Contents The Heart
Page 3 - 4: Editorial Page 5 - 14: Comment Page 15 - 21: Feature Page 22: Overview Page 23 - 24: Angel Page 25: By the Bog of Cats Page 26 - 29: Into the Woods Page 30 - 32: In Loving Memory Page 33 - 34: The Pillowman Page 35: Phaedra's Love Page 36 - 37: Point Horror Drama Festival Part 7 Page 38 - 41: Crew/LOs Page 42: Gush Page 43: Back Pages Page 44: Credits
Going Home Time Gush
We're leaving now so we can afford to be nice From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to extend a huge thanks to everyone at the NOFFice this year, you have made our year as virgin editors a wonderful and memorable one.
laughter and most importantly A FUCKING STAGE into the NOFFice. We are glad to have her on our staff and our Festival experience would be a lot poorer if we lacked her.
In our years at the Festival, we've never had such a smoothrunning, well-organised operation full of passionate, kind and hardworking people.
Without Ben Curthoys we would never have survived our database article-tracking programme NOFFMASTER which he has designed, re-designed and crafted for us. His dry but forthcoming wit is what - when returning to these issues in coming years - will keep us entertained. I would wholly recommend to all companies, if they have been lucky enough to be reviewed by him, to heed his advice.
Amongst the literally hundreds of people that have passed through our doors are the following people we'd like to extend an extra-special thank you to. For the week, Holly Jazz Lowe has been penning our wonderful serial and being a bastion of positive attitude bringing music,
Both Ben and Holly JL have been
The Mann behind the mask
keeping our relationship with the techies alive. They have daily created the astounding challenges
"A FUCKING STAGE in the NOFFice" in Technission Impossible. It is against all odds that they actually came to fruition. Angela Ruth Ellmore, our technical lovely and absolute angel, has risen to these cruel and unusual challenges set daily in the magazines, and we're glad she came back after she got her quota of us last year. The shift in editorship has rejiggled all the office roles and John Winterburn has exceeded all expectations. As 3am strikes, people start working hard, pointing at things and making decisions. Without John to keep us in line this would not happen. Also moving into an editorship role has been Richard T. Watson, balancing his writing with hardcore subbing and saving our frazzled bacon. Our graphics editor Jonathan Brittain has scanned more comics, found more images and drawn more caricatures than we care to think of. His energy, prolific writing and willingness to start fights have kept the magazine buoyant throughout the tougher times of the week. Other stalwarts of this week have been the incredible and breathtakingly resourceful Monks, Henry Ellis, Euan Forsyth and Ben Lander. Henry and Euan, the yin and yang of this magazine have been doing all the essential tasks: that is, proofing, laying out
EDITORIAL and forgetting to sleep. Ben Lander took it a step further by taking the reins in the fiddly 'threading' process (finalising everything ready for print). This takes place about 6am and requires infinite patience, which Ben has. Or at the very least he has more than us. Will Bourdillon returns triumphantly after taking a few years off and demonstrates exactly why we missed him. Not only does he write, but he is also a
"Night after gruelling night of NOFF" trooper and a survivor. Speaking of returning time and time again, Aaron Cryan our printing and machine guru shows no sign of leaving us, gladly. Similarly, Jasmine Woodcock-Stewart who first joined us as part of the cast of Vowel Play last year (ironic that her name contains so many vowels?) has thrown herself into the deep end, wholeheartedly embracing the madness of this place where she is very welcome.
Alex 'Reg' Scott, Tony Newton, Nic Watson, Jen Willey, Mark Cunningham, Matt Thompson, Cat Hobart have made the NOFFice incredible by building a stage, adding lights and generally making it sexy. David Newman, Delyth Thomas, Stephen Jeffreys, Ian Shuttleworth and (from afar) Andrew Haydon have been our most regular and well-received visitors from the ranks of professionals at the Fest. Finally, many companies have graced us with their presence, especially worth mentioning are 4 Bar and Rising who have been proofers extraordinaire and good chums. Special mention also to Tell Tale, Into the Woods and By the Bog of Cats for performing at our nightly Copy Deadline festivities. No
someone, but we thank everyone for their help and support. We couldn't have asked for a stronger, friendlier, more dedicated team to help us through the perils and insurmountable difficulties of night after gruelling night of NOFF this year. Bless you all for being fantastic. Please, please, please come back next year and lighten up our lives as you have this year. Keep in touch (via Twitter, Facebook etc) and we'll see you in 52 weeks! Claire TrĂŠvien Phil Mann Editors of Noises Off
Amongst the many teachers who have brought students into the NOFFice are Stuart Crisp with the Guernsey Crew. Stuart has been making us tea, coffee and happy all week, whilst Mike Franzkowiak gave us the monks (Thanks, I think...). Tim Coker joins this list by encouraging students to come and write and thanks be to him. Dan Hutton, Rebekka Taylor, Danny Pisser(!), Phoebe Alexandra Bourke, Niamh Conway and Rebecca-Louise Simpson have written beautifully and contributed to the atmosphere and spirit of what Noises Off stands for.
The Trev in front of the mag
Andrew Haydon is Unwell
COMMENT ANDREW HAYDON
Saying farewell despite the fact he never said hello Christ. I can't believe this is the last issue. Jesus, the festival goes fast when you're not there. Writing a final issue farewell piece for a festival I haven't attended to people I haven't met feels slightly surreal, but there it is. I think I'm going to miss this Festival more than any since my first in 1997. Back then, I assumed the experience was unrepeatable; that I'd had what was probably going to be the best week of my life, that I'd met all the most interesting people I was ever going to meet and had been as inspired as it was possible to be. Turns out that 1997 was just the tip of the iceberg and apart from ruining the rest of my life - seriously, kids, if you can think of a single thing that you'd rather do than theatre, do it; theatre, and by extension theatre criticism, is rarely a lucrative occupation NSDF has been a constant source of inspiration and a motor that has kept me going in a frequently frustrating, often arid field. You'd think - indeed, I expected that not actually being at the Festival this year I'd somehow feel less engaged and less involved in what was going on. Oddly, perhaps because I've been getting a reasonable amount of sleep and haven't had to sit through all the shows, the reverse is true. Particularly with Noises Off.
In previous years, as editor, there's always been a ludicrous amount of work just to make the magazine physically exist. Plus the selected shows to watch. Plus trekking around Scarborough getting from venue to venue. Plus having to eat and shower (Jesus, no showers in the Spa this year? Christ). So I tended to average about two hours sleep a day during the festival. As a result,
I'd invariably develop a thousandyard-stare, gradually lose my ability to speak coherently shortly after, forget how to write altogether by Tuesday or Wednesday and be a shuffling wreck of a human being by Friday night's disco. This sabbatical has given me a useful, much-needed long view on what Noises Off does, can do and should do. And it feels like it's done it all this year. It's a shame that I've missed developments in the NOFFice
itself. From what Claire, Ben and Phil have been telling me, it seems like our premises have coalesced into a kind of latenight venue not just for written creativity, but also for performative and sculptural excellence - the phrase NSDF Fringe has been bandied about. That sounds wonderful. I hope it carries on into next year. I've also missed a whole year of contributors and future staff members. I hope they/you all come back next year so I actually get to meet you. Another great thing about not being editor this year has been actually getting to read the magazine for the first time cover to cover - when it arrives in my inbox at breakfast. And what a worryingly good magazine it's been. One of the best and most consistent runs that Noises Off has had in several years, I think. The covers have
"NSDF has been a constant source of inspiration and a motor that has kept me going in a frequently frustrating, often arid field." been funny; the comment section - now innovatively moved to the front really setting the tone of the magazine and making it much
COMMENT ANDREW HAYDON more engaging - has bristled with intelligent, timely stuff; the reviews, as I've commented several times before, have been invaluable for someone such as myself who hasn't been seeing the shows; the Techie pages have been inspired; Holly Jazz Lowe's serial has been as engagingly bonkers as you could wish ("How come when we got locked in the Grand Hall that time you knew where to go? You took me up the back passage..." Ha!); and the back pages themselves have been far less in-jokey (perhaps I just worried too much) than in previous years - Not Real Arts Jobs in particular is a horribly perfect satire; and the credits, well, the credits lists have been enviably lengthy.
