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Unit information: Shakespeare in Performance in 2021/22

Unit name Shakespeare in Performance
Unit code THTR10012
Credit points 10
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Mark France
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Theatre
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This three-week programme offers students the opportunity to encounter Shakespeare in performance through a range of performances, creative practices, and perspectives. Taking a single play by Shakespeare from a different genre for each week of the unit, students will explore how to engage critically with a range of Shakespearean productions, attending performance events in Bristol and beyond, including to Stratford-upon-Avon. The programme will draw on the vibrant and diverse theatre scene in Bristol, and students will attend theatre performances from leading theatre organisations such as the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Bristol Shakespeare Festival, as well as having access to the Bristol Theatre Collection and its wide-ranging archive of material relating to Shakespeare in performance. Students will use these artistic events, research trips and critical perspectives in order to explore how Shakespearean texts are staged, and how they are understood by their audiences, through a range of lectures, archive visits, viewings, seminars and practical workshops. The aim of this unit is to enable students to develop their critical understanding and skills in response to creative work; to gain a sophisticated understanding of the range and diversity of contemporary and historic Shakespearean performances; and to apply a range of critical and theoretical frameworks to the work they encounter. AIMS: (1) to introduce students to key methods and approaches to analysing Shakespeare in performance; (2) to develop a range of skills necessary for the practice of researching, understanding, and writing about Shakespeare in performance (3) to establish critical vocabularies and frameworks for understanding and responding to Shakespearean performances.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

(1) demonstrate an understanding of key methods and approaches to analysing Shakespeare in performance;

(2) demonstrate development of communication skills in a range of different forms;

(3) demonstrate critical vocabularies and frameworks in relation to Shakespeare in performance;

(4) demonstrate an understanding of the specifics of Shakespeare in performance in Bristol and the surrounding area.

(5) demonstrate skills in comparative analysis in comparing Shakespearean performance events in Bristol with events in their own countries/towns.

(6) Develop skills in communication, critical writing and performance reviewing.

Teaching Information

2 x 1 hours of lectures /week 2 x 2 hours of seminars/week 3 x 3 hours of workshop (archive or practice) / week 4 x 3 hour screenings/theatre visits /week * may include filed trips w/ additional travel time)

Assessment Information

Portfolio of critical material relating to performance events (100%), equivalent to:

3 x 10 minute blog postings; OR

1 x 1500 summary ‘article’ blog


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. THTR10012).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.