Your voice for the festival

Noises Off is a place for you to write reviews, share your thoughts, make some jokes and join in the discussion. You can submit articles by email to noff@nsdf.org.uk, or – even better – come and visit the NOFFice in the Union bar at any time of the day and discuss ideas with the team. Follow and tweet us @noffmag.

Editorial #6

14 April 2017

A big thank you 

read more

Earning your stripes

14 April 2017

The reality of onstage pain, by Oliver Strong

read more

As A Man

14 April 2017

Oliver Rudge from he she they reflects on gender

read more

When I think of Syria

14 April 2017

Munya Redman-Bayasi remembers Syria before 2011, which the rest of the world seems to have forgotten

read more

Hear The People Sing: Jo Cox tribute

14 April 2017

Dona Munday explains her summer project in tribute to the MP

read more

Where my Celts at?

14 April 2017

Bronwen Davies and Eilidh Nurse ask how 'National' the NSDF really is

read more

From the quiet human in the corner

14 April 2017

One festgoer has loved this week, but picks holes in the way the festival runs

read more

Your workout is incomplete

14 April 2017

The Fitness is over. But minds have been blown, say Bronwen Davies and Lucy Bird

read more

Check your privilege

14 April 2017

Phoebe Graham struggles to connect with Thick Skin

read more

Technician Impossible #6

14 April 2017

The toughest one yet...

read more

Angels and demons

14 April 2017

Something essential is lost in this adaptation of David Almond's Skellig, says Florence Bell

read more

Rewrite the narrative

14 April 2017

Kate Wyver responds to the discussion on women in leadership

read more

The big picture

14 April 2017

Phoebe Graham on the beautiful mundanities of Ordinary Days

read more

Technical marvels

14 April 2017

Ciara Shrager reviews some of the most impressive tech, lighting and sound design of the festival

read more

Shine a light

14 April 2017

Thick Skin should make us take a long look at ourselves, says Lily James

read more

Poetic response to a poetic response

14 April 2017

Nat Norland responds in kind

read more

A good offence

14 April 2017

Thick Skin goes beyond just comedy to make pertinent points on social issues, says Florence Bell

read more

'Minority' report

14 April 2017

Jasmine Chong reflects on her own ethnic Chinese identity in the context of the UK and student theatre

read more

The resistance

14 April 2017

Louise Cross responds to Ghee Bowman's provocation

read more

Uncomfortably great

14 April 2017

Adam Hutton squirms under the racist gaze of Thick Skin – and loves it

read more

Pleasant surprises

14 April 2017

Elise Fairbairn shares her thoughts on Skellig, Thick skin and Ordinary Days

read more

Much extend, very metaphor, wow

14 April 2017

Alex Prescot on the intensity of a week at NSDF, and whether that's a good thing

read more

To myself, a week ago

14 April 2017

Florence Bell gives some advice to her past self

read more

Boxes within boxes within boxes

14 April 2017

Ghee Bowman talks to Pixels designer David Callanan about how he achieved the show's onstage technical wizardry

read more

It's nothing personal until it is

14 April 2017

Callum Kenny pockets his £20 like a trooper

read more

Credit where credit's due

14 April 2017

Shannon Atherton on how the issues facing us in society have been tackled with skill, respect and consideration

read more

Everyone back to ours

14 April 2017

With the idea of seeing what a person from Hull would make of NSDF, Lily James invited a Tinder date to watch Skellig and Ordinary Days with her

read more

Nothing really matters

14 April 2017

Sad Little Man is made up of fragments, driven by exceptional performances, but the female voice is drowned out, says Florence Bell 

read more

Masters of puppets

14 April 2017

There's a warmth and charm to Skellig, thanks to a strong ensemble and thoughtful design, says Joseph Winer

read more

It's a kind of magic

14 April 2017

Skelling is full of heart and the feeling that everyone is having a good time, says Phoebe Graham​

read more

If we build it, they will come

13 April 2017

Harriet Mayne on her experiences so far with the Technical Team

read more

Editorial #5

13 April 2017

This one's for the people who work in the dark

read more

Technician Impossible #5

13 April 2017

Take us to the ball...

