Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Review work (equivalent to 2000 words)  50%
Semester Exam 1 Hours   50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Resubmit any failed elements. Resit exam to a new paper.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Examine some of the methods for analysing productions of plays in performance.
  • Apply these methods to selected productions
  • Examine the 'performance history' of selected texts and previous production choices made.
  • Understand some of the challenges and difficulties of presenting two of the texts studied for modern theatre audiences;

Brief description

The module will enable students to broaden their experience of theatrical productions. Opportunities to attend student and professional productions provide the starting point for the investigation and analysis of the way in which the different elements of a production come together to create the theatrical experience. These elements, which include the contribution of the directors, designers and performers, will be considered in isolation and in relation to each other, in so far as they contribute effectively to the realization of the text in the consciousness of the given audience. The module will look at aspects of the performance history and the critical evaluation of particular texts, and will also provide opportunities to discuss production choices and working methods with both directors and members of production teams.


  • To examine some of the methods for analysing productions of plays in performance;
  • To examine the performance history of selected texts and the production choices made in pervious productions;
  • To examine a number of theatrical productions and the ways in which these have attempted to meet the theatrical challenges of the text;
  • To deepen the students? understanding of the difficulties and challenges of presenting two of the texts studied for modern theatre audiences;


The lectures and seminars will focus on the texts chosen for performance. Several of these will be third-year productions of texts performed as part of the Department's English-medium practical semester and the others will be performances scheduled to be seen on the theatre visit/s arranged for this module. The dates for the London theatre visits for the 2005/06 session are 14, 15, 16 December, returning after a matinee on Saturday 17 December.
Students should bear in mind their own responsibility for acquiring experience of the relevant text and bringing it to bear on their analysis of separate production events. It is also the responsibility of students to ensure that they attend the productions studied on the course. The lectures and discussions arranged with theatre practitioners are designed to be generally helpful and informative, but they should not distract attention from the proper focus of the module which is firmly on the personal experience and analysis acquired and developed by the individual student.
Students should be aware that they are expected to contribute towards the cost of the London trip. It is estimated that this will be approximately #150 (arrangements can be made with the departmental administrators to spread this cost over up to 3 instalments).

  • Lecture One: Introduction to the Course, Critical Analysis and the Role of the Critic
  • Lecture Two: Macbeth
  • Lecture Three: The School for Scandal
  • Lecture Four: Flight/ The Tempest/Morn to Midnight
  • Lecture Five: The Winter's Tale
  • Lecture Six: Master and Margarita and The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Lecture Seven: Journey's End and The History Boys
  • Lecture Eight: The Relapse
  • Lecture Nine: Whalemusic and Devised Piece
  • Lecture Ten: London Productions and Details
Essay Deadline - Monday 9th January. The essay question will ask students to write a 500 word review of one of the productions they have attended on this module and a 2000-2500 word essay with detailed analysis of at least two of the productions seen

Production Schedule

12 Oct - School for Scandal - Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 7.30.
16-19 Oct - Morn to Midnight - Castle Theatre, 7.30.
17-20 Oct - The Tempest - RGJ Studio, 7.45.
18-21 Oct - Flight (provisional title) - Emily Davies Studio, 7.30.
7 Nov - The Importance of Being Earnest - Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 7.30.
22 Nov - Macbeth - Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 7.30.
28 Nov-1 Dec - Master and Margarita - Castle Theatre, 7.30.
29 Nov-2 Dec - The Relapse - Emily Davies Studio, 7.30
2 Dec - The Winter's Tale - Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 7.30.
14-17 Dec - London Trip - The Woman in Black, The History Boys, The Producers, Journey's End (complete details of the London Trip will be made available in a separate booklet).
23-26 Jan - Title to be confirmed - Castle Theatre, 7.30.
24-27 Jan - Whalemusic - RGJ Studio, 7.30.

The department has arranged tickets for all London productions, but students are reminded that it is their own responsibility to ensure that they attend all other productions. Acquaintance with textual material is essential but is no substitute for attending productions. Students are also encouraged to read the relevant reviews of productions where these are available.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students will demonstrate oral communication skills in seminar sessions and gain experience in selecting and analysing material for written assessments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will receive feedback on written assignments
Information Technology IT and information handling skills will be demonstrated through students¿ individual web based and library research and through word processed essay presentation.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will have the opportunity to explore specific areas which reflect and strengthen their individual career needs.
Research skills Students will demonstrate the results of individual research in the form of essays, examinations and contribution in lectures and seminars.
Subject Specific Skills Students are encouraged to develop the use of a critical and analytical awareness and to expand their vocabulary in written and oral response to issues concerning theatrical texts in performance for modern audience.

Reading List

Essential Reading
Bond, Edward We Come to the River Primo search Frisch, Max The Arsonists Primo search Hatcher The Compleat Female Stage Beauty Primo search Kane, Sara Psychosis 4.48 Primo search Poe, Edgar A. Masque of the Red Death Primo search Wycherley The Country Wife Primo search
Recommended Text
Garebian, Keith The Making of Cabaret Primo search Irving Wardle, (1992) Theatre Criticism (Routledge) This might be out of print but is available on Amazon) Primo search Masteroff, Joe Cabaret: The Illustrated Book and Lyrics Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6