"This sabbatical has given me a useful, much-needed long view on what Noises Off does, can do and should do. And it feels like it's done it all this year." That said, no matter how great a review is, it's no substitute for actually seeing a show. And it's been fascinating to see what's scored high on the critical radar. Until yesterday, it seemed like a close run thing between Phaedra's Love and the Whitehouse Institute as to what had won most festgoers' hearts (with an interestingly high number of dissenting voices for each piece as well), but the late addition of The Pillowman and By the Bog of Cats it looks like the Festgoer's Prize might be the mostly closely fought it's been in years. The news that BTBOC has been so highly rated is perhaps the biggest surprise of the week since the play got a real savaging
when it first turned up in the West End starring Holly Hunter as Hester Swane, so I wish I'd seen that. And The Pillowman. Just reading the reviews reminded me what a great play it is. Hell, I wish I'd seen everything (with the possible exception of Our Country's Good - please people, stop doing that play). Because I don't really have the faintest idea who has done what, it feels slightly ridiculous to do the traditional Ed's thank-yous. Suffice it to say, that I've glowed just that little bit more every time I've read something by someone whose name I recognise from previous years, knowing that they've come back and written for us again, and hopefully helped out in the NOFFice too (yes Jasmine, Will and Jon, I'm thinking of you in particular). It's also been a pleasure to start recognising the work of repeat contributors this year (Phoebe Alexandra Bourke, Dan Hutton and Cassandra Fumi spring to mind). It is rather lovely seeing the work of the former "Monks of the Kitchen" transformed from cryptic Ivor-Benjamincentric ramblings into incisive reviews and pertinent comment. Fascinating as well to see multifaceted man of uncertain middle initials Richard KTC Watson slowly but surely taking over my role as Noises Off's grumbler-inchief. Without being in the office at 6am, it's hard to know who should be being congratulated for the remarkably early times I've been getting my copies of the finished magazine through, although seeing John Winterburn's name high up in the credits and seeing no writing
from him (that's right, isn't it?) in the mag., I suspect he's due an especial plaudit for keeping the production process running as in previous years. But my final thanks have to go to Ben, Claire and Phil (in strict alphabetical order) for, well, for everything. For keeping the magazine going (I never for a moment doubted you would) and proving that I'm little more than a confection whose absence scarcely registers, but also for keeping me in the loop all through the week. But more than that, for taking the magazine and its office and making it properly theirs. I'm not sure I'm ready to give up co-editorship just yet, but I know next year - assuming both Phil and Claire are returning and I'm not ill - it'll be an editorial triumvirate of equals. So, not that we met, but, until next year...
"So, not that we met, but, until next year..."
COMMENT ANDREW HAYDON
And once again, he won't shut up Yesterday's issue of Noises Off carried a fascinating interview with Phaedra's Love director Ashley Scott Layton. The bit that really grabbed my attention is the bit where interviewer Jon Brittain comments "You cast an actor who is not fat to play Hippolytus..."
actually like, with all parties reaching the agreement that he's not fat, and also that he's remarkably good-looking and
Yesterday, at the end of my "sexy on stage" piece, I suggested "We're about thirty or so years behind the rest of Europe in the maturity stakes. It would be good if we could catch up in the next decade or so. Then we might start thinking a bit more intelligently about representation on stage more generally, but we'll save that issue for another day." And with his question Jon seems to have opened up an ideal opportunity to discuss this other aspect of staging/representing people/bodies on stage. I found Ashley's reply very interesting (sorry for first name terms, but I can't work out where the surname starts. Is it AshleyScott, or Scott-Layton? Anyhoo...). To summarise, talking very much like a British director steeped in psychological acuity and a mimesis, he made a watertight case for casting actors who didn't so much fit hand-toglove the way that they are described by other characters on the stage - the big thing about Kane's Hippolytus, as virtually every character in Phaedra's Love comments, is that he is really fat. Rupert Lazarus, the actor playing him, isn't. There's quite a lengthy, if tentatively phrased, discussion of what Mr Lazarus's body is
charismatic. Obviously this runs counter to what a "naturalistic" or "serving-the-text", "proper" production would demand. Now, I've got no problem with this. What I do find interesting is the extent to which Scott Layton justifies this casting, though. I'd have been just as happy with "he's the best actor for the part". But reading through the - perfectly lucid and intelligent - rationale, I'm struck again by how much store we set by appearance in this country. In this production of Phaedra's Love, it sounds like this almost default-setting has been used creatively, almost against the audience. After all, if you put someone who is not fat into a part where the character they are playing is repeatedly described as
fat, then it will immediately have a jarring effect just because of the stage convention we're used to. And used intelligently, this works to a production's advantage. It makes the audience think about why this apparently unbreakable convention to make stuff on stage look as much like what it's meant to look like has been transgressed - here apparently to emphasise Hippolytus's self-image, at odds with the way he is perceived by the other characters on stage - to reinforce the idea that we are in his mind. Having perhaps spent way too much time in Germany, I think Layton could have gone further. In many ways, student drama in Britain possibly gets nearest to the condition of the German repertory system - i.e. almost entirely white companies with actors not necessarily the right age for the parts they're playing. Well, with student companies virtually everyone is going to be between 18 and 22 which is more extreme than German rep companies, but then in Germany, a successful production might run for five or ten years (not solidly, more like once or twice a month - it's a very different system) with the same cast, and due to the way the things are staged, the aesthetic employed, it somehow doesn't matter that Ivanov, or Arturo Ui, or whoever is a completely different age to the age they were
COMMENT ANDREW HAYDON when they were cast. Nothing like the delicate, almost precarious emphasis placed on getting precisely the right waify looking 21-year-old for a romantic lead for a six-week run at the Donmar or wherever. Moreover, Germany doesn't have anything like the same slavish instinct toward mimesis. Two examples: the first is the world premiere of Simon Stephens's play Pornography in Hamburg directed by Sebastian Nubling. If you don't know the play, it features a section in which a twentysomething brother and sister fall into an incestuous relationship. In the British premiere a year later, they were predictably played by goodlooking male and female actors. In the German version the brother was played by a fairly slight, average looking bloke and the sister was played by a fairly fat ginger male actor. Nothing was said. They just did the scene; really went for the drunk scene; and ended up half naked on a table grappling with each other in the throes of passion. NĂƒÂźbling said it was the only way he could make the scene feel even faintly transgressive. If you put a man and a woman on stage together, especially if they're attractive, then people will read a relationship of attraction between them, he said (I paraphrase). So the only way to surprise the audience is to have them gradually realise that the large ginger man is playing the other guy's sister. Then it becomes a surprise again. The other example is far more shocking to the British sensibility. In Germany, they have white people playing Othello. Regularly.
