Two decades ago the Associated Examining Board piloted the first GCE A-level in drama. Unwieldy in its format and time-consuming for candidates, the structure of the examination has changed little over time. Some teachers have grown to love it. For others, comfortable enough with largely content-free GCSE drama courses, A-level Theatre Studies presents a stiff challenge.
Simon Cooper and Sally Mackey's authoritative textbook comes to the rescue. Divided into sections linked to aspects of the syllabus, it charts a way through the maze of textual study, critical commentary and dramatic theory that teachers and their students will find both stimulating and easy to follow.
There are concise background notes with pointers to further reading and the whole volume is thoughtfully designed with photographs, diagrams, handy summaries and examples.
It's not difficult to see why Theatre Studies sold out its first print run in two months. For sixth-form and further education teachers juggling with the diffuse requirements of A-level Theatre Studies, this long-awaited textbook will be the answer to many silent prayers.