read more

Good grief

13 April 2017

The visceral, emotionally jarring Sad Little Man keeps Eve Allin in suspense, then drops her into a gaping hole

read more

More limericks with Lilith and knock-offs from Nat: Say it Loud, Pixels and Celebration

13 April 2017

Celebration finally gets what it deserves from Nat Norland. Lilith Wozniak measures her words

read more

Through the gears

13 April 2017

It's the Cogs that make the wheels turn in Cognitions, says Florence Bell

read more

...and you have my pity

13 April 2017

Sad Little Man is a smart, simple, wry, hurting play, says Lily James

read more

Futures made of virtual insanity

13 April 2017

A technological spectacle is at the heart of this installation theatre, says Phoebe Graham

read more

Off to Neverland

13 April 2017

Kate Wyver demands we're given the space to play

read more

Did you get a bad review?

13 April 2017

A poetic response to the criticism of Florence Bell and Lily James, by Miriam Schechter

read more

Techies: why do we do it?

13 April 2017

Keira Dulake on getting ahead in the tech industry, and why it's great being a part of the NSDF Technical Team 

read more

Consider yourself proven wrong

13 April 2017

Eve Allin is tired of being edited out of her own history

read more

Sometimes you need a punch to the gut

13 April 2017

The raw emotion of Sad Little Man makes it a stand-out show for Wilkie Dickinson-Sparkes

read more

Part of a bigger picture

13 April 2017

Lilith Wozniak and Ben Kulvichit discuss their reaction to Pixels and sci-fi theatre in general

read more

Nothing is happening, the pixels are huge

13 April 2017

More a durational art piece than a play, Pixels leaves Eve Allin unsettled and unable to look away

read more

Stop me if you've heard this one before

13 April 2017

Sad Little Man is a lot of things to Kate Wyver

read more

In colour

13 April 2017

Pixels is a visual and technical triumph, but its retro sci-fi tropes don't speak to Lily James

read more

Witness the fitness

13 April 2017

Day two of the Management Team's exercise routine, and not even unfortunate bra choices can stop them, say Bronwen Davies, Lucy Bird and Martha Owen

read more

Cogs/things/blobs

13 April 2017

Phoebe Graham struggles with Cognitions

read more

At the close

25 March 2016

So it's that time when we reflect on the week, give thanks and hand out awards. Reflecting and thanking are easy – we've seen shows that have been political, funny, inspiring, shocking and thought-provoking, and all done with the kind of energy and commitment that make us embittered journos feel thankful for the present and hopeful for the future. 

read more

'News' for Friday 25 March

25 March 2016

To Avoid Controversy, The NSDF Awards Are To Be Settled By Playing Arcade Games

After decades of tiresome grumbling from shows cruelly denied their share of Award Ceremony glory, NSDF has made the decision to abolish the judging process altogether in favour of a day-long battle in Scarborough's finest gaming halls. 

read more

How not to make friends

25 March 2016

by Joseph Winer

On telling people that no, I am not with a show, no, I am not part of the company, and no, I don’t even go to a university associated with one of the shows, I receive a general response of “Well done!” and “Wow, that’s brave!”. To combat the potential loneliness that would have isolated me to the realms of my B&B, with nothing to do but write for Noises Off all week, I made the conscious decision to mingle.

read more

Review: Lust for life

25 March 2016

by Joseph Winer

I had been looking forward to Cock ever since the festival productions were announced. Encouraged to read something by Mike Bartlett, I was drawn to it at Foyles bookshop in London about six months ago and got to reading straight away. In a way, the play is hardly original by using exploration of sexuality as a key theme. However, I believe Bartlett gives one of the most honest depictions of the confusions of sexuality ever seen on stage. 

