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Theatrical London (Module)

Module description

This module examines London’s diverse and vibrant scene from its historic development to contemporary performance in the city and through this examination introduces theories and vocabulary used to analyse actors, audiences and architecture, the key components of theatre making. Using a range of texts – from plays, to theoretical writing to newspaper reviews to theatre marketing material – the module begins with an investigation of London’s theatrical past and how it is presented today in the museum, archive and so-called ‘heritage’ theatre; the module then moves on to West End performance, examining its historic roots and its current commercial success; it concludes with a consideration of the socio-political trends in contemporary theatre, such as site-specificity and ‘in-yer-face’ new playwriting.

This module will consist of a minimum of 45 contact hours with teaching taking place between 9 am and 5 pm from Monday to Friday. This is an example timetable from 2017 so content and timings are subject to change. This module will incur additional costs for subject-specific module excursions which will be confirmed ahead of the programme.

Last summer the King's Summer Programmes collaborated with the Faculty of Arts & Humanities to run two career panels for students enrolled on a culture module. They were moderated by King's academics from the School, and the panellists included professionals and King's alumni. 

Learning outcomes and objectives

By the end of the module, you should have:

  • gained insight into London’s history as a theatrical city at seminal moments in its development.
  • built a deeper awareness and understanding of the key concepts (actor, audience and architecture) in the study and examination of theatre and performance and understanding.
  • improved your techniques in performance and text analysis, engagement with criticism, historical/context analysis, all within the interdisciplinary framework of theatre history, performance studies and literary studies.
  • developed the ability to apply theory about theatre to the analysis of specific performances both in a historical context but also in terms of personal experience of performance.
  • built a deeper awareness and understanding of key current debates around theatre making in London.

Staff information

Taught by the Department of EnglishFaculty of Arts & Humanities, King's College London

Teaching pattern

  • Lectures
  • Seminars and tutorials
  • Theatre performances
  • London walks and visits to key institutions
  • Private study

Module assessment - more information

  • One essay of 3,000 words (85%)
  • Presentation of 1,000 words and participation (15%)

Key information

Module code 4ZSS0092

Credit level 4

Assessment coursework presentation/s

Credit value Classes can often be taken for credit towards degrees at other institutions, and are examined to university standards. To receive credit for King's summer classes, contact your home institution to ask them to award external credit. This class is equivalent to an undergraduate degree module and usually awarded 3-4 US credits or 7.5 ECTS.

Semester summer session 2

Study abroad module No