Date & time

Tue, 28 Feb 2017
11:00 - 16:00


UCL Institute of Education, London
20 Bedford Way
London, WC1H 0AL

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About this day

A programme to inspire, support and entertain…

Five expert speakers will explore the literary, historical and social perspectives of this OCR A-level option, offering comprehensive strategies for approaching set texts and providing students with invaluable insights and helpful guidance to ensure they achieve their very best in the examination.  Students will enjoy relevant and lively sessions on Shakespeare’s plays, on comparing texts across time and genre and on contexts in Jacobean theatre and pre-1900 poetry. The programme will explore a range of relevant and fascinating themes which can be applied across all set texts.

Programme & speakers

Interpreting Shakespeare's characters Nick Hutchison, Actor, Director and Lecturer

Nick Hutchison will explore Shakespeare’s use of language and dramatic effects, considering how his plays have been interpreted by different audiences over time and stimulating students’ grasp of how he presents characters in their chosen play. He will draw on Coriolanus, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Richard III, The Tempest and Twelfth Night.

Nick Hutchison

About Nick Hutchison

Nick Hutchison is an actor, director and lecturer who has directed Shakespeare’s plays across the globe. He lectures for Shakespeare’s Globe, LAMDA, RADA and universities worldwide on Elizabethan and Jacobean Theatre, specialising in theatre performance derived from close textual analysis. As an actor he has worked in film, TV, theatre and radio, including for the Royal Shakespeare Company and in films including About A Boy, Miss Potter, 102 Dalmatians, Fierce Creatures, The Bounty and Restoration.

Comparing texts: poetry and drama Anna Beer, University of Oxford

In this session, Anna Beer will focus on the themes of sexuality and conflict, drawing on Milton and Marlowe, and providing invaluable advice for writing a comparative essay.

Anna Beer

About Dr Anna Beer

Author, lecturer, biographer and A-level examiner Dr Anna Beer is Visiting Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford University. She has published widely and also contributed to a key OCR text book.


Cultural and contextual influences in Victorian literature Michael Meeuwis, University of Warwick

Dr. Michael Meeuwis will examine how literary texts from the mid to late nineteenth century address the mental life of social consensus: what it meant to live as men, and as women, in the midst of a newly-intense push towards conformity.  He will explore how two distinct literary genres, lyric poetry and drama, addressed this topic in different ways. For the drama, the focus will be on Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and Wilde’s An Ideal Husband; for poetry, Tennyson’s Maud and a selection of Christina Rossetti’s poetry. This session will highlight a range of issues which students can apply to their own course texts.


Michael Meeuwis

About Dr Michael Meeuwis

Dr Michael Meeuwis is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Warwick.  His research interests include nineteenth-century British literature, Romantic and Victorian poetry and nineteenth-century drama and performance studies.

Gender, rank and status: Chaucer and Webster James Knowles, Royal Holloway, University of London

Professor Knowles will explore contexts and comparisons between the set texts, focusing on gender, rank and status in pre-modern societies and drawing on Chaucer and Webster. Students will be able to apply what they have learned to their own chosen texts and there will be an opportunity for questions.



James Knowles

About Professor James Knowles

Professor James Knowles specialises in early modern literature and culture (1500-1700) and has published widely on early modern drama, especially Jonson, Marlowe, Marston, Middleton, and Shakespeare.

Love and disappointment in Goldsmith and Coleridge John Mullan, University College London

Professor John Mullan will explore cultural and contextual influences in eighteenth century literature, drawing on Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer and selected poems by Coleridge, with a particular focus on the themes of love and disappointment.

John Mullan

About Professor John Mullan

A renowned specialist in 18th century literature, John Mullan is Professor of English and Head of Department at UCL.  He is a literary journalist, writing regularly for the Guardian, and was a Man Booker Prize judge in 2009. He broadcasts regularly for TV and radio.  His most recent book is What Matters in Jane Austen?