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 office behind the main stairs in the Spa Complex at any time of the day and discuss ideas with the team. Follow and tweet us @noffmag.

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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'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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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?

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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.

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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. 

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