Theatre & Performance

8th – 20th August 2022


Contemporary British and Irish Theatre and Performance
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 Scottish Literature lectures to gain additional perspectives in critical analysis of dramatic texts
  • Panel discussion: 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 three 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 is 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 in order of study.

Essential primary reading/viewing:
David Greig, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart
Gregory Burke, Black Watch
Sarah Kane, Blasted (1995)
Stef Smith, Roadkill (2012)
Edwin Morgan, Gilgamesh
debbie tucker green, hang (2015)
Jo Clifford, The Gospel According to Jesus Queen of Heaven (2016) (available as PDF)
Kieran Hurley, Mouthpiece (2018)
John McGrath, Hyperlynx (2001)

Further primary reading/viewing:*
Rob Drummond, In Fidelity (2016)
Rona Munro, James I (2014)
debbie tucker green, nut (2013)
Liz Lochhead, Dracula (2009)
Nicola McCartney, Heritage (2001)

Further secondary reading:**
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)
Brown, Mark. Modernism and Scottish Theatre since 1969: A Revolution on Stage (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)
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)

**NB: Students are not required to purchase or read texts listed in ‘further reading/viewing’. However, if you are interested in complementary material, these texts will expand your knowledge and discussion of the essential reading list. All of the further reading is available to loan from the University of Edinburgh library or the SUISS library.

For more information on the course, see our SUISS Theatre & Performance Sample Syllabus.