National Student Drama Festival
The National Student Drama Festival (or NSDF) was founded in 1956 by the Sunday Times arts columnist - the festival's first artistic director - Kenneth Pearson, the Sunday Times theatre critic Harold Hobson
Harold Hobson
Sir Harold Hobson was an influential English drama critic and author.He was born in Thorpe Hesley near Rotherham in South Yorkshire, England and read History at Oxford University. He was an assistant literary editor for the Sunday Times from 1944 and later became its drama critic...

, and NUS president Frank Copplestone. The Sunday Times Editor, H.V. Hodgson and Dr Glynne Wickham, the Winchester
Winchester is a historic cathedral city and former capital city of England. It is the county town of Hampshire, in South East England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs, along the course of...

- and Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

-educated great-grandson of Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone FRS FSS was a British Liberal statesman. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as Prime Minister four separate times , more than any other person. Gladstone was also Britain's oldest Prime Minister, 84 years old when he resigned for the last time...

 and head of the only Drama department in the United Kingdom in 1956 at the University of Bristol
University of Bristol
The University of Bristol is a public research university located in Bristol, United Kingdom. One of the so-called "red brick" universities, it received its Royal Charter in 1909, although its predecessor institution, University College, Bristol, had been in existence since 1876.The University is...

, were also early supporters.

The festival currently takes place on a yearly basis in Scarborough, Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 near the end of March. Among the theatres used to showcase the productions is the Stephen Joseph Theatre
Stephen Joseph Theatre
The Stephen Joseph Theatre is a theatre in the round in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England that was founded by Stephen Joseph and was the first theatre in the round in Britain....

, along with a number of other venues at the Spa Complex
The Spa, Scarborough
The Spa, Scarborough known officially as the Scarborough Spa Complex is located in Scarborough’s South Bay and is a venue for conferences, exhibitions, entertainment and events on the Yorkshire Coast...

, Scarborough College
Scarborough College
Scarborough College is an independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3-18 years. It is located in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England and was founded in 1898. The school has been an International Baccalaureate World School since June 2006...

, Scarborough Sports and Tennis Centre and the University of Hull Scarborough Campus
University of Hull Scarborough Campus
The University of Hull Scarborough Campus is a higher education institution in the North Yorkshire town of Scarborough in England, as well as a satellite campus of the University of Hull.-History:...


Festival Directors

  • 1971 to 2000 - Clive Wolfe
  • 2001 to 2003 - Nick Stimson
  • 2004 to 2006 - Andrew Loretto
  • 2007 to present - Holly Kendrick

Noises Off Editors

  • 1980 to 1990 - Stephen Jeffreys
    Stephen Jeffreys
    Stephen Jeffreys is a British playwright.His plays include Like Dolls or Angels ; Carmen 1936 ; Valued Friends ; The Clink ; The Libertine - also a screenplay filmed with Johnny Depp; A Going...

     (latterly in tandem with Nick Phillips)
  • 1991 to 2002 - Ian Shuttleworth
  • 2003 to 2004 - Andrew Haydon and Rachel Smyth
  • 2005 to 2009 - Andrew Haydon
  • 2010 Phil Mann and Claire Trévien
  • 2011 Andrew Haydon, Phil Mann and Claire Trévien

Notable Participants

  • Khalid Abdalla
    Khalid Abdalla
    Khalid Abdalla is a Egyptian-British actor. He came to international prominence after starring in the 2006 Academy Award-nominated and BAFTA-winning film, United 93. Written and directed by Paul Greengrass, it chronicles events aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked as part of the...

  • Nikki Amuka-Bird
    Nikki Amuka-Bird
    Nikki Amuka-Bird is a Nigerian born British actress of the stage and screen. Her theatrical credits include Welcome to Thebes ; Twelfth Night ; World Music ; Top Girls ; A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest and The Servant of Two Masters Nikki Amuka-Bird is a Nigerian born British actress of the...

  • Michael Attenborough
    Michael Attenborough
    The Hon. Michael John Attenborough is a successful English theatre director. His parents are the actors Richard Attenborough, Baron Attenborough and Sheila Sim, Lady Attenborough...

