Theatre and Performance Analysis (Q3259)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

This module introduces you to a variety of ways through which you might understand and analyse theatre and performance with an emphasis on the particularities of the two (as opposed to film or television). It draws attention to the difficulties involved in the process and in doing so and asks what can be achieved through analysis and for whose benefit analysis might be undertaken. How we analyse performance is dependent on a number of important factors such as the differences between experiencing a piece live, watching a recording or reconstructing work through reviews and other documents. The ways we receive a performance can also be fundamentally influenced by other important contexts (where and when both the performance and the analysis take place, for example) and these have to be built into our understanding of the work under discussion. The theatrical event is made up of performers and spectators yet the latter can often be ignored. This module will ask questions of the audience too. Who makes up a theatre audience? What might be expected of it? How might that affect theatre-makers themselves? You will also be introduced to questions surrounding theatre documentation, of how something as ephemeral as live performance might be preserved and to what ends.

Primarily the module aims to equip you with both tools and sensitivities that will help you respond confidently and eloquently to (live) theatrical events. You will develop a critical vocabulary that will allow you to consider different types of theatre and performance through exposure to a varied selection of screenings and live productions. In addition you will acquire skills that will allow you to critically engage with your own creative output over the course of the degree as a whole.


Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 42 hours of contact time and about 108 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: