20th century drama and theatre theme

20th-century theatre

Find close readings, critical interpretations and personal responses to the works of key 20th-century playwrights and practitioners, including Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Shelagh Delaney and Timberlake Wertenbaker.

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art music and popular culture

Art, music and popular culture

From riots at the ballet to punk rock fanzines, discover the music, art and popular culture that shook the world in the 20th century.

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Creating the modern

Capturing and creating the modern

Modernist writers broke new ground by experimenting with new forms and themes. From everyday life, perception and time to the kaleidoscopic and fractured nature of modern life, discover the ways in which these writers created and captured the modern.

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European influence

From Paris to Moscow and from Berlin to Dublin, discover how European cities were crucibles for modernist experimentation.

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Exploring identity theme

Exploring identity

Examine how writers have explored identity – through the prisms of ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality – in the modern world.

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fantasy and fairy tale

Fantasy and fairy tale

From subversive fairy tales to gothic nightmares, explore how 20th-century writers used fantasy to analyse and question the real world around them.

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Gender and sexuality

Gender and sexuality

From Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, E M Forster’s Maurice and Shelagh Delaney’s A Taste of Honey to Sylvia Plath’s journals and Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber, discover how literature explored, questioned and exploded traditional ideas of gender roles and sexuality.

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Literature 1900-1950

Literature 1900–1950

From The Waste Land to Ulysses and from Mrs Dalloway to Nineteen Eighty-Four, discover the seminal literary works of the early 20th century.

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Literature 1950-2000

Literature 1950–2000

From The Bell Jar and The Lonely Londoners to Birthday Letters and The Buddha of Suburbia, explore key literary works of the late 20th century.

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war and conflict

Power and conflict

From First World War poetry to works inspired by the Blitz and from futuristic dystopias to depictions of religious radicalism, see how war and conflict shaped 20th-century literature.

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Theatre practitioners and genre theme

Theatre practitioners and genres

From Stanislavski to Brecht and from Theatre of the Absurd to Theatre Workshop, explore some of the key influences and developments within 20th century theatre practice.

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Visions of future

Visions of the future

From Orwell’s Ministry of Truth to Ballard’s crashed cars, see how 20th-century writers imagined the future, investigated the present and prepared for the unknown.

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