Module Identifier DR31130  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Professor David I Rabey  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Co-Requisite DR10220 , DR10120  
Course delivery Lecture   10 x 2 hours  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 x 1 hour  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam 1 x 2 hour written exam 60%
Semester Assessment 2 x 2,500 word written assignments  30%
Semester Assessment assessment of class contributions via presentations and seminar discussion10%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2 hour written exam. 2 x 2,500 word written assignments. Assessment of class contributions via presentations and seminar discussion  100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
To show an analytical understanding of a range of dramatic texts and production issues.

To organize informed and original arguments reflecting research and independent thought in the subject area of the course.

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

To co-operate as part of a group in presenting an argument in the analysis of course material.


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.


Provisional schedule of lectures:

  1. Edward Bond, Lear; Timberlake Wertenbaker, The Love of the Nightingale
  2. Caryl Churchill, Cloud 9, The Skriker
  3. Sarah Kane, Crave, Phaedra'r Love, 4:48 Psychosis
  4. Marie Jones, Stones in his Pockets & A Night in November; Conor MacPherson, Port Authority
  5. Martin McDonagh, The Lieutenant of Inishmore; Mark O'Rowe, Howie the Rookie
  6. Jim Cartwright, Road, I Licked a Slag's Deodorant; Chris Hannan, Shining Souls
  7. To be confirmed
  8. Dic Edwards, Americana; Ed Thomas, Stone City Blue
  9. Howard Barker, The Castle, Gertrude; David Rudkin, The Sons of Light
  10. In conclusion"

Module Skills

Problem_solving * Identify problems * Identify factors which might influence potential solutions * Develop creative thinking approaches to problem solving * Evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions * Construct a rational proposal in response to a problem. Class discussion, written assignments and examination essays  
Research skills * Understand a range of research methods * Plan and carry out research. Independent Project Work  
Communication * Read in different contexts and for different purposes * Write for different purposes and audiences * Speak in different contexts and for different purposes (inc presentation and discussion) * Listen effectively. Oral Discussion/ Presentation Writing in an Academic Context Level 3 Critically review, consolidate and extend a systematic and coherent body of knowledge, utilising specialised skills across an area of study; critically evaluate new skills and exercise significant judgements on a range of situations; accept responsibility for determining and achieving personal and/or group outcomes.  

Reading Lists

** Essential Reading
Barker, Howard. (2006) Plays Two Oberon 1840026480
Bond, Edward (1972) Lear London: Methuen
Cartwright, Jim (1996) I Licked a Slag's Deodorant Available from Dept. Office
Cartwright, Jim (1990) Road London:Methuen
Churchill, Caryl (1989) Cloud Nine London: NHB
Churchill, Caryl (1994) The Striker London: NHB
Hanan, Chris (2003) Shining Souls London:NHB
Jones, Marie (2000) Stones in his Pockets and A Night in November London: NHB
Kane, Sarah (2002) Complete Plays London: Methuen
McPherson, Connor (2001) Port Authority London:NHB
O'Rowe, Mark (1999) Howie the Rookie London: NHB
Rudkin, David The Sons of Light - available from Dept. Office
Thomas, Ed (2004) Stone City Blue London: Methuen
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
Barker, Howard (2005) Death, the One and the Art of Theatre London:Routledge
Davies, Hazel Walford (ed) (1998) State of Play: 4 Playwrights of Wales Llandysul: Gomer
Demastes, W. W. (ed) (1996) British Playwrights 1956-1995 Westport: Greenwood
Rabey, David Ian (1997) David Rudkin: Sacred Disobedience Amsterdam: Harwood
Rabey, David Ian (2003) English Drama Since 1940 London: Longman
Rabey, David Ian (1989) Howard Barker: Politics and Desire Basingstoke: Macmillan
Saunders, Graham (2002) Love Me or Kill Me: Sarah Kane and the Theatre of Extremes Manchester: Manchester UP
Sierz, Alex (2000) In-Yer-Face Theatre London:Faber
(2006.) Theatre of catastrophe :new essays on Howard Barker /edited by Karoline Gritzner and David Ian Rabey. Oberon 1840026944


This module is at CQFW Level 6