The details
East 15 Acting School
Southend Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Tuesday 22 April 2025
Friday 27 June 2025
07 March 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA W495 World Performance

Module description

This module offers students an exploration of different manifestations of Comedy, through case-studies of two or three comic performance forms, including verbal and physical comedy. Students gain an understanding of the universality of comedy across multiple cultures through one or two case studies. The emphasis is on the understanding, development, selection, and application of performance skills.

Module aims

- To develop awareness of the different cultural approaches to comedy and comic performance, and the ability to compare different forms
- To extend and refine students’ skills for comic performance, typically clowning, verbal and physical timing, and manipulation of audience
- To extend students’ confidence and competence in applying complex theoretical ideas to their own and others’ performance work

Module learning outcomes

Students will be able to demonstrate:
- Knowledge of, and an ability to describe and compare, the complex definitions and cultural manifestations of the comic in performance
- A broad range of skills to manipulate timing, energy and complicité on stage
- Advanced skills (vocal and physical) for comic performance
- The ability to reflect critically on their own performance work and to contextualise it culturally and theoretically

Module information

1. Definitions of Comedy
An introduction (drawing on key theories in the anthropology and psychology of comic performance) to the genre of comedy and its cultural function in performance.

2. Case Studies
In-depth examination and exploration of two or three forms of comic performance (drawn from, for example, Commedia dell'Arte, Clowning, Stand-up comedy, Buffon, Kyogen etc.), with specific attention to the performance skills characteristic of each form.

3. Skills workshops
Workshops in physical and vocal techniques, and the use of music, costume and props where appropriate, for the chosen case- studies.

Learning and teaching methods

The module will be delivered via:

  1. Seminars
  2. Workshops


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Practical   Continuous Assessment    50% 
Practical   Performance    50% 

Additional coursework information

- Individual (5-minute) or small-group (12 - 15-minute) comic performances for each case study, which may be based on pre-existing or improvised material Assessment will be based on the extent to which the project: -Successfully creates material to deliver the desired effect of comedy – to amuse an audience. -Includes insightful and truthful commentary on some aspect of the human experience, politics, or society that celebrates the ridiculousness of human folly. -Demonstrates a clear understanding of the principles of comedy and of comedic conventions and techniques of the given case study.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff



External examiner

Dr Almiro Andrade
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
East 15 Acting School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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