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2009/10 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL3365 Theatricalities: Beckett, Pinter, Kane

20 creditsClass Size: 30


Module manager: Dr Mark Taylor-Batty

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2009/10

Pre-requisite qualifications

This module is only available to Level 3 students.

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary


On completion of this module, students should be able to:

demonstrate an understanding of how Beckett, Pinter and Kane's dramatic writings negotiate the terms and conditions of their own theatrical presentation;
be familiar with a range of examples of textual and non-textual materials that engage with insatnces of theatrical presentation of such texts;
be able to apply contextual, historical, biographical and theatrical appreciation of both text and performance, and identify thematic ambition;
be able to demonstrate an awareness of the impact such texts, and specific performances of them, have had upon national and international theatrical practices;
be able to discuss these critically and engage with them effectively on a practical level, using practice as a tool of textual and performance analysis.

Learning outcomes
Students will have developed:
- the ability to use written and oral communication effectively;
- the capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse;
- the ability to manage quantities of complex information in a structured and systematic way;
- the capacity for independent thought and judgement;
- critical reasoning;
- research skills, including the retrieval of information, the organisation of material and the evaluation of its importance;
- IT skills;
- efficient time management and organisation skills;
- the ability to learn independently.

Skills outcomes
Skills for effective communication, oral and written.
Capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse.
Ability to acquire quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.
Capacity for independent thought and judgement.
Critical reasoning.
Research skills, including information retrieval skills, the organisation of material, and the evaluation of its importance.
IT skills.
Time management and organisational skills.
Independent learning.


What processes contain the construction and relaying of meaning within a performance context? How, as an audience, do we engage with those processes? How should we meet and interrogate a text that has been written specifically for the event of its own performance? What is the relationship between the textual matter of a 'play' and the textual matter (visual, auditory, rhythmic etc.) that forms its performance? What critical tools are appropriate to the examination of performance in relation to text? This module seeks to examine how questions such as these pertain to an understanding of 'theatricality' through a detailed consideration of selected plays of three late twentieth-century playwrights. Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Sarah Kane wrote dramas that, in different ways, engaged with the processes of theatrical enactment as integral to questions of making and transferring meaning, and each embedded in their works transitions between different theatrical registers as a means of disrupting or highlighting meaning-making on the stage.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours185.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Seminar preparation, reading, essay writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contribution to seminars and practical work.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,500 words50.00
Reflective log1,000 words (journal)10.00
In-course AssessmentPerformance-based seminar40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/07/2010


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