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Unit information: Popular Performance: Cabaret, Music Hall, Musicals and Revue in 2015/16

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Unit name Popular Performance: Cabaret, Music Hall, Musicals and Revue
Unit code DRAM23124
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Krebs
Open unit status Open




School/department Department of Theatre
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit explores theatrical and musical performance and stage spectacle in cafés, cabarets, dance halls and music halls. It will consider the diverse range of entertainment offered in the various venues and look closely at the theatrical forms they programmed including the chanson, shadow theatre, the cabaret sketch, the musical and dance. Beginning in the 1880s and continuing up to the present day, it will look at venues in cities including Paris, Berlin, Zurich and New York, exploring the similarities and differences between the artistic cabaret and more popular understandings of cabaret, music hall and revue entertainments. It will consider issues such as: the male domination of artistic cabaret; the female spectacle of music hall and revue; the relationship between cafés, cabarets, dance halls and music halls; and their particular social contexts and historical moments.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have:

(1) gained knowledge and critical understanding of the sub genres of cabaret, music hall, musicals and revue.

(2) understanding of the changing social and historical conditions that informed and produced popular theatrical forms.

(3) acquired archival skills: locating material on a catalogue, calling up material, using some un-catalogued material.

(4) understood and evaluated critical responses to popular performances and considered these in the context of wider understandings of popular culture.

(5) the ability to locate and explore primary and secondary material to create and sustain a cogent academic argument in presentation and essay formats.

Teaching Information

1 x 2-hour seminar per week.

Assessment Information

(1) 2500-word essay (60%) ILOs 1, 3-5.

(2) seminar presentation (in pairs; fifteen minutes) and accompanying handout, for a group mark (40%) ILOs 1-5.

Detailed criteria for essays and seminar presentations are available in the Theatre handbook, which is available on Blackboard. The accompanying handout must include a bibliography for the presentation.

Reading and References

Appigenesi, Lisa, Cabaret (London, 1975)

Harris, Geraldine (1989) ‘But is it Art? Female Performers in the Café-Concert’, New Theatre Quarterly, 334-47

Henderson, J.A. (1971) The First Avant-Garde 1887-1894: Sources of the Modern French Theatre. London: Harrap

Oberthur, Mariel (1984) Cafes and Cabarets of Montmartre. Salt Lake City: Gibbs M Smith

Segal, Harold, B. (1987) Turn-of-the-Century Cabaret. New York: Columbia University Press

Current, Richard Nelson and Marcia Ewing Current, Loie Fuller: Goddess of Light (Austin, Texas, 1997)