Taster: Georgian Theatre

Ref: C2226357

This course is aimed at people who enjoy plays and play going. The course will consider Georgian theatre within the wider context of British theatre history, and will introduce two major playwrights of the period, Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Oliver Goldsmith, using examples of their work to identify popular themes and character types in Georgian drama. We will also discuss the theatre reforms and innovations established by the great actor-manager David Garrick. The course will compare the stagecraft of the time with current theatre practice and assess how audience expectations have shifted over time. 2019 is the bi-centenary of the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds, the third oldest working Georgian theatre in the country. The Theatre Royal is hosting this course, and in its restored Regency state, will provide an authentic backdrop to the course content.

Additional information about this course

No skills or experience required.

Course aim

To provide a brief introduction to Georgian theatre practice, and introduce you some key aspects of Georgian drama.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for anyone with an interest in drama and/or theatre history.

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

  • Place Georgian theatre within the broad spectrum of British theatre history.
  • Name two major Georgian playwrights and examples of their work.
  • Give examples of popular themes and character types in Georgian drama.
  • Describe the reforms and innovations made by David Garrick and their impact on subsequent theatre practice.
  • Recognise the significance of the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds as an example of a late Georgian (Regency) playhouse.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • Feedback will be via small group exercise, and discussion.

What else do I need to know?

  • You may wish to bring your own materials for note-taking.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next

Download full course information sheet

Taster: Georgian Theatre

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 book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • 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 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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