  • Van Badham
    Van Badham
    Van Badham is an Australian writer. A playwright and novelist, she writes dramas and comedies.-Early life:Van Badham was born Vanessa Badham in Sydney in 1978 . Her mother and father worked in the New South Wales gaming and track industry, with her father eventually working for the registered club...

  • Simon Russell Beale
    Simon Russell Beale
    Simon Russell Beale, CBE is an English actor. He has been described by The Independent as "the greatest stage actor of his generation."-Early years:...

  • Lorna Bennett
  • Michael Billington
    Michael Billington (critic)
    Michael Keith Billington is a British author and arts critic. Drama critic of The Guardian since October 1971, he is "Britain's longest-serving theatre critic" and the author of biographical and critical studies relating to British theatre and the arts; most notably, he is the authorised...

  • David Farr
  • Mark Gatiss
    Mark Gatiss
    Mark Gatiss is an English actor, screenwriter and novelist. He is best known as a member of the comedy team The League of Gentlemen, and has both written for and acted in the TV series Doctor Who and Sherlock....

  • Robert Hewison
    Robert Hewison
    Robert Alwyn Petrie Hewison is a British cultural historian.He was educated at Bedford School, Ravensbourne College of Art and Design, and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he graduated BA in 1965, MA in 1970, MLitt in 1972, and DLitt in 1989.For most of his professional life he has made a living...

  • Harold Hobson
    Harold Hobson
    Sir Harold Hobson was an influential English drama critic and author.He was born in Thorpe Hesley near Rotherham in South Yorkshire, England and read History at Oxford University. He was an assistant literary editor for the Sunday Times from 1944 and later became its drama critic...

  • Stephen Jeffreys
    Stephen Jeffreys
    Stephen Jeffreys is a British playwright.His plays include Like Dolls or Angels ; Carmen 1936 ; Valued Friends ; The Clink ; The Libertine - also a screenplay filmed with Johnny Depp; A Going...

  • Martin Jenkins
    Martin Jenkins
    Martin J. Jenkins is a justice of the California Court of Appeal for the First District, located in San Francisco, and a former federal judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.-Early life:...

  • Alex Jennings
    Alex Jennings
    Alex Jennings is an English actor whose roles have included Charles, Prince of Wales in The Queen .-Early years:...

  • Daniel Kitson
    Daniel Kitson
    Daniel Kitson is an English stand-up comedian.-Career:Born to a lecturer father and primary school head teacher mother, Kitson began performing comedy at the age of 16. He was a pupil at Scissett Middle School and Shelley College in Yorkshire, England...

  • Roger Michell
    Roger Michell
    Roger Michell is an English theatre, television and film director.-Personal life:He was born in Pretoria, South Africa but spent significant parts of his childhood in Beirut, Damascus and Prague as his father was a diplomat. He was educated at Clifton College where he became a member of Brown's...

  • John Nettles
    John Nettles
    John Vivian Drummond Nettles, OBE is an English actor, historian and writer who is best known for playing the lead roles in Bergerac and Midsomer Murders.-Early life:...

  • Cyril Nri
    Cyril Nri
    Cyril Nri is a British actor, writer and director. He attended the Young Vic Youth Theatre in Waterloo, London. He trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and is probably best known for playing the role of Superintendent Adam Okaro, now Chief Superintendent, in the long-running ITV police...

  • Steve Pemberton
    Steve Pemberton
    Steve James Pemberton is an English actor, comedian, writer and performer, most famous as a member of The League of Gentlemen along with fellow performers Reece Shearsmith, Mark Gatiss and co-writer Jeremy Dyson.-Early life:...

  • Ronald Pickup
    Ronald Pickup
    -Life and career:Pickup was born in Chester, England, the son of Daisy and Eric Pickup, who was a lecturer. Pickup was educated at The King's School, Chester, trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and became an Associate Member of RADA.His television work began with an episode...

  • Tim Pigott-Smith
    Tim Pigott-Smith
    Tim Pigott-Smith is an English film and television actor.-Early life:Pigott-Smith was born in Rugby, Warwickshire, the son of Margaret Muriel and Harry Thomas Pigott-Smith, who was a journalist. He was educated at Wyggeston Boys' School, Leicester, King Edward VI School Stratford-upon-Avon, and...

