A Brief History of Theatre

@ The Witham

Book Now

18 October 2017 - 28 February 2018

8 weekly sessions from Wednesday 18 October plus 8 sessions from Wednesday 10 January 2018 all at 10 am - 12 noon


Laurence Sach leads an informal sixteen session introduction to the development of European theatre from its earliest origins in Ancient Greece to the five key practitioners (Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, Constantin Stanislavsky, Bertolt Brecht and Samuel Beckett) who provided the solid foundations for modern 20th and 21st century theatre.
Each two hour session begins with an illustrated talk followed by a short refreshment break, and then a group discussion of that session’s topic and play text.
The sessions:
1. Myth, Ritual & Religion
2. Greek Theatre – the origins (The Oresteia by Aeschylus)
3. Greek Tragedy – the playwrights (Electra by Sophocles and The Trojan Women by Euripides)
4. Roman Tragedy – (Thyestes by Seneca)
5. Greek & Roman Comedy (Lysistrata by Aristophanes)
6. Medieval Mystery Plays – (The Creation, Noah, Abraham & Isaac, The Crucifixion)
7. Medieval Morality plays and Tudor Interludes (Mankind)
8. Elizabethan Theatre and Shakespeare (Dr Faustus by Christopher Marlowe)
9. Jacobean & Caroline (‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore by John Ford)
10. Restoration Theatre (The Country Wife by William Wycherley)
11. 18th Century Theatre (The Beggars’ Opera by John Gay)
12. 19th Century & Melodrama (The Bells by Leopald Lewis)
13. Henrik Ibsen (Hedda Gabler)
14. Chechov & Stanislavski (The Cherry Orchard)
15. Brecht & Political Theatre (The Caucasian Chalk Circle)
16. Samuel Beckett & Theatre of the Absurd (Waiting for Godot)
Laurence is a freelance writer and director who has been Artistic Director of Durham Theatre Company, manager of Middlesbrough Theatre and The Playhouse, Harlow, and lecturer on the Middlesbrough College/Teesside University foundation degree in performing arts.
For queries and additional information please e-mail: laurencepsach@gmail.com

3 Horse Market
Barnard Castle
DL12 8LY

Book Now


Events Finder


Join the club and receive special offers for events and much more
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

WhatsOn Blog

View All


Struggling actors stranded in a volcanic wasteland, hilarious six foot ballerinas, romance in 17th century Paris, exotic animal menageries and the goriest Scottish play of all time – Newcastle Theatre Royal has it all in its newly announced Summer/Autumn 2018 season! Prepare to be entertained to the max this year.

Read More

REVIEW: The Play That Goes Wrong by the Mischief Theatre

Fantastic review by Andrew Bramfitt, "hilarious, witty, silly and brilliant"...

Read More