The Popular, the Political and the Avant-Garde

This module introduces students to a selection of genres of contemporary popular performance and explores the implications of the aesthetic overlap and cross fertilisation between these forms and modes of performance usually defined as political, ‘avant-garde’ or experimental. Exemplary case studies may include Stand-up, Musical Theatre, New Burlesque, New Circus, Immersive Theatre and Fairground attractions. These case studies will be explored with reference to the historical development of these forms, their contemporary elaborations and in relation to issues such as gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class and globalisation. Teaching is through lectures, seminars and practical exercises and assessment is by group presentation and exam.