Undergraduate Course: Contemporary British Drama (ENLI10223)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course aims to provide a clear overview of a wide range of contemporary British drama, and to assess this controversial but significant area critically and constructively, identifying the evolution of trends, movements and forms. The course will cover a broad spectrum of work, from the major plays of established writers in the second half of the twentieth century, to work by influential and emerging playwrights in the twenty-first century. The approach will be informed at all times by critical and theoretical perspectives, and will also include some investigation of contemporary theatre practice, including new ideas about staging and new techniques of acting. Students will be encouraged to consider practical issues of staging and performance, as well as thinking theoretically about questions of representation, style and politics.
This course aims to provide a clear overview of the range of contemporary British drama, and to assess this controversial but significant area critically and constructively. Since the mid-1960s, dramatists have experimented relentlessly with form and material in order to respond to changes in culture and society, as well as to confront audiences, challenging their political and ethical beliefs and expectations. A central focus of the course will, therefore, be to investigate the different ways in which contemporary drama has explored the range of possibilities inherent in the medium of live theatre.
The course will cover a broad spectrum of work by living dramatists, from the major plays of established writers from the second half of the twentieth century such as Harold Pinter, Edward Bond and Caryl Churchill, to work by playwrights of the twenty-first century including David Greig and Gregory Burke. The approach will be informed at all times by contemporary critical and theoretical thinking, and will also include some investigation of contemporary theatre practice, including new ideas about staging and new techniques of acting. Students will thus be encouraged to explore practically issues of staging and performance, as well as to think theoretically about questions of representation, style and politics.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||A MINIMUM of three college/university level literature courses at grade B or above (should include no more than one introductory level literature course). Related courses such as civilisation or creative writing are not considered for admissions to this course.
Applicants should also note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. In making admissions decisions preference will be given to students who achieve above the minimum requirement with the typical visiting student admitted to this course having three to four literature classes at grade A.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Other Study Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Additional Information (Learning and Teaching)
1 hour autonomous learning per week.
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
2500 word essay (40%) submitted mid-semester week 9
+ 3000 word final essay submitted at end of semester / in exam period (60%).
OR: Alternative model: alternative coursework assessment (40%)
+ 3000 word final essay submitted at end of semester / in exam period (60%)
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Construct original, clear and coherent arguments about the production of meaning and effect by contemporary British dramas both on the page and in performance;
- Analyse dramatic texts using recognised methodologies of literary criticism and performance analysis to substantiate and illustrate those arguments;
- Extrapolate, evaluate and assess ideas from a range of non-literary sources in order to bring them to bear on their analyses of the drama;
- Evaluate the ways in which themes and ideas in a written dramatic text can be communicated to an audience in theatre performance;
- Orally present the results of research undertaken individually and as part of a small group, respond judiciously to such research undertaken by others, and critically evaluate the importance of such material for an understanding of the chief themes of the course.
|¿ Introduction: Emancipating the Theatre: Jacques Rancière, ¿The Emancipated Spectator¿, John McGrath, ¿A Good Night Out¿ |
¿ 1956 and all that: John Osborne¿s Look Back in Anger; Shelagh Delaney¿s ¿A Taste of Honey¿
¿ Theatres of Resistance: Bryony Lavery, ¿The Origin of the Species¿; John McGrath,The Cheviot, The Stag and The Black, Black Oil and the rise of political theatre companies
¿ In Yer Face Theatre: Sarah Kane, Blasted; Mark Ravenhill, Shopping and Fucking
¿ Performing Gender: Caryl Churchill, Cloud Nine; Liz Lochhead, Mary Queen of Scots Got her Head Chopped Off
¿ British?: Jez Butterworth¿s Jerusalem; David Ireland, Cyprus Avenue
¿ After Empire: Tanika Gupta, Lions & Tigers, Winsome Pinnock, Leave Taking
¿ Staging ¿real lives¿: Richard Norton-Taylor, The Colour of Justice; Gregory Burke¿s Blackwatch,
¿ Science and Technology: Caryl Churchill, Love and Information
¿ Queer dramaturgies: Tim Price, The Radicalization of Bradley Manning; Stacey Gregg, Scorch
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Numbers are limited, with priority given to students taking degrees involving English or Scottish Literature and Visiting Students placed by the Admissions Office. Students not in these categories need the written approval of the Head of English Literature before enrolling. In the case of excess applications places will be decided by ballot.
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||Seminar: 2 hour(s) per week for 10 week(s); plus attendance for 1 hour a week at Autonomous Learning Group - times to be arranged
|Course organiser||Dr Hannah Simpson
|Course secretary||Miss Hope Hamilton
Tel: (0131 6)50 4167