Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
British and Irish Drama 1980-2012
Academic Year
Semester 2
Successful completion of Part 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 1 hour lectures
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 1 hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 3000 word essay  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   2 Hour Written Exam  2 Hour Written Exam  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3000 word essay  Failed components of assessment must be resubmitted to a new title or retaken.  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   2 Hour Written Exam  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • To show an analytical understanding of a range of dramatic texts and production issues.
  • To organize informed and original arguments reflecting research and independent thought in the subject area of the course.
  • To demonstrate an intelligent awareness of current debates about the social purpose and ramifications of drama in a period under review.

Brief description

This module offers a detailed exploration of a selection of recent British and Irish drama texts, within a cultural and political context. Students will be given the opportunity to consider theatrical problems and consequences of previous and possible productions. Through directed reading and weekly discussions students will be encouraged to develop original ideas about the specifically theatrical dimensions and demands of the texts under review.


The series of lectures and associated seminars will focus on the following content:

Lecture 1: Stuck in the Teeth of the Machine: green, and Kelleher on green/Politics

Lecture 2: What a Wonderful World: Philip Ridley's Mercury Fur and Anthony Neilson's The Wonderful World of Dissocia

Lecture 3: Escaping the Self?: Kane's Crave and 4.48 Psychosis, Ed Thomas's Stone City Blue

Lecture 4: City Life: Marber's Closer, Stephens's Pornography

Lecture 5: Country Life: Butterworth's Jerusalem and The River

Lecture 6: Catastrophic Bodies and Landscapes: Howard Barker's I Saw Myself and Found in the Ground

Lecture 7: 'It's incidents like this does put tourists off Ireland': McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore and O'Rowe's Howie the Rookie

Lecture 8: Legends Renewed: Rudkin's Red Sun and Merlin Unchained

Tim Price's The Radicalization of Bradley Manning

Lecture 10: Last Ditch: Rabey's Lovefuries: plus conclusion and preparation for the exam

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication The ability to communicate ideas effectively in written form is directly assessed. The work done in seminars develops oral communication skills although this is not directly assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Self-regulation, motivation and time-management skills are developed through the module and are demanded for the successful completion of its assignments. These skills are directly assessed through both Assessments.
Information Technology The ability to utilize technology both in the research for and delivery of written assignments is assessed directly Assessments.
Personal Development and Career planning Transferable skills (managing personal workloads and meeting deadlines, designing and realizing research project) are developed through the completion of assessments tasks.
Problem solving Analytical problem solving, outcome recognition and the identification of appropriate strategies and procedures are encouraged and assessed across the duration of the module.
Research skills Appropriate personal research and the development of effective personal research practices are directly assessed through both Assessments.
Subject Specific Skills See QAA Dance, Drama and Performance Subject Benchmark Statement (Version 2007). The following subject specific skills are developed and partly assessed: * describing, theorising, interpreting and evaluating performance texts and performance events from a range of critical perspectives * developing skills of observation and visual, aural and spatial awareness * considering theories of spectatorship and developing an awareness of the audience or client group for performance and an ability to respond and adapt to it through flexible means * engaging in research, whether independent, group or performance-based * identifying and interpreting the cultural frameworks which surround performance events and on which these events impinge, and taking these into account in creating and/or interpreting performances * making records of performance, using skills in notation and/or documentation
Team work Effective group work through negotiating ideas and opinions is addressed through the seminars and seminar presentations.

Reading List

Essential Reading
Barker, Howard (2008) Plays: Four Oberon Primo search Butterworth, Jez (2009) Jerusalem NHB Primo search Carney, Sean (2013) The Politics and Poetics of Contemporary English Tragedy University of Toronto Press Primo search Green, Debbie Tucker (2008) Random NHB Primo search Kane, Sarah (2002) Complete Plays Methuen Primo search Kelleher, J. (2009) Theatre and Politics Palgrave Primo search Marber, Patrick (1997) Closer Methuen Primo search McDonagh, Martin (2001) The Lieutenant of Inishmore Methuen Primo search Neilson, Anthony (2007) The Wonderful World of Dissocia Methuen Primo search O'Rowe, Mark (1999) Howie the Rookie NHB Primo search Price, Tim (2012) The Radicalization of Bradley Manning Methuen Primo search Rabey, David Ian (2003) English Drama Since 1940 Longman/Pearson Primo search Rabey, David Ian (2008) Lovefuries Intellect Primo search Ridley, Philip (2005) Mercy Fur Methuen Primo search Rudkin, David (2011) Red Sun and Merlin Unchained Intellect Primo search Stephens, Simon (2008) Pornography Methuen Primo search Thomas, Ed (2004) Stone City Blue Methuen Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6