What you’ll study

This course focuses on practical performance skills like magic, clowning, burlesque and wrestling, taught by cutting-edge practitioners. It is not a traditional Acting course; you will not learn classical texts; instead, you will create your own new, performances which engage with the audience and provoke thought.

You will benefit from the opportunity to do industry placements, network with professional practitioners and learn a wide range of practical skills to serve you in your practice (such as event management and collaboration). You will be taught at our Sidcup campus and also at the Tramshed in their new fully equipped premises, immersing you in the industry in the heart of inner London.

You will study with award-winning Marisa Carnesky – a renowned live artist and show-woman who has been helping both emerging and established artists evolve ideas, develop their practices and make new work for over 20 years. She also heads up the creative production, performance and theatre company Carnesky Productions (founded in 2004).

Why choose this course?

Make connections

You will be partially taught at Tramshed, the perfect place to network and make connections

Valuable industry placements

Get real world experience with partners which could include Glastonbury Festival, Bestival, Latitude, Duckie, Marlborough Productions, Rich Mix, Resonance FM, Run Riot, The Tramshed, The Insect Circus, Jacksons Lane, Secret Cinema, World of Wonders, Butlins, Sky Arts and Channel 4

Expert training in a specialist field

This course offers rigorous training in both the contemporary and the popular, opening up the field and engaging with contemporary politics and practices

Learn from the best

Programme director Marisa Carnesky is a reknowned live artist and showwoman. She uses spectacular entertainment forms, including fairground devices and stage illusion, and draws on themes of contemporary ritual, to investigate social issues from an ecofeminist perspective. You will be taught by an exciting range of experts in each specialist field

Your future career

You will graduate ready to take on many roles in the cultural sector. Depending on your interests you could go on to write, perform, produce or manage within the growing cabaret, festival, immersive and live event culture in the UK. You may also explore a career in broadcast media and live culture from radio, web and television.

 

Career Options

Studying an Arts related subject gives you a wide range of skills that can be put to use in many careers. You will have transferable skills in:

  • Creating and Devising new performance forms and carrying out your own authored work
  • Working knowledge of contemporary venues, festivals and performance contexts
  • Working flexibly as artists, writers, directors and producers
  • Working as part of a team co-operatively and collectively
  • Democratic, ethical management skills and artist development and support
  • Leadership, management and event and festival strategy
  • Teachers and teaching assistants

Course breakdown

Course content is regularly reviewed, to make it relevant and current. Course modules are therefore subject to change.

Year 1

In your first year, you will train practically in performance skills, including performance and acting, conceptualising live art ideas, movement in performance, writing and devising techniques, design and scenography. You will learn this using various techniques, including spoken word, stagecraft, cabaret forms, illusion skills, stand-up comedy, ground-based and static aerial circus skills, outdoor performance and visual theatre.

You will also study:

  • Current practitioners – understanding how contemporary issues and popular ideas connect and manifest across culture
  • Decolonised, feminist, queer and ecological perspectives to inform your essay writing around key themes. You will learn about the history of social movements and current theories of critical and political thought, which will underpin performance-making
  • The London performance scene – understanding venues, organisations and ways of working

Your first year will culminate in the creation of a short scratch night for a student audience at the Tramshed with students from our Theatre and Social Change course.

Year 2

In your second year, you will further hone your performance skills and explore more specialised skills and techniques from live art to circus and cabaret including:

  • advanced stand-up
  • sleight of hand stage magic
  • tightwire
  • slapstick
  • live art
  • the body and duration
  • one on one
  • promenade
  • immersive performance

You will start to devise and create your own work and identify current themes and practices which you will study in greater depth. You will take part in a series of short placements, including involvement in performance projects in outdoor festivals, spoken word, comedy and cabaret events, and new productions in fringe theatres and live art festivals.

Year 3

In your final year, you will create a significant performance project which addresses key themes from your studies and present your work to an invited audience. You will also take part in an extended placement with a specific company, artist, venue or festival.

You will further your work on activating change and work on producing a project for a wider audience. You will also write a written thesis, drawing on your own experiences from your placements and as performance makers.

Teaching and assessment methods

  • In your first year, you will complete around 380 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 80 hours of independent learning on projects, productions, placements or self-directed study.
  • Assessment will be through Performances; Coursework, presentations and portfolios; Continuous practical assessment; essay
  • In your second year, you will complete around 380 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 80 hours of independent learning on projects, productions, placements or self-directed study.Assessment will be through Performances; Coursework, presentations and portfolios; Continuous practical assessmentIn your third year, you will complete around 380 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 80 hours of independent learning on projects, productions, placements or self-directed study.Assessment will be through Performances; Coursework, presentations and portfolios; Continuous practical assessment; written thesis

 

Meet our Staff

Dr Marisa Carnesky

Programme Director for BA Contemporary and Popular Performance

Read their profile
Rose Bruford College Professor of Theatre and Performance Brian Lobel
Brian Lobel

Professor of Theatre & Performance, Programme Director for BA Theatre & Social Change

Read their profile

How to apply?

To express your interest contact our Student Recruitment team now.

Email: [email protected]