Course Description

Course Name

Introduction to the London Stage

Session: VLNF3423

Hours & Credits

20 UK Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Module Rationale
This course is designed to introduce you to the ways in which London shapes and is shaped by a range of theatre and performance. During the course we will attend a curated programme of performances of relevant shows and exhibitions, visit key venues, read and view a range of critical texts as well as plays and performances, and discuss together key ideas in theatre and performance analysis and spectatorship. The course will be divided around themes regarding relevant 20th and 21st century performance with a focus on contemporary work and its social and political contexts. You will be encouraged to hone your skills in speaking and writing about performances, ideas, and contexts - and to develop your unique critical voice.

This course includes attending and discussing as a group theatre and performance trips which are curated according to what is on in London each year.

Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete this course will have:

A working understanding of a range of contemporary performance work and a critical approach to analysing and discussing performance, especially in relation to how different methods and key London contexts shape productions.

An understanding of some of the modes through which performances relate to contemporary moments, with a focus on how theatre and performance production is situated socially and politically.

Enhanced skills in critically discussing, presenting and writing about arts events, and reflecting on spectatorship.


50% essay, 1,500 words (199 module code) or 2,000 words (299 module code) 50% in-class presentation

Course Readings (indicative)
Paul Allain and Jen Harvie (2014) ‘Audience and spectator’ in Routledge companion to theatre and performance

Patrice Pavis (1985) ‘Theatre Analysis: Some Questions and a Questionnaire’, in New Theatre Quarterly, 1(2)

Travis Alabanza (2018) BURGERZ

Caryl Churchill (1982) Top Girls

Mary F. Brewer, Lynette Goddard, Deirdre Osborne, eds. (2014) Modern and Contemporary Black British Drama

Susan Bennett (2012) Theatre & Museums

Dominic Johnson (2015) The Art of Living: An Oral History of Performance Art

*Course content subject to change