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English Literature A Level students gain insight into comedy and crime genres at Bristol Old Vic

Last week, English Literature A Level students ventured to the renowned Bristol Old Vic to watch ‘Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder’; a production that has previously taken the Edinburgh festival by storm and was crafted by the same creative team behind the beloved British comedy-drama television series ‘Fleabag.’

In the first year of their studies, students delve into the genre of comedy, studying the history, conventions and development of the genre and sub-genres. In the second year of study, the focus of the curriculum then shifts to the crime genre.

‘Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder’ is a harmonious blend of comedy and crime. The play’s plot revolves around crime podcasters attempting to unravel a murder mystery, providing an ideal opportunity for students to witness the application of genre conventions and character archetypes in a live setting.

One student, Charlie Beavan, shared his thoughts on the play, saying: “I liked the way it parodied and subverted traditional musical genres and it used language that reflects how real people speak.

“Generally, it helped with my study of the comedy genre, and I really liked that I was able to buy a ‘Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder’ T-shirt for a tenner!”

This immersive theatre experience offered students more than just an enjoyable event; it reinforced their understanding of genre-specific elements and gave them a chance to witness various literary concepts in action.

The combination of comedy with the theme of crime certainly creates a captivating narrative, something which directly enriched the students’ academic study as they continue with their English Literature A Level studies.


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