Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Shakespeare in Performance
Academic Year
Semester 2
Successful completion of Part One
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Critical Portfolio  2000 Words  50%
Semester Assessment Essay  2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Critical Portfolio  2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  2000 Words  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

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

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.

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

Produce organized, coherently structured and critically engaged written 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. 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 staging a Shakespeare play.


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 an 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.

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