Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Shakespeare in Performance
Academic Year
Semester 1
Successful completion of Part One
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 2 Hour Lectures
Seminar 10 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1. Essay (2,500 words)  60%
Semester Assessment 2. Group presentation/ performed essay  (equivalent to 2000 words). Tutorial Workshop Presentation and Documentation  (20 minutes)  40%
Supplementary Assessment Essay -to new title (2,500 words)  60%
Supplementary Assessment Presentation and Documentation (20 minutes)  40%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Critically evaluate and interpret a range of play texts under consideration.

2. Situate Shakespeare’s plays in their cultural, historical and political contexts and develop an awareness of how performances of these plays reveal and create new meanings and interpretations.

3. Analyse how specific and distinct production choices in contemporary performances of these texts enable the revealing and creation of new meanings and interpretations.

4. Produce organized, coherently structured and critically engaged written and presentational work.

Brief description

This module provides an encounter with a range of Shakespeare’s plays, covering genre and chronology in terms of Shakespeare’s output. The module offers a focused consideration of the performance of Shakespeare’s plays, with a particular emphasis on how contemporary productions of Shakespeare’s works reveal and create new meanings and interpretations. The module entails a detailed study of the ways in which different directors and companies have interpreted Shakespeare’s play texts for performance – including intercultural interpretations and feminist approaches. More historic productions and interpretations will considered where appropriate. Where possible, live viewings of Shakespeare productions will be included, and a strong emphasis is placed on screening filmed documentation of Shakespeare productions, researching past productions, retrieving and considering reviews and thinking about potential ways of transposing a Shakespeare play text to the stage.


Course delivery:

Lecture: 10 x 2 hours
Seminars / Tutorials: 10 x 1 hour

The module begins with an introduction to Shakespeare in historical and theatrical context and then specifically investigates at least six and no more than eight Shakespeare plays. The chosen plays reflect different genres (tragedy, comedy, festive, romance, Roman, history) and are considered through close textual analysis and discussion of selected contemporary productions. Each play will be read alongside an accompanying critical reading which offers insight into the play’s critical reception and/or recent production history. The module offers the opportunity to gain a discriminating understanding of the ways in which differing directorial approaches and production choices (relating to acting, scenic design, lighting, costume, space and proxemics, music, sound and audience relation) can construct quite distinct and different meanings and interpretations.

Indicative content:

Week One: Shakespeare in Context

Week Two: The Instability of Text, Genre and Performance

Week Three: Titus Andronicus: 'When will the fearful slumber have an end?'

Week Four: Reimagining Richard III and the History Plays

Week Five: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Week Six: King Lear: A Kingdom Divided

Week Seven: Macbeth: Theatricality and dissolution

Week Eight: Staging Coriolanus: participation and the body politic

Week Nine: Twelfth Night

Week Ten: The Tempest

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Written: clear articulation of ideas and analysis in written assessments. Verbal: class contribution, presentation and interaction.
Improving own Learning and Performance By independent research; tutor feedback on written work and oral contribution in class; interaction of peers during seminar presentation; developing time/work management skills; reflecting upon presentational skills and other written work.
Information Technology For research purposes (for written assessments and class presentations), use, for example of PowerPoint for class presentation. Using electronic research and bibliographic resources and accessing Blackboard for course materials.
Personal Development and Career planning The Tutorial Workshop Presentation and Documentation is intended to present students with a situation similar to that which they would encounter teaching English or Drama in a secondary school context.
Problem solving By critical engagement (verbal and written) with intellectual concepts raised by plays within the context of their production and the contexts of subsequent performances.
Research skills Through independent research for written assessment (essay), group presentation and oral contribution/presentation in class. Using electronic research and bibliographic resources.
Subject Specific Skills See QAA Dance, Drama and Performance Subject Benchmark Statement (Version 2015). The following subject specific skills are developed and partly assessed: I. developing techniques informed by or derived from particular cultural forms/histories/contexts and/or practitioners II. making records of performance, using skills and technologies in notation and/or documentation III. taking responsibility as an individual artist whether working independently or within a group for creative decision making IV. describing, theorising, interpreting and evaluating performance texts and events from a range of critical and technical perspectives and using appropriate subject specific vocabularies V. developing skills of observation and visual, aural and spatial awareness VI. identifying and discriminating between primary and secondary sources VII. accessing and analysing historical source materials to identify the original conditions and contexts for production
Team work By presenting and workshopping ideas in seminar groups.


This module is at CQFW Level 5