read more

Review: Gruesome fantasies

25 March 2016

by Eoin Buckley

Have you ever been told a story that has a really good moral and intention behind it, but the way the story was told to you just didn't hook you in the slightest? The kind of story that opens up very interesting questions and conversations, but only once you've slogged through the stodge to get there. That's how I felt after watching Dahmer.

read more

'News' for Thursday 24 March

24 March 2016

Festival Director Michael Brazier Speaks Out On New Career As Hat Model

Festival director Michael Brazier is to resign in order to pursue a career as a hat model. Brazier, who has been director since 2012, handed in his letter of resignation after last night's Quiz, during which he modelled a series of hats. 

read more

Review: All aboard

24 March 2016

by Tom Bulpett

I adored this show...perhaps I should elaborate on that opinion to hit my word limit, but I honestly don’t feel I will be able to express how much I loved this musical in a few hundred words, so I might as well be brief.

read more

Just a voice

24 March 2016

by Kate Wyver

“How real is it?”

This is the question that’s been whispered round the in-the-round theatre as soon as the lights come up on Daniel. I sat down with the cast and crew to unpeel the layers of truth beneath this provocative piece of new writing about the impact of child pornography.

read more

Review: An uncomfortable feeling

24 March 2016

by Aenne Pallasca

apocalyptic-genderpunk

"Honestly, people treat bisexuality like Schrödinger's Cat: we're both gay and straight until they see us dating, and then we become one or the other."

read more

Review: Fun is a serious business

24 March 2016

by Steph Young

When I read about The Toyland Murders in the NSDF programme, my heart did a tiny little jump for joy. Over the past few years, I have developed a fondness for puppet theatre, so my hopes for Nottingham New Theatre’s pint-sized, film noir style offering were high.

read more

Surviving and thriving as a freelancer

24 March 2016

by Alice Saville

What's your plan after graduating? University careers officers, parents and friends might all be doing their best to persuade you that if you don't have a solid gold graduate job offer then you'll end up hawking dented tins of catfood from a tartan wheelie shopper within a decade. You don't need to listen to them. 

read more

Sanitised discussions

24 March 2016

by Kelly Goldring

What is the point?

When I first came along to the NSDF I was told that a key highlight was the vibrant discussions which would dissect the theatrical productions and consider the merits and area of weakness of each piece allowing true reflection for all involved.

read more

Noble envy

24 March 2016

by Lily James

Envy sits in the corner, tearing the label off its beer. It’s a feeling that lives at the backs of workshops, at the corners of the bar. And I have been envious this week. Worse, at times I’ve been actively very jealous.

read more

Why I have a weird crush on Chris Thorpe...

24 March 2016

An anonymous contributor has some rather strong feelings to share with the class.

read more

Review: One hell of a cast

24 March 2016

by Tom Bulpett

So far my festival has been occupied by police brutality, sexual identity crisis and child abuse. All of which I very much enjoyed, but these productions (I hope it was clear I was talking about shows there) were not exactly easy to watch at times. I was therefore thoroughly looking forward to switching my brain off, sitting back and enjoying some light-hearted uncomplicated theatre. And after whetting my appetite with an impressive rendition of their opening number at the welcoming ceremony, I hoped the production of The Addams Family from Durham Light Opera Group could provide me with this.

read more

Review: Sombre zest

24 March 2016

by Joseph Winer

The Durham Light Opera Group described their production of The Addams Family as "a wacky musical comedy… [with] plenty of dark humour". I am pleased to say that they didn’t disappoint. The musical presents the characters we all know and… love (!?), and tells the story of Wednesday Addams (Jennifer Bullock) falling in love with a normal boy, Lucas (Joe McWilliam). With the parents of these two lovebirds set to meet for dinner, hilarity and disaster will surely result.

read more

'News' for Wednesday 23rd March

23 March 2016

by the Noises Off investigative team

David Fincher to Direct Hollywood Adaptation of The Toyland Murders

Hollywood director David Fincher is to direct the movie adaptation of Nottingham New Theatre's The Toyland Murders. Mr Fincher, whose works include Seven and Fight Club, saw the play incognito yesterday and was instantly struck by the play's criminal and violent themes.

