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Post War British Drama

Class at Faculty of Arts |



This course is a survey the work of a selection of British playwrights from the 1950s to the 1990s. It will explore the various characteristics of British theatre as it has developed in the latter half of the twentieth century, in terms of the dramatic techniques employed, the artistic and political agendas of playwrights and relevant historical contexts.


A selection of plays from the following list will be covered: John Osborne Look Back in Anger (1956), The Entertainer (1957); Shelagh Delaney A Taste of Honey (1958); Harold Pinter The Birthday Party (1958), The Caretaker (1960), The Dumb Waiter (1960), The Homecoming (1965); Joe Orton Entertaining Mr Sloane (1964), What the Butler Saw (1969); Edward Bond Saved (1965), Lear (1971), The Sea (1973); Tom Stoppard Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1966), Travesties (1974); Howard Brenton Christie in Love (1970) The Romans in Britain (1980), Pravda (with David Hare 1985); Caryl Churchill Cloud Nine (1979), Top Girls (1982), Serious Money (1987); Martin Crimp Attempts on Her Life (1997); Sarah Kane Blasted (1995), Cleansed (1998) Crave (1998); Mark Ravenhill Shopping and Fucking (1996), Faust is Dead (1997), Handbag (1998). Secondary material will include selected reading from Peter Brook, The Empty Space, Marvin Carlson, Theories of the Theatre, Dominic Shellard, British Theatre Since the War, Aleks Sierz In-Yer-Face Theatre, Trevor R. Griffiths and Margaret Llewellyn-Jones British and Irish Women Dramatists and other available texts.

In addition, this semester?s course will include guest lectures by theatre critic and author of In-Yer-Face: British Theatre Today, Aleks Sierz and Steve Gove, Director of the Prague Fringe Festival.


Class presentation, attendance, and a 2500-3000 word essay.