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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: THE2004 Module Title: POPULAR THEATRE
Module Provider: Dance,Film & Theatre Short Name: THE2004
Level: HE2 Module Co-ordinator: ANDREWS S Dr (Dnc Flm Thtr)
Number of credits: 20 Number of ECTS credits: 10
Module Availability
Semester 1.
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment



Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)


1 x Presentation






1 x Essay (2000 words)






Module Overview
This module introduces students to approaches to popular theatre and to perspectives on its production and reception.
Module Aims
  • To introduce conventions and practices of popular theatre texts (written/performed) (a, b, c, d, f, h)


  • To consider a range of popular genres (that might include stand-up comedy, puppetry, musical theatre etc.) (b, c, d, f)


  • To consider responses to (and issues of) representation and ‘reality’ in popular theatre (a, b, c)


  • To consider issues of geographical location of popular theatres (e.g. ‘theatreland’, regional theatres and streets) as well as the event and audiences of popular performance (a, b, c)


  • To engage with multiple vocabularies and/or perspectives to analyse popular theatre (e.g. conventions and techniques of staging, theories of representation, methods of analysis of audience and community) (a, b, c, d, f)


Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to





  • Identify aspects of creation, design and processes of showing popular theatre in specific theatre sites (A1, A2, A3, B1, B2)


  • Recognise interdisciplinary connections and differing methodological approaches in the analysis of popular theatre (B3, C2)


  • Organise ideas, develop coherent, informed interpretations of popular theatre and present these in multiple forms (D1, D2, D3)


Module Content
  • The module may focus on one or more singular genres or themes (comedy, music and theatre, architectures of popular theatre, black humour) or on a range of forms or works that may be considered ‘popular theatre’.


  • The module will consider a series of case study texts (written or performed) to debate the conventions of, approaches to and issues of staging popular theatre


  • The module will be supported by an introduction to methods of studying theatre and audiences; and by the inclusion of cross-disciplinary approaches


Methods of Teaching/Learning

Lectures and seminars: run separately or as combined events



Selected Texts/Journals

Required Reading :





Schechter, Joel. 2003. Popular theatre : A sourcebook. Worlds of performance. London ; New York : Routledge.



Recommended Reading : (Ayckbourn, 2005; Ayres, 2003; Brooker and Jermyn, 2003; Bull, 1994; Faulk, 2004; Knowles, 2004; Lamb, 1997; McGrath, 1981; Prentki and Selman, 2000; Schechter, 2003; Walker-Kuhne, 2005; Ziter, 2003)





Ayckbourn, A, Plays three. London ; New York: Faber and Faber, 2005.



Ayres, B, The emperor's old groove : decolonizing Disney's Magic Kingdom. New York: P. Lang, 2003.



Brooker, W and Jermyn, D, The audience studies reader. London ; New York: Routledge, 2003.



Bull, J, Stage right : crisis and recovery in British contemporary mainstream theatre. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994.



Faulk, B J, Music hall & modernity : the late-Victorian discovery of popular culture. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2004.



Knowles, R P, Reading the material theatre. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004.



Lamb, C, Howard Barker's Theatre of Seduction. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1997.



McGrath, J, A good night out : popular theatre : audience, class, and form. London: Eyre Methuen, 1981.



Prentki, T and Selman, J, Popular theatre in political culture : Britain and Canada in focus. Bristol, UK ; Portland, OR: Intellect, 2000.



Schechter, J, Popular theatre : a sourcebook. London ; New York: Routledge, 2003.



Walker-Kuhne, D, Invitation to the party : building bridges to the arts, culture, and community. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2005.



Ziter, E, The Orient on the Victorian stage. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.





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