read more

Interview: Dahmer in Scarborough's Terror Tower

23 March 2016

Jeffrey Dahmer was a monster by anyone's standards. He killed 17 boys and men between 1978 and 1991 – and even ate parts of their flesh. Amie Petriccia-Lear's play tells his story. So we took her and director Thomas Newall to the scariest place in Scarborough to find out more: horror experience Terror Tower.

read more

Review: Great things to come

23 March 2016

by Tom Bulpett

I had no idea what I was in for before I saw Daniel, the debut piece of new writing from Footprint Theatre. After speaking to several people before seeing the show it was clear that it had divided opinion: some hated it, others were unsure, while many loved it. Regardless of views, there was one reoccurring trend among those I spoke to: they could not stop talking about it. And after experiencing it I can see why.

read more

Review: Ghoulish glee

23 March 2016

by Alice Saville

The Addams Family are one big contradiction. They're a loving, sharing, giving family, who also make regular attempts to murder anything or anyone that crosses their path. This musical ramps up the irony at the family's heart by making romance the show's lifeblood.  

 

read more

Review: Kicking against the pricks

23 March 2016

by Olivia Haw

There is nothing quite like hearing that one of your less popular opinions is now held by someone else as well. This is made all the more satisfying given that the opinion in question is regarding that little chestnut, the highly divisive Cock that everyone seems so desperate to crack.

read more

Open letter to the cast of Daniel

23 March 2016

To the cast and crew of Daniel,

There are many things I would like to say to you all, but I feel it is appropriate first to thank you. Those of you who I have already spoken to have treated me with such kindness and showed genuine concern and thoughtfulness towards my position.

read more

'Can you take me back with you?'

23 March 2016

by Kate Wyver

Many of us who say we want a career in theatre are often asked what we’ll actually do, how we’re actually useful, if our degree is actually real. We are asked, essentially, to justify our skillset and our interests. At the end of yesterday’s discussion we had something that in five minutes not only justified but also added value to everything that we do. 

read more

Editorial 22nd March

22 March 2016

Hello! As the glitter settles from last night's Bowie extravaganza, welcome to the even more glamorous world of Issue Three of Noises Off

read more

Scarborough rock: Alan Ayckbourn's support for the Steven Joseph Theatre

22 March 2016

by Alice Saville

Bite into Alan Ayckbourn (not literally, we're strictly respectful here) and you'd find him patterned through with Scarborough like a stick of John Bull's rock (and it's much better than Blackpool's rival offering, if you're asking). His 60-year, 80-play career would be formidable if it weren't for the sweetness of his work, cut through with enough acidity to sting but not enough to deter the flocking holiday crowds.

read more

Review: Over where?

22 March 2016

by Richard Dennis

The fall of the Berlin Wall infamously caused historian Francis Fukuyama to suggest that it marked “the end of history”. Given world events since, it's easy to scoff at the idea. But at the time, it would've been easier to see where Fukuyama was coming from.

read more

Review: The outsiders

22 March 2016

by Kate Wyver

I try to imagine being told that someone I know is a paedophile. I try to imagine whether I’d be able to stop thinking about it, whether I wouldn’t want to talk about it, or whether I’d be the one carefully probing for gossip.

read more

Review: In safe hands

22 March 2016

by Steph Young

Footprint Theatre’s Daniel is a thought-provoking, if brief, verbatim and devised piece which asks its audience to scrutinise their beliefs and emotional responses to the troubling stories with which we are presented in daily life. I was happy to comply. Even 24 hours after seeing Daniel, I am still unsure as to where I stand on the sentence of the 18-year-old convicted for possessing indecent images of children.

