'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.

Mr Duncan Smith was until recently secretary for works and pensions, where he had presided over a series of cuts to disability benefits. His willingness to hack away at essential resources had made him the presumed front-runner to manage the Tech Crew, which has had its numbers reduced from more than 50 crew members to just 25 in recent years, with projected plans to reduce the Crew to one solitary member by 2020.

However, after Chancellor George Osborne announced £4bn cuts to disability benefits in the latest Budget, Mr Duncan Smith resigned, apparently in disgust at the government's plans, and not in any way because of his support for the Out campaign in the upcoming EU Referendum.

It was this unwillingness to follow through with the austerity project that led to Mr Duncan Smith's application being rejected by the NSDF board.

Board member Abergail Flostrop said: “We had high hopes for Iain Duncan Smith in his role as Tech Crew Resources Manager, given his years of happily turning a blind eye while important structures were dismantled under his watch. However, this worrying display of consciousness – feigned or not – demonstrates a weakness of character and an inability to do what must be done. We have therefore decided to reject his application on the grounds that he hasn't got the stones for it.”

'Buck Up and Shut Up' Technique To Be Dropped as Official NSDF Policy

NSDF is to drop its official policy of telling students with mental or physical health issues to “buck up and shut up”, following Sunday's discussion.

The policy – which had been in place since the first festival in 1956 – had been routinely applied over the years in cases where students had said that they were unable to perform in shows for a variety of reasons, ranging from extreme anxiety to an amputated leg.

The official document outlining the policy stated that in any situations where students said they did not want to perform, NSDF staff should grip them firmly by the shoulders and tell them to “just fucking get on with it”. Other suggestions included threats (“If you don't get onstage, I'll cut you myself”), armchair psychology (“Have you tried not being sad?”), emotional blackmail (“You'll be letting everyone down”) and passive/aggressive comments (“No, it's fine, I just thought you were a real actor”).

Application of the policy had been rigorously enforced over the years, with one former festival director screaming “You'll never work in this industry again ” at an already-in-tears festgoer who was in the middle of a nervous breakdown.

But after Sunday's discussion on how we should look after ourselves and each other, it was decided that this policy was out of date and in need of an update. “It was very affecting, hearing about the difficulties that students face and the emotional and physical stress that they are constantly under,” said festival director Michael Brazier. “In light of this, I realised that the old policy was archaic and counterproductive. Which is why I'm excited to announce NSDF's new policy: a Xanax and a hug.”

Underage Festgoer Becomes Adult in Queue for Spa Bar

A 17 year old festgoer had to wait to so long to get served at the Spa Bar that by the time she ordered her drink, she was legally allowed to buy alcohol.

Rebecca Dredbury from Bloxham School said that she had originally planned to buy a lemonade but “by the time I got served, I realised that I'd been waiting so long that I had turned 18 and could legally drink. So I got a double vodka and lemonade to celebrate.”

Dredbury is not the only festgoer who has undergone a significant change while waiting to get served at the Spa Bar. Darren Oxley graduated from Durham University and three festgoers so far have slipped into a medical coma, while the experience led to physicist and Tech Crew member Dave Josephs discovering that, under the right conditions, a single moment in spacetime can be stretched into an experiential eternity.

Even when festgoers do get to the bar, there's no guarantee of being served, as festival director Michael Brazier discovered when he ordered a glass of red wine and was told that they had run out and could only serve house wine by the bottle. Witnesses say that Brazier stared blankly at the bar staff before his eye started twitching erratically and he had to be led away by a sympathetic member of the Management Team.

When asked about the speed of the service, Gavin Longroot, manager of the Spa Bar, said: “We take responsible drinking very seriously here at the Spa Bar. By maintaining a ratio of one bar staff to every five hundred customers, we ensure that people will have fully sobered up while they wait to get served, thereby ensuring that they don't get drunk. Sure, it hurts our profits as we can't sell as much stock, but that's a hit we're willing to take for everyone's health and safety.”   

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