Theatre & Performance

Street theatre in Edinburgh's Royal Mile during the summer festival

Royal Mile during the August Festivals

Theatre Students with Scottish Playwright, David Greig

SUISS students with playwright David Greig









Contemporary British and Irish Theatre and Performance
7th – 19th August 2017

This two-week course provides a challenging, dynamic and diverse introduction to contemporary British and Irish theatre with a global impact. The course takes place in Edinburgh, giving students the chance to study theatre and performance in Scotland’s beautiful capital city, while the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe take place. Students benefit from lectures by established academics and daily seminars for discussion of dramatic texts, alongside a series of practical workshops offered by Playwrights’ Studio Scotland – Scotland’s only dedicated, independent development organisation for playwrights. Students also have the opportunity to attend events, including Festival shows and readings from leading contemporary theatre practitioners.

The Theatre and Performance course offers:

  • Daily seminars: SUISS tutors lead small group seminars on dramatic texts and interpretive strategies
  • Workshops: Prominent academics, theatre practitioners, and critics lead interactive workshops in areas of drama theory and practice
  • Lectures: Students attend select Contemporary Literature lectures to gain additional perspectives in critical analysis of dramatic texts
  • Panel discussions: As part of the Edinburgh International Festival, a discussion is held between leading playwrights and directors on topics relevant to contemporary theatre
  • Festival performances: Students attend shows at the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe Festival as a group, as well as having the opportunity to see additional performances in their free time


Reading List

Students are strongly advised to read as many of the texts as possible before arriving in Edinburgh, as time will be limited once the programme is underway. The seminars and lectures are pitched at a high level, and teaching staff are advised that all students will be familiar with the texts in advance.

Core texts for the Summer School, on which the tuition will be based, are listed below:


David Greig, Europe (1995)
John McGrath, Hyperlynx (2001)
Sarah Kane, Blasted (1995)
Liz Lochhead, Dracula (1989)
Alan Bennett, History Boys (2004)
Martin McDonagh, The Cripple of Inishmaan (1996)
Nicola McCartney, Heritage (1998)
Stef Smith, Roadkill (2012)
Jackie Kay, Chiaroscuro (1986)
Seamus Heaney, Burial at Thebes (2004)
Rona Munro, James I (2014)


Angelaki, Vicky (ed). Contemporary British Theatre: Breaking New Ground. (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2013)
Badiou, Alain. Rhapsody for the Theatre (London + Brooklyn: Verso, 2013)
Balme, Christopher. The Theatrical Public Sphere (Cambridge: CUP, 2014)
Fortier, Mark. Theory/Theatre: An Introduction (London + NY: Routledge, 2002)
McGrath, John. A Good Night Out. Popular Theatre: Audience, Class and Form (London: Nick Hern, 1996)
Reid, Trish. Theatre & Scotland (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2013)
Shepherd, Simon. Theatre, Body and Pleasure (London + NY: Routledge, 2006)