Professor David Britton
Professor
English Literature & Creative Writing
Telephone: (01792) 602564

D.J. Britton is an award-winning dramatist, director and dramaturg. He was formerly National Executive Producer heading the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio drama department, and is now the Drama specialist on the Creative Writing Programme in the English Department at Swansea University.

Since the success of his first Australian stage play Landlovers in 1987, David Britton has written many dramatic works for theatre, radio and the visual media. Australian stage credits include Cargo (Swan Gold Award, Play of the Year) and his co-adaptation of Elizabeth Jolley’s The Newspaper of Claremont Street. His epic theatre work Plainsong was a major hit at the Millennium Perth International Festival of the Arts, winning the 2001 Equity Award for Production of the Year. Review comments include:

"Britton has written a stimulating celebration of humankind’s monumental struggle with fear…a triumph of imagination." - Dr Geoffrey Gibbs in The West Australian.

"Astonishingly, in just under three hours, the production creates a real sense of community, mingling contemporary politics with eternal concerns….blossoming into a larger vision of how great art and great spiritual myths are part of what makes us all human. A must-see triumph" - Dr Gareth Griffiths in The Australian

Publications

  1. (2011). The Wizard the Goat and the Man Who Won the War . See other details: Play script.
  2. (2010). Oedipus/Antigone. London: Methuen / Bloomsbury.

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Teaching

  • EN-119 The Stage Play World

    The Stage Play World is an introductory module which combines an overview of performance history -- from classical Greek theatre to the present-day stage presentations -- with the development of reading and analytical skills. The module teaches students how to read and understand a stage script and then moves on to a consideration of how to analyse what is being read. The course also teaches students how to argue persuasively from that analysis. The module has been designed to emphasise the continuous development of drama, together with its links to social and historical events and to movements in other forms of art and literature. There are a number of set texts, with additional extracts that will be considered in lectures.

  • EN-236 Introduction to Writing Drama

    This lecture/workshop module leads the student through theory and practice of the main areas of naturalistic theatre, with a short introduction to non-naturalistic theatre. Regular assignments will be set, and these will be brought to the workshop to be presented and considered. The module considers the relationship between writer, play, actors and audience. It examines methods of structuring material so as to reinforce curiosity and create empathy and suspense, and explores issues of character and dialogue. Emphasis will be placed throughout on the practicalities of the creation of a performance script.

  • EN-3026 Creative Writing Personal Project

    Students taking this module must submit a portfolio of creative writing of between 7-8,000 words in any genre, subject to Departmental approval. The Personal Project is an independent study module for which each student will receive 5 hours of individual or group supervision. Supervisions will take place at regular intervals with set targets, and will primarily involve feedback on the style and structure of the submission.

  • EN-M35 Genre: Writing for Stage

    What makes writing dramatic? A consideration of some components of dramatic story-telling:thesis, narrative, character, style. Action versus reflection. The tension between the ordinary and the special. The Big Idea: Developing a central thesis. Narrative and Dramatic Structure:The modern two act play ( releasing possibilities/ reaping what we sow). Scene assemby. Choices in the use of time. Creating dramatic tension.Dialogue on the stage: Vanya on 42nd Street (Chekhov/Mamet); Waiting for Godot (Beckett). Style:A discussion of the choices available and current trends. Collaboration: Working with directors, actors, designers and technicians. Scripts that will provoke the interest of theatre professionals. Shaping and rewriting:Self-editing as you progress through drafts.

  • EN-M57 Writing Radio Drama

    This module introduces writers to the special qualities of radio drama and its techniques. Sessions will include presentations and workshop discussions. Issues discussed will be supported by radio material. During the semester and the Christmas break, students will be expected to write a 45 minutes radio play. There is emphasis on the components of dramatic story-telling;thesis, narrative, character, style; action versus reflection; the tension between the ordinary and the special. Synopsis, Introduction, Dialogue for Drama, Charaterisation, Style, The sound-world, Writing for actors, Climaxes and conclusions.

  • EN-M71 International Dramaturgy

    At its simplest, dramaturgy may be described as shaping a narrative or thematic idea so that it is suitable for performance. This may include adaptation from another written form, collaboration in the shared creation of theatrical work in which other arts forms (eg. Design or Movement) may provide the initial imperative, or pen-to-paper script editing of a writer¿s text. Working often as a bridge between writer and director, the dramaturg¿s role may include provision of narrative structure, contributing a intellectual or political context, or offering practical solutions in pursuit of a shared artistic ambition. Long-established in Europe and more recently embraced by the creative industries in the USA, the role of the dramaturg is becoming increasingly important in Britain. First to use the term was the German playwright Gotthold Ephraim Lessing who from 1767-1770 wrote his Hamburg Dramaturgy. The German heritage remains strong, and provides one practical model. However, the role of the dramaturg has developed differently in different countries. This practical module draws on and contrasts a range of international approaches , including the British theatre ¿literary manager¿ model, which has script editing and script development at its core and overlaps to some extent with the with the model used within film and television. Practical assignments, will be an integral part of this module. This year, for the first time, Swansea Dramaturgy students will collaborate with Theatre Design students at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to create a joint site-specific dramaturgical concept with text. Note: This module requires early registration so that collaborative pairings can be arranged prior to an introductory meeting at the RWCMD on December 4th 2017.

  • ENMD00 Creative Writing Dissertation

    Individual Creative Writing project devised and defined in discussion between supervisor and student (within the parameters pertaining to genre detailed in the MA Creative Writing handbook)

Supervision

  • Draft title only- The Songlines of Our Shadows: Life, Truth and the Place of the Writer in the Short Story. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Mr Jon Gower
  • Knitters (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Ms Nicola Vaughan
  • Unlocked voices: the impact of creative writing interventions on the wellbeing of people with dementia (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Vanessa Burholt
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Mr Geraint Evans
  • 'Dramatic creativity and political engagement among young voters in Wales' (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Amanda Rogers
  • Llywellyn Fawr and Pasticcio Opera (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Derek Connon
  • A Comprehensive Study of the Medium’s Impact on the News Media in the United States and its viability long term (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Julian Preece
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Eoin Price
  • Novel: Dance the Centre. Support essay: The Magpie Bridge: (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Francesca Rhydderch
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Daniel Williams
  • Finding One’s Voice: Exploring Creativity in the context of writing flow and the whole being (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Alan Bilton
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh
  • 'One Hand Against The Wall: A Collection of Short Stories' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Stevie Davies
  • 'Ticking' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Jasmine Donahaye