Book articles

World Theatre Day 2017: Books from across the globe that have been adapted into plays

Happy Monday everyone!

Today is World Theatre Day, so to celebrate I thought I’d look at just a few international books that have been adapted into plays.

1. Harry Potter (and the Cursed Child)


Author: J. K. Rowling  ~  Country of origin: Britain  ~  First adapted for stage in: 2016

3. Les Miserables

Les Mis.jpg

Author: Victor Hugo  ~  Country of origin: France  ~  First adapted for stage in: 1863 (by Charles Hugo, Victor Hugo’s son!)

3. The Kite Runner


Author: Khaled Hosseini  ~  Country of origin: USA  ~  First adapted for stage in: 2009

4. The Tale of Genji 


Author: Murasaki Shikibu  ~  Country of origin: Japan  ~  First adapted for stage in: 2000

5. Veronica Decides to Die (Brazilian)


Author: Paulo Coelho  ~  Country of origin: Brazil  ~  First adapted for stage in: 2004

6. The Song of Everlasting Sorrow 


Author: Anyi Wang  ~  Country of origin: China  ~  First adapted for stage in: 2003

7. Heidi


Author: Johanna Spyri  ~  Country of origin: Switzerland  ~  First adapted for stage in: 2016

8. I Am The Messenger


Author: Markus Zusak  ~  Country of origin: Australia  ~  First adapted for stage in: 2008

9. A Man Called Ove


Author: Fredrik Backman  ~  Country of origin: Sweden  ~  First adapted for stage in: 2015

10. Train to Pakistan


Author: Khushwant Singh  ~  Country of origin: India  ~  First adapted for stage in: Unknown, but its last staging was 2014.

Of course this list is by no means exhaustive; there are hundreds and hundreds of other novels that have been adapted for the stage, but these are just a few from countries across the world.

Have you seen any of these or other book adaptations at the theatre? What was the most recent play you saw? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you!


9 thoughts on “World Theatre Day 2017: Books from across the globe that have been adapted into plays

  1. Great post Kate, I had no idea it was World Theatre Day today, and also no idea some of these books had been adapted into plays. 😀
    Obviously I knew about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I think everyone must be aware of that, and I knew about Les Mis as well (the real surprise with that one was that it was a book first!) I still have The Messenger on my to-read list. I loved The Book Thief so I really want to try and get around to it soon. I hope it’s as amazing as The Book Thief was. Have you read that one?

    1. Thanks Beth! I didn’t know until I checked twitter yesterday morning, but I decided I really wanted to write a post for it! I haven’t read Messenger yet, but it’s on my TBR (somewhere!), and I was so excited to hear it’s a play! But it’s only been staged in Australia though, so I think there’s little chance of them bringing it over here sadly.

      1. That’s all right, and I guess there are plenty of things you can learn from Twitter aren’t there? I’m glad it inspired you to write a post, it was really interesting to read.
        It would be amazing if they did one day though wouldn’t it?

  2. Les Miserables was the first play I ever saw and it remains one of my very favorites. I’m always read to break into song (One day more, another day, another destiny…). I’d love to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I’m one of the few bloggers that rather enjoyed the play, despite some of it’s questionable storylines. Great post!

    1. Ah wow, how was it? I’d love to see it on stage some day, but I’ll probably end up seeing the film first. Yeah, I’ve heard that the play is much better than the novel of Cursed Child, but I’ve also seen quite a few people who enjoyed that too! Thanks Alicia 🙂

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