A play was a dramatic performance.
William Shakespeare was a famous playwright. The First Doctor assisted him in writing Hamlet between the first the first and second drafts. (PROSE: Byzantium!) In 1599 Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones saw his play Love's Labour's Lost performed at the Globe Theatre. They thwarted an attempt by the Carrionites to use the subsequent performance of Love's Labour's Won to free their brethren. The sequel was lost, with all copies of its script destroyed. (TV: The Shakespeare Code)