'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.

Festival director Michael Brazier said: “For some time now, we’ve felt that these four words fail to express both the aims of the festival and the kinds of work we’ve selected in recent years. Talks are still ongoing, but it’s likely that the name will change next year to more accurately reflect what people can expect from their week in Scarborough.”

Although board members have so far been tight-lipped about what this rebranding might look like, one anonymous source close to the board did let slip the general theme: “It’ll be something like the Warwick Student Drama Festival, or words to that effect,” the source said. “Maybe the Warwick Shoe-In, the Warwick Variety Show or Total All-Out Warwick Fare – something like that. I mean, they’re here every bloody year with about 20 shows – if we don’t change the name pronto, someone’s going to sue us under the Trade Descriptions Act.” 

 

Steven Berkoff in Stunning Comeback

Actor, author, playwright, theatre director and plumber Steven Berkoff has made a surprise return to the world of student theatre, with New Theatre Nottingham’s production of his play West being selected for this year’s National Student Drama Festival. 

The actor, author, playwright, theatre director and professional dog impersonator had for a long time been popular among students who couldn’t be arsed with Brecht and were attracted to his “in-yer-face” style of theatre. But his popularity had waned in recent years as people got tired of his “bad boy” image and came to realise that his entire shtick really started to grate after a while.

But now it seems that this trend is itself reversing, as students who didn’t have to sit through it the first time round rediscover Berkoff. Why they’ve made this decision, and what it is they’re attracted to, is currently hard to work out as none of Nottingham’s cast was available for comment at the time of going to print, but NOFF will be investigating this “exciting” turnaround throughout the week.

Asked for his own views on his resurgence, actor, author, playwright, theatre director and funambulist Steven Berkoff said: “Fuck off, cunt. Come near me again and I’ll fucking nut ya, d’you fucking hear me? Fucking arseholes.” He then proceeded to take a shit in a handbag. 

 

Nearly Everyone Giggles at Title of Mike Bartlett Play, Survey Shows

Research has revealed that 99 per cent of people at least giggle when they hear the title of Mike Bartlett’s play, Cock. The play, about one man’s sexuality and the ambivalence of love, is being performed at the festival by the Battered Soul Company from Durham. 

The survey was carried out by NSDF scientists from the Tech Crew and monitored people’s responses when they were told that they “were going to see Mike Bartlett’s Cock tonight”. Under  lab conditions, the responses ranged from the lowest response – a giggle – experienced by 99 per cent of test subjects, through to a light chuckle (74 per cent), a guffaw (58 per cent) and, at the top end, full-on hysterics (42 per cent).  

The findings showed that phrasing was also important. When told that “Mike Bartlett’s Cock got a three-star review from Billington in the Guardian”, 68 per cent of respondents chuckled and 28 per cent burst into hysterics, while 23 per cent quipped, “That’s what she said.” However, when subjects were told that “Cock’s theme is less tortured bisexuality than the paralysing indecision that stems from not knowing who one really is”, there was a severe drop in laughter across the board. 

When asked what it was that tickled them about Cock, respondents tended to agree with Gary Guffins, who said, “It’s just bloody funny, innit?”

As for the 1 per cent who didn’t even giggle, the scientists discovered that they had a totally inverse reaction to the stimulus, with their responses falling into the categories of “tutting”, “sighing” and “eye-rolling”. Many of these test subjects voiced their thoughts with the words “Oh just grow up, for fuck’s sake.”

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