonLeigh Lawson
21 July 1945

John OsborneJohn Osborne
12 December 1929
Actor, Playwright, Screenwriter, Writer

Frances Hodgson BurnettFrances Hodgson Burnett
24 November 1849
Dramaturge, Writer, Playwright, Children's writer,
Julia DonaldsonJulia Donaldson
16 September 1948
Writer, Playwright, Author, Children's writer

Ewan MacCollEwan MacColl
25 January 1915
Singer, Playwright, Record producer, Composer

Oskar KokoschkaOskar Kokoschka
01 March 1886
Painter, Playwright, Writer, Poet, University

Sarah KaneSarah Kane
03 February 1971
Playwright, Writer
Joe OrtonJoe Orton
01 January 1933
Playwright, Screenwriter, Writer

Laura WadeLaura Wade
16 October 1977
Jack ThorneJack Thorne
06 December 1978
Screenwriter, Writer

Sharman MacdonaldSharman Macdonald
08 February 1951
Playwright, Writer, Screenwriter

William CongreveWilliam Congreve
24 January 1670
Playwright, Poet, Writer, Translator
John WebsterJohn Webster
1578 AD
Playwright, Poet, Writer, Poet lawyer

Terence RattiganTerence Rattigan
10 June 1911
Playwright, Screenwriter, Writer
Elias CanettiElias Canetti
25 July 1905
Writer, Aphorist, Playwright, Chemist, Essayist

David GarrickDavid Garrick
19 February 1717
Actor, Playwright, Film producer, Writer,

Patrick MarberPatrick Marber
19 September 1964
Comedian, Playwright, Film director, Puppeteer,
Alan AyckbournAlan Ayckbourn
12 April 1939
Playwright, Writer, Screenwriter, Theatre director

Peter ShafferPeter Shaffer
15 May 1926
Screenwriter, Playwright, Writer, Literary critic
Caroline GrahamCaroline Graham
17 July 1931
Screenwriter, Novelist, Writer

Leslie BricusseLeslie Bricusse
29 January 1931
Composer, Musician, Playwright, Lyricist,

John AgardJohn Agard
21 June 1949
Playwright, Writer, Poet, Children's writer

Josephine TeyJosephine Tey
25 July 1896
Writer, Playwright, Novelist, Screenwriter,
Thomas KydThomas Kyd
06 November 1558
playwright, writer
Peter MoffatPeter Moffat

Robert BoltRobert Bolt
15 August 1924
Actor, Screenwriter, Playwright, Writer

Judy CampbellJudy Campbell
31 May 1916
Actor, Playwright

Dennis KellyDennis Kelly
16 November 1970
Writer, Screenwriter
Brian FrielBrian Friel
09 January 1929
Writer, Playwright, Theatre director, Politician

Sean GilderSean Gilder
01 March 1964

Susannah DoyleSusannah Doyle
05 July 1966
Actor, Film actor

Louis MacNeiceLouis MacNeice
12 September 1907
Poet, Writer, Playwright

John VanbrughJohn Vanbrugh
24 January 1664
Playwright, Architect, Writer
Hannah MoreHannah More
02 February 1745
Writer, Poet, Essayist

George ArlissGeorge Arliss
10 April 1868
Writer, Playwright, Film director, Autobiographer,
Simon BrettSimon Brett
28 October 1945
Writer, Novelist, Playwright, Television producer,

Thomas MiddletonThomas Middleton
18 April 1580
Playwright, Poet, Writer

Heathcote WilliamsHeathcote Williams
15 November 1941
Actor, Poet, Author, Screenwriter, Writer
Christopher HamptonChristopher Hampton
26 January 1946
Screenwriter, Playwright, Film director, Writer,

Edward BondEdward Bond
18 July 1934
Writer, Screenwriter, Playwright, Poet, Theatre
Tony HarrisonTony Harrison
30 April 1937
Poet, Writer, Playwright

Simon StephensSimon Stephens
06 February 1971
Writer, Playwright

Christopher FryChristopher Fry
18 December 1907
Playwright, Screenwriter, Translator, Writer

John GodberJohn Godber
18 May 1956
University teacher, Writer
Ray CooneyRay Cooney
30 May 1932
Actor, Playwright, Screenwriter, Writer

William WycherleyWilliam Wycherley
1640 AD
playwright, writer
William DavenantWilliam Davenant
03 March 1606
playwright, poet, writer

Tom KempinskiTom Kempinski
24 March 1938
Actor, Film actor

Deobia OpareiDeobia Oparei

Robin SoansRobin Soans
1947 AD
actor, playwright
Howard BarkerHoward Barker
28 June 1946
Playwright, Theatre director