Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
English Drama 1950-1980
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 2 hour Lecture/Seminar


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay (2500 words)  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay (2500 words) - (to a new title)  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Show an analytical understanding of a range of dramatic texts and production issues

Organize informed and original arguments reflecting research and independent thought in the subject area of the course

Demonstrate an intelligent awareness of current debates about the social purpose and ramifications of drama in the period under review

Brief description

This module is the first of a series of modules within the revised Theatre curriculum which offers a detailed exploration of a selection of recent British 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:

1. Bringing the War Back Home (1): John Whiting's Saint's Day (1951)
2. Bringing the War Back Home (2): John Arden's Sjt Musgrave's Dance (1959)
3. Bringing the War Back Home (3): Joan Littlewood's 'Oh! What a Lovely War' (1963)
4. 'No Good Brave Causes Left' (1): John Osborne's Look Back in Anger(1956)
5. 'No Good Brave Causes Left' (2): David Hare's Plenty (1978)
6. The Territorial Imperative and the Regal Female (1): Ann Jellicoe's The Sport of My Mad Mother (1958)
7. The Territorial Imperative and the Regal Female (2): Harold Pinter's The Homecoming (1965)
8. Mean Simplicities: Edward Bond's Saved (1965)
9. Power, Humour and Sexuality: Peter Barnes's The Ruling Class (1968) and The Bewitched (1974)
10. Weapons of Empire: Brenton's The Romans In Britain (1980)

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not developed
Communication Student will demonstrate oral communication skills in seminar sessions and gain experience in selecting and analysing material for written assessments. This is assessed directly through both Assessments
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 information technology both in the research for and delivery of written assignments is assessed directly in both 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 assessment tasks
Problem solving Analytical problem solving, outcome recognition and the identificaton 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 Benchmakr Statement (Version 2007). The following subject specific skills are developed and partly assessed:
Team work Effective group work through negotiating ideas and opinions is addressed through the seminars and seminar presentations

Reading List

Essential Reading
Arden, John (1982) Serjeant Musgrave's Dance Methuen Student edition Primo search Barnes, Peter (1996) Plays: One Methuen Primo search Bond, Edward (2000) Saved Methuen Student Edition Primo search Brenton, Howard (1990) Plays: Two Methuen Primo search Hare, David (2000) Plenty Faber Primo search Jellicoe, Ann The Sport of My Mad Mother Out of print, photocopies available from departmental secretaries' office. Primo search Osborne, John (1978) Look back in Anger Faber Primo search Pinter, Harold (1991) The Homecoming Faber Primo search Rabey, David Ian (2003) English Drama Since 1940 Long Primo search Theatre Workshop and Littlewood, Joan (2006) Oh! What a Lovely War Methuen Student Edition Primo search Whiting, John (1999) Saint's Day in Plays: One London: Oberon Primo search
Recommended Background
Acheson, J (1993) British and Irish Drama Since 1960 Macmillan Primo search Bull, John (2001) Dictionaries of Literary Biography Volume 233: British and Irish Dramatists Since World War Two, Second Series Gale Primo search Bull, John (1984) New British Political Dramatists Macmillan Primo search Cohn, Ruby (1991) Retreats from Realism in Recent English Drama Cambridge UP Primo search Demastes, W.W. (ed) (1996) British Playwrights 1956-1995 Greenwood Primo search Hinchcliffe, A.P. (1974) British Theatre 1950-1970 Oxford Primo search Holdsworth, Nadine and Luckhurst, Mary (eds) (2007) Concise Companion to British and Irish Drama Blackwell Primo search Itzin, Catherine (1980) Stages in the Revolution Methuen Primo search Kennedy, A.K. (1975) Six Dramatists in Search of a Language Cambridge UP Primo search Kerensky, Oleg (1977) The New British drama Primo search Kershaw, Baz (ed) (2004) The Cambridge History of British Theatre Vol. 3: Since 1896 Cambridge UP Primo search Lacey, Steven (1995) British realist Theatre: The New Wave in its Context, 1950-1976 Routledge Primo search Luckhurst, Mary (ed) (2006) A Companion to Modern British and Irish Drama, 1880-2005 Blackwell Primo search Rebellato, Dan (1999) 1956 and All That Routledge Primo search Reinelt, Janette G. (1994) After Brecht: British Epic Theatre Ann Arbor Primo search Shank, Theodore (ed) (1996) Contemporary British Theatre Macmillan Primo search Taylor, John Russell (1969) Anger and After Methuen Primo search Taylor, John Russell (1978) The Second Wave Methuen Primo search Wandor, Michelene (1987) Look Back in Gender Methuen Primo search Worth, Katharine (1972) Revolutions in English Drama Edinburgh: Bell Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5