The focus of this class will be on plays in production, as we attend a broad cross-section of performances produced by such companies as the Royal National and the Royal Shakespeare, and staged in such spaces as those of London's West End and Fringe Theatres. Tickets for productions will be arranged in advance. We will read selected play texts prior to attending performances; supplemental readings will provide contextual background on plays, playwrights, and the London theatre. The format of the class will be discussions of our readings and theatre-going; once each week, the conversation will be led by Guardian theatre critic, Michael Billington. Class participation, therefore, is a major component of the course; the writing requirement will consist of responses to and reviews of plays and productions. The class may also participate in field trips to other sites of theatrical interest, such as London's Theatre Museum and the reconstructed Globe Theatre.