read more

Truth is stronger with fiction

22 March 2016

by Richard Dennis

There was a moment in Sunday's discussion on looking after ourselves and each other when a question was asked about using people's personal stories when making theatre. Luke Barnes answered by saying that the person you're writing about should be at the centre of the process, and it's not about the writer's vision. This was met with general consent, but I wonder how universally applicable this rule is when making theatre, especially after seeing The Beanfield and Daniel.

read more

That's what she said

22 March 2016

by Kate Wyver

They cum at the same time, they share bedtime story duty and they share swanky suits. Mark Ravenhill’s political drama Over There focuses on a pair of identical twin brothers reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but director Josie Davies has chosen to cast gender-blind with Bryony Davies and Samuel Wightman playing the twins.

read more

Technician Impossible #3 2016

21 March 2016

You've put us in a tricky situation, Tech Crew. A tricky, tricky situation. 

read more

'News' for Monday 21st March

21 March 2016

by the Noises Off investigate team

Iain Duncan Smith's Application to Manage Tech Crew Rejected

Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith's application to be Resource Manager for the Tech Crew has been rejected by the NSDF board.

read more

Technician Impossible #2 2016

21 March 2016

We ask, the Tech Crew delivers: One Berlin Wall built and then destroyed. With bonus points for extra Hasselhoff. 

read more

Toyland puppets spill their guts

21 March 2016

by Alice Saville

“Stories about toys are normally like Noddy, very saccharine and sugary. The worst thing will happen is that maybe someone will get pushed over and they all go on a picnic. But what if something really bad happened?” Director and writer Ben Holland's first venture into making a play using puppets was inspired by this question, along with Disney, Pixar and loads of YouTube tutorials. Primary coloured toys act out a stylish and 1930s film noir, following a female detective's quest to hunt down a cold-blooded killer who's menacing Toyland.

We caught up with the button-eyed cast of Toyland Murders to find out what they've made of the NSDF so far – and who they'd like to murder.

read more

Review: A new killer in a new town

21 March 2016

by Joseph Winer

I just love puppets. I think it’s fascinating how glued-together pieces of felt can be brought to life to the point where I actually feel for them. There was a brilliant moment when Harvey B. Feltz (James Roscow) entered with his hands tied together, and I felt genuinely upset. A build-up of life through these inanimate creatures led me to this point, in a show that was superb in writing, direction and execution of performances.

read more

The after effect

21 March 2016

by Kate Wyver

NSDF’s post-lunch discussions are one of the most communal parts of the festival, led daily by the ever fair, ever so slightly scary Chris Thorpe. The subject of the first discussion, "how to look after ourselves and others", feels timely as the production, management and technical teams are working flat out. 

read more

The elusive genius of Move

21 March 2016

by Alice Saville

Who are the hardest working people at the NSDF? The Tech Crew, “Nippy” cabs and dauntless Sarah from the Management Team have all got a look-in for this most sought-after of accolades. But most impressive of all are the cast and crew of Move, who are mounting an astonishing 24 performances throughout this year's NSDF.

read more

Review: Scary monsters? Super creeps?

21 March 2016

by Meg Osborne

Footprint Theatre’s production of Daniel is a bold new play with a dark theme. The four actors bravely and deftly tackled the issue of whether it's sexual preferences, or merely thoughts, that define who we are as human beings.

read more

Don't be a P.A.M.

20 March 2016

by Connie Lane

Upon arrival at NSDF (in its 60th year no less) a friend of mine observed that the twisting corridors and the long winding stairs of the SJT were like a maze or, to coin the phrase she used, a "labyrinth in peach". I found this description really fucking funny and, to feed this comedic comparison, I decided that this newly named, mildly distressing system of peach, orange and other colours needed an equally mildly distressing monster to dwell within it. This is when I came up with the NSDF monster: P.A.M, otherwise known as the elusive Passive Aggressive Minotaur.

read more

Review: A little stiffy

20 March 2016

by Tom Bulpett

Cock. It’s certainly a hard play to get right. Full to the brim with salty wit. And a climax that can get really messy.

