Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Other Workshops 1 x 2 hours per week
Lecture Lecture 1 x 1 hour per week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   40%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2500 word essay  30%
Semester Assessment Practical presentation  30%
Supplementary Assessment Exam 40% 1 x 2500 word essay 30% Practical presentation 30%   100%

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Critically analyse selected texts in their social, political, historical and theatrical contexts
  • Organise informed and original arguments reflecting research and independent thought in the subject area of the course
  • Make an effective presentation as part od a group based on the analysis of course material selected by the module coordinator
  • Demonstrate the ability to meet the challenge of designing appropriate performances of selected scenes from the texts studied.

Brief description

Students will be required to read a series of 17th Century French and English playtexts chosen from selected authors of the period. These will include Neo-Classical works of Racine and Moliere; and examples of English Restoration comedy from chosen authors of the period. The texts wil form the focus for discussion in the lectures and seminars and sections from them will be explored in the practical classes.


the aims of the module are to:

  • Give students the opportunity to study French Neo-classical and English Restoration Theatre texts in their social, political, historical and theatrical contexts.
  • Critically investigate the play-texts of selected playwrights.
  • Challenge commonly held assumptions about how the plays were originally staged and the audiences? response to them.
  • Explore the challenges of interpreting these texts for modern audiences in contemporary performance conditions.


This module examines key 17th Century Neo-classical French and English Restoration play-texts and investigates their social, political, historical and theatrical contexts. Typically, lectures and seminars will examine topics such as: the conventions and practices of the seventeenth century French and English Playhouses; French neo-classical dramatic theory; influences on the English Restoration playwirghts; Bergson's theory of comedy; a study of selected English and French playwirghts and a detailed studyof key texts; the interpretation of these texts for modern theatre audiences; twentieth-century revivals and the production choices made for significant productions.

During the practical classes students will focus specifically on the challenges facing the modern actor/actress when interpreting text from page to stage in contemporary performance conditions.

For information on due dates for submisson of assessed work, please refer to the departmental web pages at

Students will be allocated to a specific tutor who will supervise and monitor the progress of the practical investigation. However, students should note that they will be expected to wrok responsibly and sytematically with their peers in student directed sessions in addition to the hours specified on the course timetable.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number NOT DEVELOPED
Communication Communication skills will be developed in seminar sessions and practicals.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will receive feedback on their practical project and written assignment.
Information Technology IT and information handling skills will be demonstrated in students' individaul research (library and web-based) and in their written work (word processing).
Personal Development and Career planning Students will have the opportunity to explore specific areas which reflect and strengthen their individual career needs.
Problem solving
Research skills Students will demonstrate the results of individual research in their practicals, essays and exam answers.
Subject Specific Skills Students are encouraged to develop the use of a critical and analytical vocabulary in their practical,written and oral response to the module contents.
Team work Group discussions in seminars will develop group work skills. All students will be expected to work responsibly in teams on their practical classes.

Reading List

Essential Reading
Behn The Rover Primo search Corneille Le Cid Primo search Etherege 'The Man of Mode' Primo search Moliere Les Misanthrop and Tartuffe Primo search Racine 'Phaedre' and 'Britannicus' Primo search Wycherley The Country Wife and The Plain Dealer Primo search
Recommended Text
Cook, A.S. (1981) French Tragedy: The Power of Enactment Ohio University Press Primo search
Recommended Background
Arnott, P (1977) An Introduction to French Theatre London: Macmillan Press Primo search Bergson, H. (1921) Laughter Bereton and Rothwell Primo search Calder, Andrew (1993) Moliere: the theory and practice of comedy London Atlantic Highlands: Athlone Press Primo search Callow, Simon (1991) Acting in Restoration Comedy Applause Theatre Books Primo search Canfield, J. Douglas (1997) Tricksters and Estates: on the Ideology of Restoration Comedy Lexington: University of Kentucky Press Primo search Carmody, James Patrick (1993) Rereading Moliere: mise en scene from Antoine to Vitez University of Michigan Press Primo search Clark, Max Stafford (1990) Letters to George - An account of a rehearsal Nick Hearn Books Primo search Fisk, Deborah Payne (Ed) (2000) The Cambridge Companion to English Restoration Theatre Cambridge University Press Primo search Loftis, John (1966) Restoration Drama Oxford University Press Primo search Lough, J. (1979) Seventeenth Century French Drama - The Background Oxford University Press Primo search Master, Anthony (1992) The Play of Personality in Restoration Comedy Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press Primo search Owen, Susan J. (1996) Restoration Theatre and Crisis Oxford: Clarendon Press Primo search Powell, Jocelyn (1984) Restoration Theatre Production London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Primo search Styan, J. L. (1986) Restoration Comedy in Performance Cambridge University Press Primo search Thomas, David (Ed) (1989) Restoration and Georgian England, 1660 to 1788. Theatre in Europe: a Documentary History Cambridge University Press Primo search Turnell, Martin (1964) The Classical Moment London: Hamish Hamilton Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6