The only postgraduate award of its kind in the UK, the MA in Contemporary Popular Theatres is a part time, evening programme. This degree course is based at Liverpool Hope’s Creative campus which is near Liverpool City Centre and will draw on the expertise of resident staff at the University’s Dance, Drama and Performance Studies Department as well as guest lecturers and practitioners.
Liverpool Hope University’s MA in Contemporary Popular Theatres is aimed at postgraduate students with an interest in Contemporary British or Irish Popular Theatre. Students who have enjoyed the work of Lee Hall (Billy Elliott, The Pitmen Painters) or Dermot Bolger (Dublin Quarter) or Amanda Whittington (Be my Baby, Ladies Day) as well as the works of more established popular writers such as Willy Russell, Jim Cartwright and John Godber will find the course a unique opportunity for detailed study of underrepresented material.
Liverpool Hope University is privileged to have John Godber as a visiting Professor of Contemporary theatre, Professor Godber is best known for his innovative work in theatre – Bouncers, Teechers, Up n Under to name but three from the fifty-three plays produced to date. He has also written and directed a significant number of plays for television. Students on the MA will have an opportunity to meet Professor Godber as part of their programme.
The MA Contemporary Popular Theatre will focus on contemporary British and Irish popular theatre, analysing popular theatre productions and examining their historic context. It will investigate issues of excellence, access, regionalism, metropolitanism and the gendered nature of the popular. Distinctive features of the course will include the use of a wide range of research strategies to assist information retrieval in an under-represented area; a Special Topic module allowing some practical exploration and the impact of ‘Capital of Culture’ status on popular theatre production. Theatre visits will also be built into the programme.
The Award Director for the MA is one of very few academics researching and publishing in the field of popular theatre. Research is one of the strengths of the programme and students will be working alongside scholars who will be disseminating new material in this field.
The programme will begin with the year-long taught module, Contemporary Contexts which will look at aspects of cultural theory and aesthetics. This will run in parallel with the supervised Special Topic module and both will be assessed at the end of the first year. The Special Topic module will involve a small amount of practical work. The Dissertation module will be launched in the first year with the allocation of supervisors and the agreement of research areas and will be assessed at the end of the second year. The Regionalism module will consider aspects of Localism and will be taught and assessed in the second year.