read more

Technician Impossible #1 2016

20 March 2016

History is a series of vanishing memories. Which is why theatre can be an important cultural preserver, encasing the mosquito of significance in the amber of text, waiting for the scientists of drama to extract it and bioengineer it into performance (That's enough – ed.)

read more

Review: Sometimes theatre makes me feel stupid

20 March 2016

by Joseph Winer

Sometimes I sit in complete darkness and watch a plot unravel in front of me on a topic I know nothing about. Then there’s an interval, and I’m suddenly thrown into the deep end of discussions about the vital political and social context of something I am none-the-wiser to. 

read more

The empty space: the mystery of UCL’s disappearing theatres

19 March 2016

by Alice Saville

As theatre director Peter Brook had it, “I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage.” It’s a fine idea. But what does a student drama society do when it’s forced to search harder and harder for the room to exist?

read more

Interview - Josie Davies

19 March 2016

by Kate Wyver

Josie Davies, co-producer of the highly acclaimed Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons at NSDF last year, is returning to the 2016 festival as director of Mark Ravenhill’s political drama Over There with the Warwick University Drama Society. “We built a kind of community at last year’s festival and there was already so much support by the time we went with the show to Edinburgh,” she says, so she’s excited to approach this year with a more directly artistic view.

read more

Interview - Timothy West

19 March 2016

by Richard Dennis

The National Student Drama Festival started in 1956, and is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Actor Timothy West was there all those years ago, and we spoke to him about what he remembers and how the acting world has changed. 

read more

'News' for Saturday 19th March

19 March 2016

by the Noises Off Investigative Team

NSDF to be Rebranded?

There are rumours that the National Student Drama Festival is planning a rebrand. Details are unclear at the moment, but it’s understood that there is a feeling among the festival board that the words “National”, “Student”, “Drama” and “Festival” don’t do justice to the kinds of work that are put on every year.

read more

Editorial #1 2016

19 March 2016

by Richard Dennis

So you made it to NSDF16. Well done. Seriously – if you’re here, it means your show was selected, or you were, or you made it on to the tech team, or you volunteered for the management team, or you paid for a ticket and came of your own volition, any one of which required time, hard work and money.

read more

Prove me wrong

Ghee Bowman asks why students are afraid of the classics

read more

Editorial #4

Happiness, happiness... the greatest gift that we possess? 

read more

Technician Impossible #4

Are you up for the challenge?

read more

Weak at the knees

Lily James on seeking staying power in Hidden

 

read more

Clouded vision

Florence Bell attempts to find the meaning of Blackbird

read more

Shapes on a screen

Florence Bell enters the world of the pixels, where everything we know has been reduced to numbers

read more

Let's dance

Feeling it right, Florence Bell unpacks Celebration 

read more

The right words, at the right time

Unable to articulate her own thoughts on Celebration, Phoebe Graham threw a farty to find out what other festgoers thought about it

read more

Top trump

And then God got lost in IKEA. And it was good. Alex Milledge praises Celebration

read more

Higher education

Starting from an admitted place of ignorance gives No Human is Illegal a valuable authenticity, says Phoebe Graham

read more

Pick a side

After watching Say it Loud and No Human is Illegal, Andrew Rogers was left feeling angry, ashamed, and determined to do more

read more

The power of a whisper

There's too much at too intense a volume for Kate Wyver to feel the full effect of Say it Loud

read more

Cruel Britannia

Lily James sees clarity and the bravery to call out stupidity in No Human is Illegal

read more

Little Bird

A call to action from Hannah Hughes

read more

Life as an in-betweener

After working on the Tech Team at NSDF17, Jasmine Chong thought the MTs had it easy. Little did she know...