Sometimes painted black, sometimes not - there's even a production currently running at Deutsches Theater which appears to feature a gorilla suit. I think if the RSC tried to pull that kind of shit they'd be shut down. It takes a fair bit to shock me, but that information really did. But then listen to the explanation: for historical reasons, Germany doesn't really have much of a black population. While Britain was busy plundering Africa as fast as it could, Germany was firstly turning itself into a country at all (1848, I think) and then spent its time trying to conquer France
"In the British premiere a year later, they were predictably played by good-looking male and female actors. In the German version the brother was played by a fairly slight, average looking bloke and the sister was played by a fairly fat ginger male actor." (1870-74) and fighting silly wars with the Austro-Hungarian empire and stuff. As a result, there is not much of a postC19th German Empire commonwealth. Consequently, Germany has very few black citizens and fewer black actors. But, rather than not do Othello, or cast actors who happen to be the right colour, but aren't necessarily the best actors they've got, they just cast the guy (or girl, no doubt) they think will do it best, irrespective of colour. And it's exactly the same principle as the big ginger guy playing an
incestuous sister. Yeah. It took me a bit of time to get my head round that too. But in a way, I kind of admire, and am jealous of a theatrical culture where what a body "means", how a body "reads" on stage, is secondary to the skill of the actor. Or rather, a theatre culture that "reads" a body's "meaning" with so much more detachment. That the identity of the actor is not expected to do so much physical work as the identity of their character. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying one thing is better than the other. But as a challenge to our preconceptions I think it is vital and salutary. Not least because it forces some difficult questions about how precisely we think about the bodies we put on our stage, why we fit *that specific body* to *that specific part* and what work we think they're doing for us as directors or as audience members. How much cultural projection are we taking for granted? And if we're casting "according to type" according to society's mental scrapbook of visual shorthand, how on earth can we possibly hope to be being radical?
Sexing It Up
Hyperbole by Ben Luke
A Brief Guide to jargon in theatre blurbs
Ok. So you need to sell your show. You're not even sure what it's about yourself. It's always so tempting to fall back on those well-trodden buzzwords. Here's a brief jargon buster to help you decipher the sometimes impenetrable language of the blurb. - Sexually Charged: Fast-paced physical theatre. A fair amount of groping and a lot of eye contact. - Tour-De-Force: A word so impenetrable and divorced from its actual meaning it gives precious little away. Rest assured, you won't understand it. - The Human Condition: A man in a room. alone. but not alone. (c.f. Sammuel Beckett)
- Organic: A loose connection of subjects tied together by a jolly lovely group of friends. Probably vegans. - Zeitgeist: This is you. This is everyone. It trancends boundaries. If you don't connect with this, you're probably not human. Not properly anyway. (see The Human Condition) - Metatheatrical: We're a play. Talking about plays. For you people who are here to watch a play. Aren't plays great. (C.F. Our Country's Good)
"Tour-De-Force: A word so impenetrable and divorced from its actual meaning it gives precious little away. Rest assured, you won't understand it."
- Physical Exploration Of...: We're dancing. But we've got issues. - Brutal and Unflinching: The word 'cunt' will be used more than once in this performance (C.F. Phaedra's Love)
Luxury Accomodation Sarcasm by Sarah Turner Being 17 and angsty teenage dramatists, a week of unsupervised, self-sufficient living is, of course, a dream come true.
However, after four days of wading through piles of our own crap and eating three meals of Aldi's finest every day the novelty wore off and the flaws began to creep in. Our apartment is a double room with two bathrooms, each which require a different ritual to enter. The first appears to be hooked up on a slingshot system and if one wishes to keep the skin on the back of one's heels then you must stand back with the door held open at arms length and then lob yourself headfirst into the room, landing in a perfectly executed
army roll (at risk of your toes). The second is missing a vital ingredient - the door handle. So a trip to the second toilet involves a 'door-shutting' partner. And to leave, repeated shoulder-barges are called for. The next flaw can only be explained as a financial con. Our electricity is controlled by a meter ion which pounds must be deposited in return for a few hours of light and heat (both of which I now consider a privilege rather than a necessity). The system seemed simple enough until the corruption began. It was sly at first. Lights would take minutes to turn on, the fridge would be at room temperature (the fridge in the pink kitchen that is, the one in the
green kitchen freezes anything that's stored in it, no-one knows why). Then lights just wouldn't turn on and assuming the meter had run out another pound was put in, but as the light returned to the kitchen it turned out the meter was still half full. The bins are all now full, and we're not sure what to do. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Footnote: We have since discovered that our electricity issues are due to a flat mate accidentally leaving her heater on for two days and draining our power. She is now paying for EVERYTHING within the flat!
Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside Holidaying by Sophie Hargreaves The past week has consisted of a maximum of three hours sleep per night, juggling haunted flats, dangerous bathroom doors, shit tip kitchens, psycho seagulls, singing and dancing (not even in workshops), amazing shows and God-damn terrible shows. All in all, I really do believe I have had the true NSDF experience. As a first timer at the National Student Drama Festival, I was slightly apprehensive as the event drew closer. I was expecting stress, quarrels, bad weather and total lack of money. By all means my expectations were met, but with so much more. We've mingled, partied, got a bit messy, and made new friends. Including Christopher Eccleston
adopting me and my friends (that's right, no word of a lie). As the other night went on, every male we would chat to had to go through 'Daddy Chris' and his strict identity checks. Just like a true protective father. Certainly there will be things I won't miss, such as the trek from the Spa Bar to the Holbeck, and expecting to get to each place in 15 minutes by foot. Also the seagulls that are now beginning to stalk us, such as staring at us through the window. And most of all the riots in the morning to get the best workshops, which closely resembles a stampede of bulls. Overall, this week certainly has been eventful, it's had its ups and
Talented Mystery ExposĂŠ by Zoe McNamara This is our last foray into journalism from the Lancaster University Theatre Group and we'd like to discuss an extremely talented group, Belt Up Theatre Company. If you haven't been aware of their involvement in this year's NSDF then it can surely only be credit to their amazing skills as an ensemble. Seen any strangely dressed, funny acting persons this week? It seems that it is very much part of British culture to ignore those that seem a little bit odd, and those from Belt Up seem to have become part of this phenomenon, with the creation of a secret society based in an abandoned office block or 'Bensalem Bed and Breakfast'. This was immersive theatre at its best and as a group we became completely enthralled with the
story behind the characters that we had met around the festival, comparing notes on our encounters in order to try and decode the plot. If you were unlucky enough to miss or to ignore the characters from the company, such as the bizarre Doctor Higgs, the pyjama clad Lucien or quiet little Christine then I beg you to look more carefully in future as you may well miss out on this fantastic theatre experience. Imagine staying in character, created merely a week ago, for the duration of the entire festival and then you may be able to understand the work, commitment and talent that the Belt Up cast contains. An amazing mystery that will remain in our NSDF 2010 memory for ever.
downs, good times and bad times, but certainly was an experience to remember. So I say, Friday night, we /make/ it a night to remember, everyone on the dance floor and make this the best NSDF of its time! Not only for NSDF, but from my birthday too! Because once it hits midnight, I will be another year older and be 'rate' (Yorkshire term) up for a celebration. Hopefully to the tunes of DJ Skud Kid (Hint, Hint!) So, to sum up, this week certainly has been one of a kind and definitely one to remember. I have enjoyed my time by the seaside, and next year, for sure, I will be back.
"Certainly there will be things I won't miss, such as the trek from the Spa Bar to the Holbeck, and expecting to get to each place in 15 minutes by foot"
Sex in the 60s
Jo Henderson is lying in this title Ha! Got your attention didn't I? Eye-catching headline... No? Don't worry, there is a point to this.
