Module Identifier DR31130  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Professor David I Rabey  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Mr David J Blumfield, Ms Karoline Gritzner  
Pre-Requisite DR10120 , DR10220  
Course delivery Lecture   10 x 2 hour  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 x 1 hour  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam 1 x 2 Hour 30%
Semester Assessment 2 x 2,500 word written assignments (30% each)  60%
Semester Assessment assessment of class contributions via presentations and seminar discussion10%

Learning outcomes

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


To examine a selection of British and Irish drama texts, and to consider theatrical problems and consequences of previous and possible productions.

Brief description

This is a course of directed reading and weekly discussions, analyzing recent material which is purposefully challenging in both form and content, and is often imperfectly navigated by most of the existing literary criticism which ostensibly relates to it. Consequently, there is a strong emphasis on students developing original ideas about the specifically theatrical dimensions and demands of the texts under review.
Course issues are likely to recur in more than one session, but likely to include: successive dramatic bids to find language and images which interrogate conventional relationships between power, sexuality and morality; movements away from Naturalism and towards a New Expressionism; challenges posed to theatrical design, physical performance and audience comprehension; subversions of previous dramatic conventions and texts; the problems of staging violence; the role of humour; issues of national and sexual identity.

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

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Barker, Howard (2005) Death, the One and the Art of Theatre Routledge
** Essential Reading
Churchill, Caryl (1989) Cloud Nine NHB
McPherson, Connor (2001) Port Authority NHB
Walsh, Edna (1998) Disco Pigs and Sucking Dublin NHB
Cartwright, Jim (1990) Road Methuen
Kureshi, Hanif (1992) Outskirts and Borderline in Outskirts and other Plays Faber
Barker, Howard (2001) Ursula (in Collected Plays Five) Calder
Rudkin, David The Sons of Light
Rabey, David (2004) The Wye Plays Intellect Books
O'Rowe, Mark (1999) Howie the Rookie London: NHB
Kane, Sarah (2002) Complete Plays London: Methuen
Jones, Marie (2000) Stones in his Pockets and A Night in November London: NHB
Churchill, Caryl (1994) The Striker London: NHB
Cartwright, Jim (1996) I Licked a Slag's Deodorant London: Methuen
Bond, Edward (1972) Lear London: Methuen
Ravenhill, Mark (1996) Shopping and F***ing London: NHB
Thomas, Ed (1998) Gas Station Angel and Song from a Forgotten City Parthian Books
Wertenbaker, Timberlake (1996) The Love of a Nightingale in Plays: 1 London: Faber
** Recommended Background
Barker, Howard (1997) Arguments for a Theatre (3rd ed.) London: Calder
Davies, Hazel Walford (ed) (1998) State of Play: 2 Playwrights of Wales Llandysul: Gomer
Demastes, W. W. (ed) (1996) British Playwrights 1956-1995 Westport: Greenwood
Rabey, David Ian (1989) Howard Barker: Politics and Desire Basingstoke: Macmillan
Rabey, David Ian (1997) David Rudkin: Sacred Disobedience Amsterdam: Harwood
Rabey, David Ian (2003) English Drama Since 1940 London: Longman
Saunders, Graham (2002) Love Me or Kill Me: Sarah Kane and the Theatre of Extremes Manchester: Manchester UP


This module is at CQFW Level 6