read more

Just the facts

Elise Fairbairn muses on No Human is Illegal, Say it Loud and Swallow

read more

A sense of occasion

The intimate shared moments of Celebration were what Nathan Dunn enjoyed, not the gags, which left him untickled

read more

Political movements

Overlook the cliché and embrace the emotion in No Human Is Illegal, says Florence Bell

read more

Flapjack: a review

Tom Robbins investigates whether a Bakewell tart and a flapjack could ever possibly work in combination

read more

All under one roof, raving

Comedy, poignancy, politics, funky dancing – Celebration covers it all and enterains while it does so, says Joseph Winer

read more

Submit to happiness

After a few days struggling to find classical structure and characters at the festival, Ghee Bowman finally and willingly enters the post-plot world, thanks to Celebration

read more

We're gonna have a good time tonight

Adam Hutton doesn't even want to understand Celebration, just bask in its loveliness

read more

The artist is present, and screaming

Seeing No Human is Illegal moved Iain Orr to scream and shout and promise to turn every head towards the refugee crisis

read more

Return to form

After developing PTSD, Anna Follows lost her spark for theatre. Here she describes her experience, and how she got her drive back

read more

An idea cocktail

There are many aspects of the refugee crisis that No Human is Illegal attempts to explore, says Adam Hutton, some more effectively than others

read more

Played for keeps

Lily James wants to join in the party and share in the joy of Celebration – she's just worried she won't get to stay

read more

Technician Impossible #3

Your mission, should you choose to accept it...

read more

Editorial #3

It seems there's always one more thing to do, no matter how hard you try. Don't forget to celebrate along the way

read more

Fun for all the family

Casual satire or historically inapproproate? Phoebe Graham reviews The Iconoclasts

read more

Management on the run

Bronwen Davies and Lucy Bird fills us in on the Management Team's morning run, daily commute combo routine 

read more

A bitter pill

The casting in Swallow of a cisgender man in a trans role needs to be challenged, says Callum Kenny

read more

That's what happened

Lily James chats with the cast of Swallow about their rehearsal process, journeys taken and gender-blind casting

read more

Built on trust

Phoebe Graham talks to the cast of he she they about personal expression and pushing themselves to go further

read more

Everything in its right place

Swallow excels in representing mental health thanks to excellent writing and performances, says Florence Bell

read more

Michelle Brassiere, Agony Aunt

Our resident Agony Aunt applies her mental salves 

read more

All part of the gender

he she they manages to tackle gender identity in an inclusionary way without breaking a sweat, says Florence Bell

read more

The forgotten discussion

We should be doing a lot more to provide access for those with disabilities, says Helen Morley

read more

Troubled times

The Iconoclasts pays due reverence to the music and comedy, so why is the same respect not shown to Northern Ireland's history? asks Daryl Holden

read more

A little hot mess

Gender in all its complexity flourishes in he she they, says Joseph Winer

read more

A Guide to Networking at NSDF

Lilith Wozniak presents nine simple steps for getting connected at NSDF

read more

Limericks with Lilith and knock-offs from Nat: Swallow, he she they and Hidden

Our resident limerick marverick Lilith Wozniak returns with her measured metre, while Nat Norland responds in kind. Like that Run DMC video, but more so

read more

Tech Team Haiku

By Emma Bishop and Bethany Sheavills
 

read more

Desperately seeking owt

Nathan Dunn is on the hunt

read more

Actions speak louder than words

Say it Loud is a call to action, and invitation to be active agentssays Florence Bell

read more

The thick of it

The short (but not so short) opinions on the shows so far from Robert Garner, who insists he's not that artsy

read more

It's a bloody big bird

Adam Hutton is blown away by pelicans. And mentions Swallow a couple of times too

read more

Worth the telling

Eve Allin responds to Hidden, demanding more from her student theatre

read more

Down the line

A review in three parts, by Kate Wyver 

read more

It's all kicking off

Elise Fairbairn reports on a packed day of workshops and shows 

read more

'Is this about gender? I'm pretty sure this is about gender'

he she they provokes all kinds of thoughts and reactions from Adam Hutton. Is it 'high art'? Will it change minds? Does that matter?