There is nothing better on a morning after an exhausting workshop than a hilarious yet slightly ominous Scottish taxi driver who loves talking absolute shit. We caught a B-line taxi from some workshop that I can't quite remember (whoops! I'm sure that's not good), But anyways... back to my crazy tale... Once upon a time in NSDF 2010, three girls sat in the back of a taxi, stuck in traffic on the way to the mystical land of the SJT Theatre! We were sat in silence listening to the ramblings of a half crazed, ex-hairdresser turned taxi driver. "Scarborough's gone downhill you know, it's rife with drugs. You know this MKAT or Meow, Meow? Well, Scarborough is a hotspot" he spat. "Lots of people have died, you know? Just over
there was a man who was so high, he cut open his own genitals!" Now I'm not going to lie, but the fact that he knew exactly were the deaths took place kinda (how do I put this?) terrified the shit out of me! Now a normal taxi driver would have stopped there and turned on some obnoxiously loud music that sounds like a cat and a seagull stuck together being trampled on by a rhino... or peering into the rearview mirror perving on random girls, but no, he kept going. You know, when it's kind of awkward and you don't want to be brutally murdered so you just smile and nod.
and the two girls were in the back. One of the girls said to the guy in the front 'you can come back to mine if you want, but I'm going to sleep.' I mean she wants him to come over but she's going to be asleep? If it were me, I wouldn't let her sleep if you know what I mean!" You know how there are certain passenger/taxi driver boundaries? Yes? Well he crossed them and continued to fly past the line. "I was a teenager in the '60s and if a woman asked you over for a coffee you knew she wanted something else as well, if you know what I mean" he said with a wink.
"So you lot at the drama festival? Oh right then. I used to go to the theatre every week. I mean, I used to be a hairdresser for actors and so got an invite"
Then he carried on rambling about how women were now the huntresses and could do what they liked, and that some girls didn't even like boys!
How strange... the plot thickens.
So that was the end of the journey, we got of the taxi doing terrible Scottish accents and saying "Meow, Meow".
"Oh couple of days ago I had two girls and a guy sat in the car, the guy was in the front with me
Sexy Night at NOFF
Doing a sexy dance, RebeccaLouise Simpson In the spirit of NSDF 2010 I was violated this evening at NOFF and kind of liked it! Tom Watton attacked us with his sexual Ballad to thunderous applause, which is a familair scene this year. Sexy night for the most part was understated & sensual - in that due to sleep deprivation our senses are completely shot! If the plays so far this week are anything to go by, sexy nights needs to have much more simulated sex, a couple or so rapes & maybe a bit of incest to constitue being a success. Also, a castration and canine force-feeding may please the young man in the discussion who wanted to see more of the dog. Bring your own appendage!
The 60s, oooooooooh
Whittering on, Henry Ellis I have been attending NSDF for the past five years, and today was the first time that I felt that the discussion was fully utilised as an analytical tool. The primary reason for this was that the cast, and specifically Joseph Hancock (the director), created an atmosphere in which the discussants felt that they were able to constructively criticise the piece without fear of reprisal. In addition to this, the cast were resolutely aware of the flaws of the production, and more than willing to listen to feedback on which areas could be improved. That they are not taking the production forward,
but instead intend to create works of a similar style, means that this discussion was an incredibly useful exercise for the cast, and will genuinely aid them in developing further work, something that perhaps we do not always see in other discussions. I genuinely hope that this discussion is seen as a positive example and hopefully leads to a review of the discussion process to enable them to become more open and allow constructive criticism. If this does happen, it may well be one of the best things to come out of the festival this year.
"If this does happen, it may well be one of the best things to come out of the festival this year."
The Bubble is About to Burst Pop, says Rosie Clarke So we are nearing the end of this crazy thespian dominated week and by god it's gone quickly, now my judgment may be slightly off as I'm fully aware of the massive caffeine comedown I'm currently experiencing however I reckon it's also got something to do with the amount of activity that has gone on over the last six days. I am frankly impressed by the amount of enthusiasm and dedication I have witnessed by the student population at the festival. The majority of students have come to NSDF with a show that they have had to adapt and acclimatize to one of the many venues dotted around this charming seaside town(I feel here Scarborough deserves a special mention as I think it has had a part to play with the reason the festival has been so down to earth and unpretentious). Now add to that already
demanding mission the thought of having to portray yourself as a competent, articulate, interesting human being to some of the biggest names and companies in this business that we call show business, we've all had it drilled into us that this is a 'fantastic opportunity' and 'we should be networking our arses off' but it's a lot easier said than done. It is due to these reasons that it is no surprise that the majority of Scarborough bins are now filled to the brim with empty concealer tubes, polystyrene coffee cups and can after can off supped dry relentless. It's been a full on dramatically stimulating, educationally insane week with experiences varying from fighting for morning workshop slots to silently cacking our pants at the impressive form that is Christopher Eccleston.
"It's been a full on dramatically stimulating, educationally insane week with experiences varying from fighting for morning workshop slots to silently cacking our pants at the impressive form that is Christopher Eccleston." However, it is a week that I will never forget and doubt I will experience anything quite like it ever again, now I could go on but this evening Noff entertainment has just kicked off and I couldn't continue even if I wanted to, so I hope you've learnt something, met some interesting people but above all had a laugh because I know I have. Okay I'm ready for the pin now.
Ashley Scott Layton Corrects Jon Brittain Here it is
Just as a slight clarification to Jon Brittain's reviews. I was very grateful to talk about the work and I believe that Jon has a good understanding of what we wanted to achieve. I just wanted to clarify a slight misquote that occurred (in as few words as possible). It is a slight confusion of words but one which I personally feel is important and ultimately makes the piece more understandable, especially to those who were unable to hear my bumbling at the post show talk.
was announced during the creation of the 'sexy issue'... a particularly noisy and raucous moment) was: "Why were we laughing?" and the other says, "..because it was ridiculous, absurd " Ridiculous and absurd...and it was horrible and perhaps those things aren't that dissimilar.
hurt each other for little reason or result. Man's Inhumanity to man is Absurd. If people disagree with this statement or feel we didn't quite manage to portray it in our production come find me in the bar and tell me why- I'm still learning and love your feedback. If you want to read up more about the Absurd I'd recommend 'The Outsider' by Albert Camus; Sarah Kane read it repeatedly whilst writing Phaedra's Love and it's a great book.
The point is, no one is laughing at pain or the horrendous moments, horrible isn't funny. The point is man's inhumanity to man. This I hope you're having a wicked inhumanity is absurd...rather it is What was printed was this festival. And seriously come find Absurd. By this we mean " Why were we laughing?" and pointless, fruitless and without me: the more I learn now the less the other says "...because it was profit. In the Artaud, Jarry, I'll fuck it up later. Thank you all funny" but it was horrible and in Camus sense. I'd love it if people for you very kind, positive and constructive comments about the fact that is the same thing" watching Phaedra's Love show. What I said (just as copy deadline understood what we were saying: People hurt each other, people The festival seems quite capable of inviting professionals in order to Tom Bance annoys provide workshops for attendees. Many apologies, I didn't actually Could we please invite some more transcribe it myself, and obviously the NOFFice team journalists/critics to help out next did not proof read it as carefully as I have read a lot of reviews at this year? I should have. Thank you for festival, written by people who have making the clarification, and if clearly read a lot of reviews before, anyone got the wrong impression but haven't seen much theatre. I'm really sorry. Euan is sorry also... There are cliches in abundance but as it is mainly his fault. little substantive content. The
purpose of a review is to assess and evaluate a play, not slag it off/rip it to pieces/try to appear intelligent by picking out minor faults and fleshing out mundane articles with them. They say that all of the 50 odd persons that saw the Sex Pistols at their first date in Manchester formed bands, or that they all became critics. In the case of NSDF this year, out of the 1000 people that have arrived, will there be more critics or performers?
A Reponse to Jon Brittain's article, "Chavtastic," Tilley Michell is putting Jon in hot water again...
I would like to make a brief response to Jon Brittain's article about Neil and Sapphire's Tuesday night duet. Particularly in regard to his closing statement: "many audience members joined me in my incredulity, staring in horror while a load of middle class posh kids laughed at the poor for being ignorant". The Phaedra's Love cast is made up of people from a range of different backgrounds, as an ensemble where we were encouraged to celebrate and exaggerate these differences in order to create a variety of strong and entertaining characters. Jon is
Jon Clarifies Does NOT Apologise
All fair comment, apart from stating that I suggested coming from Essex and being working class makes you ignorant. As I thought I made clear in my original argument, it was the material the characters spoke (rather than accent they spoke it with) that indicated their intelligence level.
