Currently, we're all looking for ways to keep ourselves entertained – whether it's watching Netflix, forcing ourselves to work out, listening to podcasts or cooking. But what about keeping our creative juices flowing? If you've ever wanted to produce your own play, now is the time. With our nifty list of popular plays, you can be your true dramatic self – it might even inspire you to set up a weekly virtual play-reading group!
1. Fleabag – Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Stuck by yourself? This ever-popular solo piece is a great pick for that TikTok performance – or just to read tucked up on the sofa. With Fleabag's world crashing down around her, the play seems highly, shall we say, relevant right now – and is a great excuse to get dramatic.
2. 4000 Miles – Amy Herzog
Before the person you're quarantining with gets on your nerves, this might be a good chance to try out some acting. Herzog's two-hander comedy follows a young boy who seeks solace from his grandmother… with both cooped up in her small apartment. After the Old Vic's revival starring Timothée Chalamet and Eileen Atkins has been delayed, this could be an early opportunity to experience it…
3. The Last Five Years – Jason Robert Brown
OK, so this definitely is not a play, but for duos lucky enough to have a piano in their lounge, this two-hander will exercise those singing chops enough to really delight your neighbours. It's the ideal combination of singing, acting and minimal movement, and is perfect for an afternoon performance. For those who missed the recent magnificent revival at Southwark Playhouse, it's your chance to sit front row.
4. The Wind in the Willows – Mike Kenny
Looking for activities to entertain the kids? You might find putting on a play a wonderful way to occupy the weekend. The adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's charming children's tale is a fun excuse to dress up and put on some silly voices – and if there are cardboard boxes and paint handy you can even make your own shiny red motor-car!
5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and JK Rowling
Right, it's time to get ambitious. A living room/bedroom version of this epic play would be absolutely hilarious to try and recreate, plus with access to Imogen Heap's original soundtrack on Spotify you can really set the scene. Sound a bit too much? Why not organise a group video call and act over the internet?
6. Constellations – Nick Payne
Alright, back to two-handers. This play has its existential ups and downs, and would basically be like reenacting a Black Mirror episode – which would be either super interesting or slightly too on the nose. You could use your furniture to set up each scenario and maybe even take a ballroom dancing class to prepare…
7. Home, I'm Darling – Laura Wade
Not only did we pick this because it's super witty, but also because Anna Fleischle's incredible set (literally a house on stage) has really stuck with us, and we thought it would be a great one to reenact in each room of your home. It's also a great reminder that in times such as these, everyone needs to share the chores…
8. Mosquitoes – Lucy Kirkwood
Read it, act it, pretend you're Olivia Colman – however you do it, it will be sure-fire entertainment. It's about two sisters who are thrown together by unlikely circumstances, and as that part might be accurate for many (aside from the Hadron stuff) it will definitely be an engaging way to spend an afternoon.
9. A Midsummer Night's Dream – William Shakespeare
For those lucky enough to have a garden right now, we think this tale from the Bard is the perfect choice to reenact right from your own home. You can create Titania's fairy kingdom amongst the grass, get the entire family or your housemates involved as various musicians and characters and just generally behave like you're centre-stage a t Shakespeare's Globe. Highly educational, we think.
10. Noises Off – Michael Frayn
Go big and stay home! This is really, really, really optimistic, but how funny would it be to attempt staging this brilliant backstage comedy within your own home. We were going to suggest Mischief Theatre's The Play That Goes Wrong, but now really isn't the time to break all your furniture, so instead, keep yourselves active by running up and down the stairs AND use up those cupboard sardines!
It might not be the right time to recite Sarah Kane, but more plays like Betrayal, Girls & Boys and Lungs are guaranteed to provide some relief from the everyday. Whether you want to read them in bed, perform them on YouTube or just set up a new online book group, it certainly is great to keep the theatre alive – in whichever way you can.