read more

Knock-off concepts with Nat

Are limerick-offs a thing? They are now. Nat Norland follows hot on the heels of Lilith Wozniak with a limerick of his own for The Iconoclasts

read more

Pause for dramatic effect

Wilkie Dickinson-Sparkes on how breaks in iambic pentameter provide insights into Shakespeare's characters

read more

Technician Impossible #2

Can the Tech Team manage this challenge?

read more

Editorial #2

Challenges – and the rewards of confronting things head on – come to the forefront in today's issue of Noises Off

read more

Abstract exceptionalism

Joy, energy and an expert handling of complex themes: Lily James just has to tell you all about he she they

read more

An old man writes

Festival veteran Kieran Balfe reminisces about the last time NSDF was in Hull

read more

Thorpe for the Day #1

Documenting the most profound of Chris Thorpe's thoughts, in cartoon form

read more

Winging it

There's a pleasant blend of whimsy and punch in Blackbird, even if it could afford to chill a little, says Lily James 

read more

Lost in space

The Iconoclasts is packed full of charm and memorable moments, even if it does spread itself a little thin, says Florence Bell

read more

Fair reflection

It's the smaller moments of Hidden that charm Phoebe Graham

read more

The Irish aren't happy

Hip-thrusting, moving songs and abortions – Adam Hutton finds much to enjoy in The Iconoclasts. Shame about the staging

read more

The value of criticism: an interview with Mark Shenton

Mark Shenton is the lead theatre critic for The Stage. Kate Wyver sat down with him to ask for some advice

read more

Take these broken wings

A fragmented script holds Blackbird back from being the kind of twisted tale that Emily Davis usually loves

read more

Limericks with Lilith #1

In the first of a series, Lilith Wozniak presents a limerick summary of The Iconoclasts

read more

We're building something here...

It's been a hectic couple of days for the Tech Team. Elise Fairbairn salutes the hard work done so far

read more

Living in the theatre bubble

There is no stranger danger at NSDF, says Joseph Winer. In fact, it's the opposite

read more

Editorial #1

It's all about the joy and the challenge of the new at this year's National Student Drama Festival

read more

All the small things

The musical Ordinary Days eschews 'big fancy numbers' and 'jazz hands' for intimate moments and everyday experiences, director Sophie Forster tells Kate Wyver

read more

In plain sight

Lily James talks to Alex Prescot, director of Hidden, about the difficulties of hiding in student theatre, and the frustrations of barcodes on creme eggs 

read more

Room for everyone

Student theatre has a responsibility to promote diversity, and new writing is one important way of doing that, says Florence Bell

read more

Taking the numb out of numbers

Phoebe Graham talks to director Josie Davies about the challenges of responding to the Syrian crisis through theatre.

read more

Technician Impossible #1

Scarborough is but a distant dream, the Spa Complex no more real than the incoherent ramblings of a ravaged Tech Manager.

read more

12 Fun Facts About NSDF!!

1. National Student Drama Festival contains 28 letters!

read more

Your Letters #1

On arriving at the festival this year, I was distraught to find that nothing was ready. 

read more

Review: Mind the gaps

by Kate Wyver

I love the idea of seeing the awkwardness of daily interactions with strangers. In Departures I loved the ticket office attendant’s final rant about everything that is shit about life. I loved that the man in the suit wanted to learn to play the oboe. I loved that the first five minutes are wonderfully subtle with the nuances of everyday embarrassments, encounters and tiny gestures.

read more

Review: What a song and dance

by Jaz Manville

I wasn't expecting to like Departures. The synopsis put me in mind of long afternoons of endless drama improvisations and I'd heard rumours that it was almost entirely sung through, neither of which thrilled me. 

read more

Behind the curtain on the NSDF awards

by Alice Saville

Getting a show to the NSDF is already a pretty sweet achievement: albeit one that requires tons of hard work and fundraising to enjoy. But the cherry on the top is winning a prize at the festival awards. We've interviewed Robert Hewison to get the inside story on how the judging system works – and on a few times where it's been inches from chaos.

read more