Post-War British Drama

Ref: C2228307

When Kenneth Tynan described Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger as ‘the completest young pup in our literature since Hamlet,’ he signalled a radical change in British theatre. Inspired by the opening of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot at the Arts Theatre in 1955 and the first visit to London of Bertolt Brecht’s Berliner Ensemble in 1956, a new wave of British playwrights, including both Absurdists and Kitchen-sink realists, threatened to erode the complacencies of the old guard. This course will look at the work of some of the key playwrights of the fifties and sixties and the impact their work had on the development of British drama.

Course aim

The aim of the course will be to examine post-war dramatic writing in the UK and to consider the stylistic, social, political and philosophical preoccupations of leading playwrights.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key innovations in British theatrical writing during this period
  • Analyse plays both as literature and as texts for performance
  • Relate play texts and theatrical practices to wider social, cultural and political contexts
  • Make informed judgements about the themes and stylistic techniques of individual plays

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

All material for the course will be provided.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Post-War British Drama

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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