A Brief History of Theatre

Ticket price

£120 for 16 sessions


  • Tue 15 Oct 2019 - 6:30 pm


Laurence Sach leads an informal sixteen session introduction to the development of European theatre from its earliest origins in Ancient Greece to the five key practitioners (Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, Constantin Stanislavsky, Bertolt Brecht and Samuel Beckett) who provided the foundations for modern 20th and 21st century theatre. 

Each two hour session begins with an illustrated talk followed by a group discussion of that session’s topic and play text.  The 16 weekly sessions (6.30pm-8.30pm) are shown below with the texts that are
linked to each session:

Oct 15  |  1. Introductions and Myth, Ritual & Religion (no text for this session)
Oct 22  |  2. Greek Theatre – the origins (The Oresteia by Aeschylus)
Oct 29  |  3. Greek Tragedy – the playwrights (Electra by Sophocles and The Trojan
Women by Euripides)
Nov 5  |  4. Roman Tragedy – (Thyestes by Seneca)
Nov 12  |  5. Greek & Roman Comedy (Lysistrata by Aristophanes)
Nov 19  |  6. Medieval Mystery Plays (The Creation, Noah, Abraham & Isaac,
The Crucifixion)
Nov 26  |  7. Medieval Morality plays and Tudor Interludes (Mankind)
Dec 3  |  8. Elizabethan Theatre and Shakespeare (Dr Faustus by
Christopher Marlowe)
Dec 10  |  9. Jacobean & Caroline (‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore by John Ford)
Jan 14  |  10. Restoration Theatre (The Country Wife by William Wycherley)
Jan 21  |  11. 18th Century Theatre (The Beggars’ Opera by John Gay)
Jan 28  |  12. 19th Century & Melodrama (The Bells by Leopald Lewis)
Feb 4  |  13. Henrik Ibsen (Hedda Gabler)
Feb 11  |  14. Chekhov & Stanislavski (The Cherry Orchard)
Feb 18  |  15. Brecht & Political Theatre (The Caucasian Chalk Circle)
Feb 25  |  16. Samuel Beckett & Theatre of the Absurd (Waiting for Godot)


The course is presented by Laurence Sach, pictured left, a performing arts lecturer, and freelance writer and director. Laurence has been artistic director of Durham Theatre Company, manager of Middlesbrough
Theatre and The Playhouse, Harlow, and Head of Arts for Harlow Council. For seven years he was a lecturer on the Middlesbrough College/Teesside University foundation degree in performing arts.

For queries or additional course information email: [email protected]

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