London's Theatre and Performance: Viewing, Making, Writing


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This programme is suspended for 2021 entry

Postgraduate On-Campus Open Day
Sunday 1 August 2021, 9am–1pm

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Postgraduate and Doctoral open evening
Wednesday 3 November 2021, 5–7.30pm

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  • You will attend a curated series of performances and cultural events at leading venues across London
  • Content driven by the varied research specialisms of staff and current developments in the field, e.g. spectatorship as a practice, live art and museum culture, feminism and performance and intercultural theatre
  • A unique programme that can be tailored to your interests, from performance to dramaturgy, from arts management or creative production to scholarship and cultural criticism
  • Roehampton is situated in south west London, one of the most famous and respected cities for the enjoyment of theatre and performance.


Taking the wealth and diversity of London’s unique artistic culture as its prime focus, this unique programme opens up a variety of pathways to students looking to focus their interests in the broad field of theatre and performance. We investigate the culture of performance and theatre while discussing ways to make the future theatre one for diverse audiences. Shaped around a series of thematic investigations of the city’s unparalleled theatrical and cultural resources, you will be able to pursue a range of projects matched to your professional aspirations.

The programme engages with three basic approaches to study: viewing, making and writing, with students given the freedom to interpret key assessment tasks in line with their developing research and professional interests.

This is a flexible MA with full-time and part-time attendance options and which provides a sound practical and theoretical basis from which to move on to professional practice and training or further study at MPhil/PhD level.

You will join a welcoming and diverse postgraduate community which offers a range of opportunities to work on staff and student-led projects in addition to your own studies.


Viewing is at the heart of the programme, with regular collective attendance at a curated programme of events in London, during the Autumn and Spring terms, selected by the tutor team and provided without charge to students.* Making connections between these events, you will explore a range of themes, genres and contexts that shape the performing arts in the city. This experience is supported by a programme of guided reading and discussion-based seminar sessions.

Making and Writing are the strands of the programme where you develop your own responses to these themed investigations, which act as the springboard for your own projects. You will have the freedom to choose from a variety of formats for your assessed work, which might include live performance, theatre criticism, photographic, video or sound-based work. You can choose to explore a variety of formats and approaches or focus your work on a particular type of practice. In the first term, you will be introduced to a range of creative and analytical research methods that are designed to support the development of your own interests, leading on to a proposal for a major project that you undertake during the second half of the year. Writing offers a pathway for students to explore forms of textual practice, including writing for performance, theatre criticism, performative writing, dramaturgical research and response. This approach also offers the possibility of developing new kinds of conversations between audiences, artists, producers and other constituencies in the performance cultures of the city.

*Students cover the cost of travel to and from each venue

Roehampton is situated in south west London, one of the most famous and respected cities for the enjoyment of theatre and performance. Viewing is at the heart of this MA programme, and regular attendance at a curated programme of events is provided without charge.*

Students will visit a variety of theatre and performance venues across London, taking in a range of art-forms and different approaches to theatre-making. As part of the course the 2019/2020 cohort experienced:

  • Appropriate by Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Orpheus and Euridice – ENO Production
  • Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. by Caryl Churchill at the Royal Court
  • Out of Order by Forced Entertainment at Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre
  • Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero by Gregory Maqoma at The Barbican
  • Our Lady of Kibeho by Katori Hall at Stratford East
  • A History of Water in the Middle East by Sabrina Mahfouz at the Royal Court Upstairs
  • The Antipodes by Annie Baker at the National Theatre
  • When the Crows Visit by Anupama Chandrasekhar at Kiln Theatre
  • Burgerz by Travis Alabanza at the Purcell Room, South Bank Centre
  • #WeAreArrested by Can Dündar, Arcola Theatre
  • Carmen by Georges Bizet  - ENO Production
  • Cyrano de Bergerac by Jamie Lloyd, Playhouse Theatre
  • Bluebeard by Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch at  Sadler’s Wells
  • Endgame by Samuel Beckett at the Old Vic
  • A Number by Caryl Churchill at The Bridge Theatre

*Students cover the cost of travel to and from each venue

This course is anchored by the regular evenings of performance that the MA cohort attends together.  Before the pandemic this meant attending a variety of venues throughout London to watch shows. However the attention to spectating at this moment means that like the theatre and live art venues we support, we are re-inventing how we now watch: Live streaming platforms, specially designed works of performance to be viewed at home or together, works theatres have created for a blended audience both in and out of the theatre.

In some sense there has never been a more important time for those thinking about viewing, making and writing as practices of performance to interrogate how our watching has changed and will change in the wake of Covid-19. We will continue to be actively watching together on screen and in socially distanced conditions of performance; the opportunities to re-invent how the next generation of performance practitioners change ‘London’s Theatres’ will be at the heart of our study.

This course develops students towards professional careers in the Arts as well as towards possible PhD or MFA study. The variety of approaches also encourages students to develop entrepreneurial skills in creative practice careers.

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Life at Roehampton

At Roehampton, we can offer all new students the opportunity to live in accommodation on our beautiful parkland campus, including affordable and high-end options.

We offer scholarships, provide hardship funding and help you find advice on managing your finances while you study.

We provide plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, through volunteering, playing sport or music, or joining one of our many active student societies.

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