Course Description

Course Name

Shakespeare in London

Session: VLNS3422

Hours & Credits

20 UK Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

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


Assessment: group presentation [50%], individual essay (2500 words) [50%] [all elements must be attempted but an overall pass is sufficient to pass the module]
Please note that there will be a supplemental charge for this module to cover the costs of the field trips and excursions. The cost will be in the region of £80 to £150, payable upon arrival. This module is available to students on the Study Abroad Programme at no additional charge. Students on the International Exchange or Erasmus Programme are welcome to register for this module for a standard 20 credit module fee of £1920.
Shakespeare has often been taken as the playwright of England, of Britain and of empire, but what can productions of his plays tell us about the relationship between Shakespeare, other playwrights of his time, and the London stage today? Reading Shakespeare and seeing Shakespearean plays in performance, we will investigate how the Renaissance is played on today?s London stages. We will analyse performances, read texts and explore the performance history of three plays, to investigate the London theatre?s energetic and often irreverent response to Shakespeare and Renaissance dramatists. In this way, we?ll get to know the plays deeply, and you will be equipped to analyse these productions and the way that they comment on questions like nationhood, multicultural London, and Shakespeare on the metropolitan stage.
You will have the chance to see very different kinds of production, as we sample the state-of-play of Shakespeare in 21st-century London. The productions we see will be chosen from the repertory for the spring London season. In 2014, for example, we went backstage at a West End theatre to get an inside glimpse of Michael Grandage?s Henry V and had a brush with fame as we bumped into Jude Law behind the scenes. We also Sam Mendes?s production of the high tragedy King Lear at the National Theatre and the energetically irreverent production of A Midsummer Night?s Dream by the Propeller Theatre Company, who gave us an exclusive workshop on their performance.
The cost of your tickets is included in the price of this module.
What students say about this module:
?Amazing class. Both Clare and Andy were great lecturers, really enthusiastic and insightful.?
?Great plays, can?t believe we got a backstage tour of the Noel Coward Theatre and the chance to meet and have a Q&A with members of the Propeller Theatre. Would recommend this class to all students ? not just exchange students!?

*Course content subject to change