Comprising England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a constitutional monarchy. The UK today is a diverse patchwork of native and immigrant cultures, possessing a fascinating history and dynamic modern culture.
The UK has been described as a "cultural superpower", and London has been described as a world cultural capital. Its literature, music, cinema, art, theatre, media, television, philosophy and architecture are influential and respected across the world. The United Kingdom is also prominent in science and technology. Sport is an important part of British culture; numerous sports originated in the country, including football.
Most British literature is in the English language. The English playwright and poet William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest dramatist of all time, and his contemporaries Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson have also been held in continuous high esteem. More recently the playwrights Alan Ayckbourn, Harold Pinter, Michael Frayn, Tom Stoppard and David Edgar have combined elements of surrealism, realism and radicalism.