We're all big fans of Essex
wrong in assuming that Graham, Sam and Chesky were making fun of 'chavs' during their performance of the song I Love Your Dick. The personae which they acted out in the bar were simply an extension of the characters that they had developed for the play and, seeing as how at one point these characters cut someone's nob off, they were naturally quite unpleasant. Sam, who has always joked that her pregnant alias 'Donna' is actually just an exaggeration of her real self, would like to point out that perhaps Jon should look
at the irony in his own words, especially his rather wounding suggestion that just because you are working class and from Essex, you must be ignorant. I Love Your Dick is a bit of fun, written in the changing rooms to keep spirits up during long rehearsals. It was raucous and gratuitous but never meant to be malicious. It was also in my opinion pretty funny. (Neil and Sapphire are available for weddings, birthday parties, PSE and funerals. Please call on: 03024 987900)
Stephen Jeffreys says "Goodbye" says Stephen Jeffreys
I attended my first NSDF forty years ago. This one will be my last. In 1970, the Fest was a travelling circus which visited a different UK venue every year. I was an English Student at Southampton University and it suddenly became clear that something enormous was about to hit us. I attended various meetings involving a mythical person called Clive Wolfe. We entered an absurdist play by the Polish playwright Slawomir Mrozek. All the parts were named after letters of the alphabet. I was cast as 'B' and we were selected. I was also placed in charge of the information desk. Within a few hours, things had begun to go wrong: our play was described by Nicholas de Jongh (then theatre critic at The Guardian) as "a fully-fledged failure": our inadequate adminstration was falling apart under the pressure of unreasonable demands for hot food, transport to the shows and free tickets: worse still, the anarchic spirit of the times dictated that thirty per cent of the audience would be smoking throughout the peformances and stubbing their fag ends out on the lush purple carpets of the Nuffield Theatre: in the 'discussions' people stood up and shouted abuse at each other. We didn't have a clue what to do.
Then, during a performance of a play called Offending the Audience, the offended audience, fed up with being harangued, invaded the stage. Small scuffles broke out. A member of the Keele University Performance Troupe jumped thirty feet off the balcony into the waiting arms of his fellow actors, narrowingly missing several harmless onlookers. The punter who wanted a risk assessment of Whitehouse Institute would have been carried gibbering to casualty. Almost immediately things looked up. Some of the shows (you wouldn't call any of them 'plays') were actually good. I attended a workshop run by the director Peter James who taught me more about theatre in two hours than I had learned in my entire life. And I discovered something called Noises Off. The NOFF (as it then wasn't called) staff were locked into a room big enough to hold a double bed. The room contained a single typewriter and a Roneo machine. The typist, Sue Bridge, who had long red hair and Geisha fingernails, bashed the copy straight onto stencils, correcting any errors with her plentiful supply of nail polish. Every hour, on the hour, a University porter would come round, unlock the door and ask us if we wanted to be let out yet. This arrangement led to huge surges of work as the Hour of the Porter approached. When we missed the deadline, an interlude
of indolence set in, followed by another sustained burst of activity as, yet again, we failed to complete the mission before our time ran out. We wrote some clever things and fell on the floor laughing at our brilliance. I was in love. I wrote two plays and entered them for the Festival. Both were rejected (wrongly as I still think). A few years later I returned to the NSDF (this time in St. Andrews) with my own play and my own troupe. I was by now a lecturer at an Art College and had (third time) struck lucky. Everything was much more organised, there was less shouting in discussions and a marked decrease in physical danger. I won the Sunday Times prize for playwriting which kickstarted my career. But there was no Noises Off. I questioned Clive about this and he told me that the Festmag had upset too many people and he had killed it off. I begged him to give me the chance to edit it. I lied that I had a vision for it and he believed me. It was 1979, we were back in Southampton and I was made Editor. This promotion ushered in an era when I gave my lifeblood to the NSDF. I spent five years as a selector, eleven as NOFF editor and (it seemed) another twenty on the phone to Clive trying to keep the whole crazy caravan on the road. By 1990 we were tired of the
FEATURE endless travelling and investigated Scarborough as a possible permanent home. Clive took a few of us round some venues. Several of these were school dining rooms which smelt of mince. But it was time to gamble and we all said 'yes'. As it turned out we were right. The NSDF stabilised and flourished. I passed NOFF on to the great Ian Shuttleworth who could not only write but knew the difference between a computer and a can of worms. But now there was a new problem. The NSDF was run out of Clive's attic. Clive was a visionary and a fanatic, but his talents as an accountant and fundraiser were limited. Someone pointed out that if he went under a bus tomorrow, the Festival would go with him. It was Robert Hewison who came up with the answer: there would be a board and I would be on it. And so we began to meet, half a
dozen of us, swapping insights about VAT, employment law and Arts Council infighting. It was like growing up. Then Clive fell ill. The bus had arrived. I announced his imminent departure from the stage of the Spa. I could hardly keep back the tears. We had new leaders: Nick and Andrew and Holly, and we flourished and realised that the whole ridiculous caper had been going for half a century. When the Arts Council threatened to cut our funding, our crossgenerational army rose up in defiance and faced them down. Then, in January, my membership of the board came up for its automatic three-yearly renewal. In a flash I suddenly realised that I was not going to re-apply. The Festival was strong and such skills as I had now seemed outdated. In a second flash I understood that I was actually going to retire from NSDF completely: no more
Scarborough, no more workshops, no more shows. It seemed better to draw a line under one of the biggest relationships of my life, to leave when I realised I was leaving, to leave when some people still remembered who I was. I didn't want to fade out. My forty year old association ends today. Almost everything has happened to me at NSDF: friendships have been forged, love affairs begun and ended, successes relished and failures endured. But most importantly the Festival gave me (and I'm by no means alone) a chance to spend a life in the theatre: if it hadn't been there, I would not have made a living doing what I love. I think I gave two gifts back: I helped keep NSDF going and I revived Noises Off. Please look after both of them and love to you all.
Did You Know And Should You Care? words from the venerable Clive Wolfe How would you like the Festival's glorious history to be totally forgotten in 50 year's time? Wouldn't it be a shame for only the first 50 years to be recorded in Raw Talent: Fifty Years of the National Student Drama Festival (edited by Andrew Haydon ISBN 978-1840025538)? Well, at this time Clive Wolfe is giving the Festival's archive of the first 50 years including videos, scripts, programmes and of course, copies of Noises Off, to Bristol
University's extensive excellent Theatre Collection.
To continue the archive, the NSDF needs someone to take it over. Someone to help with archiving and recording for the next 50 years. All enquires should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org Whilst on the subject of knowing and caring, Clive would like to
stress that, "if any of the companies or audience members have spotted me falling asleep, it's only due to my Parkinson's medication and I apologise to anyone who feels it is an implied slight on the production, but seeing something of people might be better than nothing."
