Course overview

Plays of Jez Butterworth will be studied, read and workshopped. The group will discuss his stage devices and how his plays might be produced. We shall look at aspects of how he creates characters and tells epic stories on stage that resonate with current modern theatre audiences. Many of his plays use ingredients of myth and folklore and it will be considered how Butterworth uses these in order to create fresh images of contemporary U.K. life and society. Over eight weeks, two to three plays will be discussed and workshopped to appreciate the various theatrical devices that Butterworth often uses.

Course description

Jez Butterworth has written many ground-breaking and popular plays, such as ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Mojo’. He has also written the TV series ‘Britannia’.

Through class readings and also workshops where scenes from his plays will be staged, we shall consider what devices he uses. Recurrent themes in his works shall be identified. In particular, we shall explore how Butterworth creates characterisation and uses this to explore his various themes. The structure and storytelling of each piece will be considered. In addition, it will be shown how Butterworth always has a concern for poetry and imagery in his dialogue. There is a rich and recurrent use of myth and folk-art from around the United Kingdom running through most of his writing and we will explore how he uses these ingredients to show plays about many contemporary hard-hitting issues. Butterworth is a unique and recent voice in modern contemporary theatre. Through looking at his plays we can also mention other theatre practitioners who have worked alongside him in rehearsals and production.

This class would be of interest to those who enjoy theatre and finding out more about it. The class has a warm and friendly group atmosphere. No experience is necessary just an interest in reading plays aloud and discussing concepts related to theatre and the stage.

About 3 plays will be considered during the course.

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