TP5006 - Performance and the City

What will I learn on this module?

This practically led module grounds your performance making within the creative, political, and cultural challenges of ‘the city’. Based on a tutor designed brief, you will be encouraged to test and challenge the limits of theatre and performance by investigating the role performances play in representing, reflecting upon and interrogating city cultures. The brief may include site-specific work in the NewcastleGateshead area, working with a play that explores city life, a box of objects that relate to urban contexts, or another creative stimulus for approaching a devising process. This creative process will be complemented with staff-led workshops on practices such as contemporary dance, directing challenging topics, creating scenographic atmospheres, site-responsive performance, performer-audience relations, or psychophysical acting. Building on your experiences at first year and in TP5002 Contemporary Theatre Making, you will continue to develop your practical devising skills as part of small group performances. You will have the opportunity to be creative, to experiment, and to put theory into practice to make performances located in venues such as theatre studios, museums, art galleries or with found places.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through workshops, tutorial guidance and independent study. The devising process will be mentored by staff and conducted in spaces appropriate to the content and focus of the session; for instance, work may be hosted in Northumbria's state of the art performance spaces, or you might work in site-specific contexts in the region, or in museum or gallery spaces; some sessions may be seminar-like in focus too.. As appropriate to the concerns of the practice, you will have access to industry standard technology (such as cameras, sound recording equipment, editing software, lighting rigs, sound systems etc.) to help you work practically as you devise, design, and perform on this module. Workshop sessions will be delivered around a key theme or topic. Drawing upon the workshops encountered in TP5002, you will be advised on developing practical exercises that help you test, challenge, and better understand the theory you are putting into practice. This approach equips you with the skills needed to think and learn in practical ways that face into the rest of your studies and beyond, into the world of work

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your group tutors will support you by leading regular practical workshop sessions. You will be provided with stimuli and clear, accessible instructions that will help you develop your knowledge of contemporary performance. Your tutors will introduce you to particular theoretical or methodological frameworks, which will guide and support your journey of discovery throughout this module. These frameworks will include practical exercises that your tutors will guide you through, assigned reading that will help you make sense of your practical work, and instructions regarding how to conduct self-directed study.

Throughout the module, you will be provided with feedback. This will take the form of verbal feedback, provided in class and tutorials; written feedback provided in response to your presentation and performance; and feedback from your fellow students. The workshop sessions are supportive in nature. You will be encouraged to take risks, to experiment and to work in new and challenging ways. Your tutors and your peers will provide a supportive atmosphere for you to work in.

Information and resources will be available to you on Blackboard and the 'Reading List' contains links to websites and online video material which can help you develop appropriate knowledge and understanding.

Written assessment feedback will be provided within 20 working days of summative assignment submission. Access to library facilities is available 24-7 all year round.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
? Investigate contemporary performance methodologies and consider their relevance to social, cultural or political challenges of urban contexts

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
? Apply nuanced and well-organised performance, production and devising skills in realising a production.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
? Work collaboratively within (and for the benefit of) a group as well as challenging your own individual abilities and ideas.

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment:
You will receive immediate and direct feedback from your tutor in each practical session. The focused nature of the directed study sessions means that you will also engage in a process of regular peer feedback as well. You will also present a ‘work-in-progress' showing of their practice as a more formal, dedicated formative event; feedback on this will be provided orally by your tutor(s) and peers.

Summative Assessment:
Performance Project (100%)
This assessment is divided into two elements, but receives one overall grade and feedback sheet: final performance and group viva.
- Final Performance (70%) (MLOs 1,2)
Staged as part of a festival (if more than one project), you will present a group performance (c. 20mins) that embodies an understanding of the techniques and performative ideas explored on the module.
- Group Viva (30%) (MLO 3)
As a group, you will respond to questions from staff on your creative and technical decisions. This will also be used to evidence your own input and role in the performance.





Module abstract

Grounding your performance making within the creative challenges of ‘the city’, this module seeks to uncover aspects of everyday life that often go unnoticed. Many of us live in cities yet take for granted the networks, energies and cultures that thrive within them. Based on a tutor designed brief, you will test and challenge the limits of theatre by representing and interrogating the city. The brief may include site-specific work in the NewcastleGateshead area, or working with a play that explores city life, or it may begin with a creative stimulus such as a box of objects that relate to urban contexts. This creative process will be complemented by staff-led workshops such as site-responsive performance, performer-audience relations, creating scenographic atmospheres or contemporary dance. Building on your experiences at first year, you will continue to develop your practical devising skills as part of small group performances.

Course info

UCAS Code W405

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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