Letting The Cat Out Of The Bag (Yeah Right) Peter Higgin and James Wilkes don't spill the beans Punchdrunk Enrichment and Belt-up collaborate to create Atlantis: a secret immersive experience at NSDF10 A word from Punchdrunk: A strange Doctor, a mysterious B&B, funny characters in and around the Spa complex. On Monday I spent half an hour sat in a cupboard with a very aloof and charming young girl. This was followed on Monday evening by a weird examination from a dubious-looking doctor. He then proceeded to take me into his office and let me have a go on his time machine. Have you spent time in a cupboard or been examined by Doctor Higgs? I hoping for some the answer is yes and expect for a majority of you the answer will be no, you will have seen these people but experienced nothing further. Is any of this ringing any bells or making any sense? Confused? Don't worry: you should be. That's the point and this might have complemented your enjoyment and it's also very possible that it turned you off the whole thing. Again this is fine, and in a sense is an important part of the work. Whatever your experience, hopefully this article will shed a little bit of light on the matter. I work as Enrichment manager for Punchdrunk, a site sympathetic theatre company. We work in large spaces creating work on an epic scale. Our most recent work was a collaboration with the American Repertory Theatre. We re-staged a production called Sleep No More (a retelling of Macbeth fused with soundtracks and themes from Hitchcock thrillers) in a disused school. I am interested in creating projects that reflect the company's artistic ethos and place the work in educational and community settings. www.punchdrunk.org.uk The idea for the project at NSDF10 came from a conversation with Holly after my first visit to the Festival last year. I loved my time at the Festival and was keen to try and contribute in a bigger way.
In May 2009 I worked on a project at Rose Bruford College where we created a series of secret events and installations in their Symposium Week. We arrived unannounced and created a series of durational design and performance happenings that were for all intent and purpose real. Importantly they were fleeting, aloof and strange, the idea being to engage people without them knowing about it. The week culminated in the transformation of the cellar space into a one-on-one performance environment. Audience members who had engaged and had been the most curious were rewarded with this experience. On the basis of this model, I proposed that we did a similar project at the NSDF. I wanted to add an underground and under-the-radar element to the Festival, something off the beaten track and for those who were curious and worked for it. I was also interested in using a found space in Scarborough. With this idea in mind we approached Belt Up, a young company based in York and who had performed at the Festival in 2008. Over the past 6 months I have been meeting with Alex, Dominic, James, Jethro and Polly, exposing them to our work and mentoring them through the process of creating a piece of work for site. Artistically they've had complete control and I will let them tell you about what they have been trying to achieve. Alongside the interactions with Festival-goers around and about Scarborough, the main body of the work has actually taken place in an old Georgian house (15-17 Falsgrave Rd). The company have transformed the space to suit their needs. I was there throughout to give artistic support and practical advice. Without the support of the NSDF team and Cheryl at the SJT this project would not have been possible. Our hope is that this has been an exciting project for all involved. I also hope this piece will inspire and support future work of this nature for Belt-up NSDF. This exchange and inspiration is at the heart of Punchdrunk's Enrichment programme. Atlantis has been an experiment for all involved,
An important part of this experiment is evaluation and the sharing of experiences. I would personally like to thank all involved at NSDF and Belt Up and am fascinated to find out what people thought of the project. A Word from Belt Up Theatre: Belt Up first came to NSDF in 2008 with a production of Steven Berkoff's Metamorphosis whilst second year students at the University of York. Two years down the line and we've graduated and are now working full time as a professional company resident at the York Theatre Royal. Our company ethos is to develop work that is fearless, playful and adventurous, and that places the audience at the centre of the wholly encompassing world of the production. Over the past two years we've produced over fifteen shows that work with this ethos and are now working towards our Edinburgh Fringe programme of nine shows for our immersive environment The House Above. It was during the preparations for our 2009 Fringe that Holly Kendrick first approached us about getting involved in a secret project with Punchdrunk for NSDF 2010. We had met Peter Higgin, the Punchdrunk enrichment officer, at the 2008 Edinburgh fringe after blindfolding him and throwing him around in the dark for an hour; it was following this that he suggested us as a company to help add a bit of secrecy to NSDF. After numerous meetings and e-mail exchanges between Peter, Holly and the Belt Up company directors we came up with a concept revolving around a durational piece set in a Bed and Breakfast. The idea was that there would be a massive storyline that only a handful of keen audience members would be able to follow - others would get snippets during one-on-ones or passing exchanges in the bar or after shows. Over the last few weeks, the cast worked tirelessly, not only to construct the intricate storylines and characters, but to build, dress and transform the house into the performance space it has become. These storylines culminated last night, witnessed by an exclusive group of audience members who had literally put their blood, sweat and tears into chasing this story -
without their efforts the project could not have worked and we hope we rewarded them enough with the finale. Despite its secrecy, there have been an enormous amount of people involved in making this project work. They have lied to all those around them and ensured that the project was kept under wraps. Kudos must go to Peter Higgin and Holly Kendrick for coming up with the prospect of adding something to the Festival off the beaten track, and for all their amazing support. Nic Watson and his team have been an invaluable support in terms of the technical aspects of the production and we fully appreciate that this has been a hugely complicated addition to their workload. Thanks must also go to Emma Betteridge for helping to organise this - it has essentially been a week long durational site-specific workshop to complicate her job a bit. Also thanks to Noises Off for including a few secret clues in their editions and being so discreet about it. And most importantly, our eternal thanks go to James Lamont, our VC assisted by Izzie Sullivan, and the dedicated team of LOs - Peter Lashley, Raffy Parker and Katie Lydon - who have assisted every aspect of the production and even sat in a cold room all week; ready in waiting to sort out any problems (thankfully there weren't any). The whole project has been a huge collaboration between a lot of hardworking people and we are delighted at how well it has turned out. Final thanks must go to those dedicated members of the audience who have really kept us on our toes and been more intuitive than we could have ever expected. It has been a wonderful experience being back at NSDF this year and we're looking forward to being able to enjoy the last day as ourselves - our 14 strong ensemble have been slowly going insane from being in character over 12 hours a day for the past week rattling around an old (probably haunted) Victorian house. We've enjoyed the speculation and rumours that have been circulating around the Festival. We assume we are the 'invisible theatre company' that people have been talking about and we hope you enjoyed your chance meetings with the 'weirdly dressed people of Scarborough'. We would also like to apologise to anyone who has been approached about a mysterious Bed and Breakfast, we're sure it's
FEATURE nothing personal. We will be holding a Q&A during Last Orders in the SJT about the project, company and our careers since NSDF 2008. We will also be around and about the bar and final events as ourselves so feel free to talk to us. If you are interested you can become a fan of Belt Up on Facebook, just search 'Belt Up (nothing to see/hear)' where you can get updates on some of our other projects and shows. Also, if
anyone's up at the fringe this year look out for any invites to our home - there you'll find around 9 of our shows, including a revival of our NSDF08 show Metamorphosis. Q&A after Last Orders in the SJT.
Belt Up are Complete Dickheads! Jon Brittain throws his rattle out of the pram Not love, nor money, nor hanging around waiting to be talked to, nor even 'accidentally' bumping into them and directly asking them for one has secured me a ticket to Belt Up's 'secret' show. My suspicions were first aroused to its existence by Rebekka Taylor's article investigating the 'Belt Up Conspiracy' (As I have been referring to it on my blog theatretruthers.blogspot.com). Following this discovery I compiled a dossier on Belt Up's members, who I was able to identify with the aid of stolen medical documents. For 5 days now I have been tracking them. That is not as easy as it sounds, don't think their funny costumes give them away. I spent five hours on Monday following a 'character' who I assumed was supposed to be a disco king from an alternative dystopian 1970s, alas it was just a drama student from Warwick. Eccentric dress is not an oddity at this festival. Also I was unaware how proficient the members of Belt Up are at the art of disguise. I think I gave them too much
credit, and I have wasted far too much time this week asking for tickets from seagulls. But when I did find the Belt Up members I still had no success.
"I spent five hours on Monday following a 'character' who I assumed was supposed to be a disco king from an alternative dystopian 1970s, alas it was just a drama student from Warwick" Why advertise the show if you aren't going to give me a ticket? Their constant refusal of my advances made me angry, but their viral marketing sent me crazy, I started seeing adverts everywhere. Every belt buckle I saw was a secret taunt, every time I passed a bed and breakfast I had to break in to make sure that it wasn't the site of their performance. We're in Scarborough, the only direction you can walk that doesn't pass a bed and breakfast is directly into the sea.
