Modern Drama and Performance

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Module code


  • Level 3
  • Semester 2
  • 24 places
  • English - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%


This module introduces you to some of the most important and influential dramatic texts and modes of performance in the approximate period from 1900 to 2000. You will:

  • explore the place of theatre, drama and performance in modern culture, with a particular (but not exclusive) emphasis on Britain and Europe
  • consider questions of what constitutes an archive of performance (text, recordings, reviews, photographs, notation, material objects such as costumes and props, and so on)
  • engage with critical and theoretical approaches to drama and performance, examining the work of both critics and practitioners

The module will engage with major dramatists (likely to include a selection from Ibsen, Chekhov, Strindberg, Brecht, T. Williams, Beckett, Pirandello, Delaney, Orton, Weiss, Miller, Pinter, Stoppard, Churchill, Bond, Hare, Müller). You will also look at the thought of a selection from Brecht, Artaud, Brook, Grotowski, Lecoq, and so on. The module will wherever possible respond to opportunities to see drama from the period staged locally, and the focus will therefore change each year.


Professor Mark Robson


The module will be taught by two weekly seminars (1.5 hours each; 3 hours total) over 11 weeks.


This module is assessed as follows:

  • close analysis essay: 3,000 words (40%)
  • research essay: 4,000 words (60%)


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