Madness and Theatricality

Level 6 (30 credits)

This module explores madness and mental illness in recent and historical performance. It asks questions about how a society's constructions of madness are reflected in and produced by performance, and about the versions of subjectivity or selfhood that emerge when we play mad. The module is taught through practice-based case studies of ancient Greek, English Renaissance and twentieth/twenty-first century European texts and performances. It examines the versions of madness and mental illness produced in historical performance, and the ways in which these have been reinterpreted and rewritten to reflect current constructions and concerns of and about madness. It explores recent constructions of madness and its 'treatment' on stage.

Preparing for this Module and Approximate Costs

Why take
Madness and Theatricality

  • study plays and artists dealing with issues of mental health across a range of historical periods
  • work in a small group to create performance about contemporary issues of mental health, using texts and practicers from the distant and recent past
  • to explore, challenge and interrogate the representation of 'madness' and mental health in historical and contemporary cultures
Learning Context Practice-based
Semester One
  1. Group Performance Project (15-20 min), 60%
  2. Essay (2800 words), 40%
Mode of reassessment Standard