If they are subsidised by the NSDF to the extent of the other plays then that means their play cost me ÂŁ4.46 of my subscription ticket! ÂŁ4.46! I know they have artistic reasons for choosing their audience, but fuck artistic integrity, I am seeing this purely from a consumerist point of view. They owe me a performance. I have resolved to kidnap the members of Belt Up and make them perform the play for my own private amusement, on loop. If only they had given me a ticket when I asked for one, but they did not. Whatever happens to them now, however horrible it is, it is of their own making.
It Was All Real
Claudia Marinaro closes her eyes really tight When I first read Harry Potter I was young and innocent enough to hope for an invitation to Hogwarts on my 11th birthday. Needless to say, I never received such a letter. Being invited, instead, to the marvellous Bensalem Bed and Breakfast has made up for that disappointment and made my 11 year-old-self not only smile but shake with excitement. Being friends with the Venue Stage Manager of the 'Floating' Venue, I bugged him for days to know about his venue and what was going on there. All in vain he wouldn't tell a word. The only thing he gave away, on Monday night, was some advice: go to the Ocean Room and talk to the people in weird clothes. Now, we all know that in Dramaland very, very few people do not wear 'weird' clothes, and in fact I almost started chatting up a man who was yes in an extravagant outfit but who was not involved in the production at all. And then I saw them: standing by the toilet, a boy in his pyjamas and his friend with a bright red hat. I did start talking to them, but as I saw they were about to leave I casually and subtly (I wish) asked whether they would be around the next day. And so I got my first
"...standing by the toilet, a boy in his pyjamas and his friend with a bright red hat. I did start talking to them..." 20
invitation to the B&B. Followed by another after my first visit, and then by another one, and by another one still. There was a storyline that developed day-byday and as other less lucky people were not asked back, I was so into the story that I almost forgot it was fiction. Well, almost. The grand finale was yesterday night: holding hands with the other privileged guests, who I had not
seen before (because the B&B is just like Fight Club - the first rule is...), I saw the characters finding their bittersweet ending and closing the door of the B&B for the last time. This review is to thank everyone involved in the production, the actors and the VSM and whoever made it fantastic as it was. If you were expecting any detail on the venue or the story itself, well, I believe that'd better be kept within the walls of the Bensalem.
And to the rest - have a safe trip and enjoy Atlantis!
Euan Forsyth Reminisces About Jonathan 'The Lad' Brittain's Responses to NSDF '10 I was privileged enough to be on the same route as the reviewer and Festival regular Jonathan Brittain and was able to obtain from his initial opinions...(please compare to his actual reviews)
Whitehouse Institute - "Why are the protesters so angry? What is it that could make them angry? I don't get that angry at anything!" 10 minutes later
4 Bar and Rising - "Oh I didn't want to know it was about bridges."
"ÂŁ1.20 for Ribena!? That's 30p per sip!"
The Bog of Cats - "Very good. Very good. ... Was I the only one who didn't understand that...."
Phaedra's Love - "What was wrong with the audience, it was excellent, but how can you give a standing
Tell Tale - "I'm... I'm... just... I'm so angry! It was like being locked in a room with someone who describes themselves as kooky! I don't care if you made your trousers out of a pairs of curtains, stop singing and tell me a fucking story that makes sense!" Guidelines for Measures to Cope - "I have suffered from BDD and it isn't that exciting... but dance music does play whenever you throw up." "Who was that person with the beans, no one sent me beans when I had bulimia, I had to buy my own."
Oh look, Jon Brittain has an opinion on some plays. Quell Suprise.
ovation to a double homicide, rape, incest, and castration." Our Country's Good - "This show didn't make me angry." Angel - "It looked like a concussed Tim Burton had been let loose on the stage with a paint brush and a ball of string" In Loving Memory - "I actually liked it..." Jon Brittain gave Into the Woods a standing ovation
"I'm... I'm... just... I'm so angry! It was like being locked in a room with someone who describes themselves as kooky!" 21
What A Cry Baby states Chloe Jones
Having being affected or moved by very little so far, I was wholly satisfied on my final day. By The Bog Of Cats and The Pillowman were both prime examples of 'proper' theatre. Both, perhaps rather embarrassingly, provoked a small tear; a sign of true enjoyment and engagement with a piece. By The Bog Of Cats was beautifully staged, intricately detailed and flawlessly acted. There were no weak performances; bold statement as this may be, I found myself immersed in characterisation. I was most convinced by the arresting performances of the characters Josie and Hester and their moving relationship set up as mother and daughter. Similarly, Michal and Katurian in The Pillowman were engaging and humorous. The character of Michal in particular really had us, as the audience, believing in him this was a very memorable and emotionally provocative performance of Michal that will be hard to better. Overall, The Pillowman succeeded as a black comedy, reducing the audience to fits of laughter without making a mockery of the darker elements of the play. Both performances involved more sinister aspects which were dealt with maturely and accurately. As poignant and gripping moments of both plays, the death scenes were executed well. The murder of Josie by Hester in the bath was subtle yet effective. In fact By The Bog Of Cats was a bravely-staged play. The technical and practical elements polished
the show to perfection - the musicians being the cherry on top of a delicately textured and wellnurtured cake. In turn, The Pillowman was also well-staged, especially when enacting Katurian's stories (the moment when the Little Jesus girl was buried in her coffin under the stage in particular), as this is a tough play to stage interestingly, so all credit to the director. To avoid sounding too fanatic, I will leave it there. Both plays were, to me, the pinnacle of the shows I've seen at NSDF (although, arguably, with little competition.) In my opinion, that was theatre. It must have been - I cried at both. And I'm not ashamed to admit it.
"By The Bog Of Cats and The Pillowman were both prime examples of 'proper' theatre"
Don't cry baby...
What Do You Do With Those 15 Minutes Cassandra Fumi tells us how she ate hers Was Angel just an excuse for theoretical and philological debate?, As I write this review I am posing questions because I don't know what it was about, my major assumption is... nothing. This challenges my basic human instinct to find the origin of something. I prepared myself mentally to waste 15 minutes of my life, but as it turned out I was more than happy to surrender these 15 minutes to the cast of Angel. As after the show, at least the next half an hour was spent discussing it - what it meant - even though as it concluded we were told 'this has no story'. It wasn't good enough, I wanted to find a meaning... I didn't.
to explore? Visually Angel was enjoyable to watch, the creme egg made me hungry, the music made me nod my head and the 15 minute time frame...posed a question in my mind: what if all theatre was this short? I did however find myself quickly disagreeing with this notion, as a lover of stories: there was no story in Angel and no characters to go on a journey with, well not obviously enough anyway. My love for the short time frame of Angel may have been linked to the juxtaposition it had from the show I saw that afternoon, Into
Angel did not explore a new concept; the train of avant-garde thought is an issue not foreign to theatre. This being the major flaw, why do we not find new things
the Woods that in three hours allowed me to catch up on my sleep. However The Into the Woods cast entertained the NOFFice, the room is buzzing at the moment, this is where they excel, doing a medley of popular songs, where was this in their show? This shows you never judge a book by its cover; talents are hidden and you cannot always know what they are. Yes I am awake, shaking my head. Into the Woods evidently needed to have Michael Jackson in it. Yet something must be said for the fact that this 15 minute play sparked more than seven reviews in today's NOFF and it was sexy night. We are talking about it, and why? Is it because it confused us? As humans it is in our nature to know the origin of something and we certainly did not know the origin of Angel.