  • Harold Pinter
    Harold Pinter
    Harold Pinter, CH, CBE was a Nobel Prize–winning English playwright and screenwriter. One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his writing career spanned more than 50 years. His best-known plays include The Birthday Party , The Homecoming , and Betrayal , each of which he adapted to...

  • Lucy Prebble
    Lucy Prebble
    Lucy Prebble is a British playwright. She is the author of the plays The Sugar Syndrome and ENRON and the television series Secret Diary of a Call Girl.-Biography:...

  • Mark Ravenhill
    Mark Ravenhill
    Mark Ravenhill is an English playwright, actor and journalist.His most famous plays include Shopping and Fucking , Some Explicit Polaroids and Mother Clap's Molly House . He made his acting debut in his monologue Product, at the 2005 Edinburgh Festival Fringe...

  • Jan Sayer
  • Prunella Scales
    Prunella Scales
    Prunella Scales CBE is an English actress, known for her role as Basil Fawlty's long-suffering wife in the British comedy Fawlty Towers and her award-nominated role as Queen Elizabeth II in the British film A Question of Attribution.-Career:Throughout her long career, Scales has usually been cast...

  • Tim Supple
    Tim Supple
    Timothy Supple is an English theatre and opera director.Tim Supple began working as an assistant director at the York Theatre Royal. Between 1988 and 1991 he directed at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, Leicester Haymarket and Chichester Festival Theatre Timothy (Tim) Supple (b. 1962) is an...

  • Meera Syal
    Meera Syal
    Meera Syal MBE is a British comedienne, writer, playwright, singer, journalist, producer and actress. She rose to prominence as one of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me and became one of the UK's best-known Indian personalities portraying Sanjeev's grandmother, Ummi, in The Kumars at No...

  • Polly Teale
    Polly Teale
    Polly Teale is a British writer and theatre director best known for her work with the Shared Experience theatre company, where she is joint artistic director alongside Nancy Meckler. Teale won the prize for best director at the 2003 Evening Standard Theatre Awards for her staging of After Mrs...

  • Richard Thomas
    Richard Thomas (actor)
    Richard Earl Thomas is an American actor, best known for his role as budding author John-Boy Walton in the CBS drama The Waltons.- Early life :Thomas was born Richard Earl Thomas in New York,...

  • Glen Walford
  • Timothy West
    Timothy West
    Timothy Lancaster West, CBE is an English film, stage and television actor.-Career:West's craggy looks ensured a career as a character actor rather than a leading man. He began his career as an Assistant Stage Manager at the Wimbledon Theatre in 1956, and followed this with several seasons of...

  • Clive Wolfe
  • Alan Yentob
    Alan Yentob
    Alan Yentob is a British television executive and presenter who has worked throughout his career at the BBC.-Early life:...

Prize Winners NSDF10

  • Directors' Guild Award: Ashley Scott-Layton
    Ashley Scott-Layton
    Ashley Scott-Layton is a British Theatre Director, Writer and the artistic director of Ravenrock.Described as an "unstoppable young director" by Robert Hewison in The Sunday Times Scott-Layton was the winner of the 2010 Directors Guild Award at the National Student Drama Festival...

     University of Leeds (Phaedre's Love)
  • Buzz Goodbody
    Buzz Goodbody
    Mary Ann "Buzz" Goodbody was an English theatre director.She was educated at Roedean and the University of Sussex. A product of the political and cultural upheavals of the 1960s, Goodbody regarded herself as a radical and a revolutionary who was involved in the feminist movement...

     Student Director's Award: Sarah Davies, University of Hull (Tell Tale)
  • Sunday Times Playwriting Award: Sarah Davies, University of Hull (Tell Tale)
  • Cameron Mackintosh Music Award: Warwick University (By The Bog Of Cats)
  • Spotlight Award for most promising actor: Rupert Lazarus, University of Leeds (Phaedre's Love)
  • Spotlight Award for most promising actress: Rachel Helen Shaw, University of Leeds (Phaedre's Love)
  • FestGoers' Award: Warwick University (By The Bog Of Cats)
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