Literature - English Restoration Drama

Ref: C3529531

After the closure of the theatres in 1642, no professional drama was performed in London until 1660. This course is an introduction to the drama of the following forty years or so, built around four themes: Performance conditions, Language, Genres and Context.

Course aim

The Restoration saw a new epoch of English theatre: new dramatists writing new plays for new types of theatres - entertaining but engaged with social tensions and an uneasy political settlement.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Understand the performance conditions of English Restoration drama and their relationship to texts of plays.
  • Carry out basic analysis of the different kinds of language spoken in Restoration in plays
  • Recognise and describe the different sorts of plays producing during the Restoration and how these would have been interpreted in the light of contemporary audience expectations
  • Understand and present examples of the ways in which Restoration plays are shaped by and reflect late 17th century culture more broadly.
  • Understand and present examples of how Restoration drama has been revived and adapted for performance in different places and times.

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
  • Students have the opportunity to read in advance specified plays, one of which will serve as a basis for discussion in each session.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Details of optional pre-reading will be provided prior to course start.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information

Download full course information sheet

Literature - English Restoration Drama


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  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
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  • 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

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