Where Plotlines Fear To Tread Richard T. Watson uses the term 'mind-fuck' I don't use the term 'mind-fuck' lightly. Certainly not this time, anyway, considering that DeMontford University's Angel won't necessarily leave you reeling. The five performers give an ostentatious triumph for the theatre approach that doesn't rely upon (or even need) a narrative. You remember the folk (well, Anthony Mamos) who wrote in Monday's NOFF that: 'I don't like
stories'. So now we can behold the results of the artistic policy that is so opposed to narrative. And how oppositional it is. Watch, as Angel takes apart many of the rules associated with theatre. Their space, divided vertically by string and horizontally by tape, is a crazy paving web of controlled anarchy - populated by figures that I'd like to relate to board
games and games of chance. I'd like to, but I'm not convinced. What we get presented with appears to be a 3D exploration of the effect of music on individuals. A certain operatic aria creates a frenetic lucidity prompting the declaration from the angel-man that he keeps going around in circles. Work-out music gets him onto the exercise bike, other styles get him and his
REVIEWS ANGEL companions typing or applauding. It's not strictly about a specific man; it seems to be more a means of conveying the relationship between human behaviour and music. Alas, this is something that needs experiencing (hearing and seeing) to be full grasped.
it is disturbing. Though it's the muscular tics that cause the disturbing effect. The non-linear approach of Angel is brought brazenly to the fore
At the centre is Mamos himself the man who dresses as an angel. And why not? Why shouldn't a man be free to dress and express himself as he likes? Within reason, of course - but if he's not hurting anyone else, then he can do as he likes. And frankly, his outfit is almost as entertaining as
when, after hopelessly flicking through a gigantic book, a character announces that 'it's no story, this, here' and kills the lights. So any attempt to impose meaning on this eclectic piece via plotline is confounded (no doubt to the delight of Mamos' anti-plot school of thought). The irony is that the phrase is placed at the closing of the piece, and so is bound to be seen as a conclusion or definitive statement by those trying to impose a story structure.
A Review From Your Tech Op
Will Welch shares his (physical) perspective... Come around to the fourth performance, no matter how good a show is, the techies are so bored of the show, they cannot wait to get to the pub. However, not so for Angel. I could not wait for each performance of Angel (I saw four in six hours) and I fully enjoyed each performance.
'Too many people have been gone in and tried to analyse and understand it, and have not just enjoyed the performance' While I still have no idea what it is about (though I have lots of theories), that does not detract from the performance. While each one was individual and different, overall they were brilliant. The set was cleverly thought-through and implemented, and the soundscape was awesome.
Too many people have been gone in and tried to analyse and understand it, and have not just enjoyed the performance. While it is not bad to do this, I feel people are doing it at the expense of the enjoyment of watching it, and are going away disliking it because they don't know what the hell it was about. Get over it, it's meant to make you think, not understand. And if you want to go and watch it and disagree with what I've written, tough, as it has already been de-rigged (go tech!). On a personal point, the cast and support were a great bunch of people, and it was a pleasure and honour to op your tech.
REVIEWS BY THE BOG OF CATS
Matthew Morgan has fun by the bog Haunting accordion strains crackle through the chilling air, whilst childish crayon drawings greet the eyes as the audience enter for their encounter with Hester Swain Irish traveller, mystic - and her last hours, the action about to be witnessed. Played commandingly by Fiona Mikel, she shimmers on
"the harsh landscape og the bog is created through the meticulous design" stage, a mix of caustic venom and frailty, as she sways like the rags adorning her ramshackle caravan. This Irish , Euripides' original transposed by playwright Marina Carr, is the offering of Warwick University to the Festival and the tale which unfolds in this forsaken bog captivates entirely. Swain, visited by soothsayers heralding her end, is confronted with eviction from both love and property and the play becomes an account of the death-throes of the condemned. The
performance's traverse staging is an inspired artistic choice, the crux of which, a derelict bathtub, bears the grisly finale to this lurid account. Despite the silent pleas there is no respite: as audience heart-strings snap, those opposite are illuminated by harsh fluorescent tube lights, their reaction as much part of the performance as that unfolding on stage. This tautness is created through expert work by the actors, in a strong cast Rio West's Josie and Matt Stokoe's Carthage excelling alongside the inimitable Hester. In the cold Clive Wolfe Auditorium, the harsh landscape of the bog is created through the meticulous design and subtle lighting. The live musicians play with a haunting beauty whilst the sound design imbues the evening with an eeriness of almost tangible quality. Bertrand Lesca's production is a compelling performance, charged with a rare energy. This is theatre at its visceral and desolate best.
Rebecca-Louise Simpson takes it too literally As an ailurophobe (thanks Ben!) it was with much fear and trepidation that I entered the Clive Wolfe Auditorium (and sat opposite the legendary Clive Wolfe himself). 184 minutes later I left the theatre feeling relief at the absence of any actual cats.
REVIEWS INTO THE WOODS
Nigel Penboy is welcomed into the woods NSDF '10 has been awash with plays dealing with contentious and challenging issues: Guidelines for Measures to Cope and BDD, By the Bog of Cats and the breakdown of marriage, and The Pillowman with its twin issues of free speech and torture. Into the Woods in comparison was a refreshing change of pace. Musicals are fundamentally designed to lift one's spirits, Into the Woods, achieved this with aplomb.
"the set was, while understated, effective and, most importantly, added to the drama" Two elements, in my mind, enabled Into the Woods to achieve
this, an accomplished set, and consistently strong acting. If you consider the budget of some West End musicals (Oliver's recent West End revival springs to mind) the set was, while understated, effective and, most importantly, added to the drama. The representation of the woods by the hanging banners, and aided by the living 'wood' girls, enabled the audience to maintain the illusion that they were watching the characters in a heavily wooded area. That they achieved this without spending ridiculous budgets is to be applauded. I was also highly impressed with the acting throughout, with special mention going to Vicky Baker's Little Red Riding Hood, and Britain Fleming's Baker's Wife.
Baker provided near flawless comic relief, while Fleming played a crucial character with style and panache; her performance of Moments in the Woods, providing a personal highlight for me. Overall, I really enjoyed this piece which was an excellent closing show for the Festival. I will certainly be returning next year and hope to see a musical of the same quality!
Out of the Woods
Phoebe Alexandra Burke gets lost in the wild wood When I went to Into the Woods this afternoon I wanted to be taken out of the woods as quickly as possible. Once there however, I did not intend to take a nap in the woods as many other audience members did around me. I felt I was watching a fantastic orchestra produce some beautiful music but energetically preventing me from this was the actors. Their attempt also to bring together an international cast was irritatingly received, were they in America or Britain? Or had some characters originated from the USA and were cast by some 'witch's spell' to the set off into the woods in England? Maybe the secret to my questions was kept in the mimed
beans, who knows? When working with Stephen Sondheim's superb script it is a shame that much of the comedy wasn't projected therefore leaving the audience feeling neglected. With exceptions of the two Princes who managed to grasp the comic timing, essential to execute this script with justice.
"their attempt also to bring together an international cast was irritatingly received" Musical talent shone through from the cast and the performance was a chance for them to demonstrate their vocal
abilities which deserved much praise. But when the lighting didn't even emphasise the actors' presence on stage but left them in darkness their efforts were lost in the audiences' blindness. Into the Woods proved the collaboration of such individual talent thrown together in a blender of bad direction, sieved through weak choreography into a glass of disappointment. The desperate voice of a small child behind me to his mother 'Is it finished?' demonstrated my feelings toward the performance exactly and her reply 'Nearly, Darling.' I think equally reassured the child as much as me.
REVIEWS INTO THE WOODS
Out of The Frying-Pan & Into the Woods No stardust for Ziggy Henderson At one point in the play the blue prince quipped "I was raised to be charming, not sincere". Unfortunately I wasn't, so I'll be totally honest. The fact that most of the audience were asleep is about as honest as you can get; this may be down to the fact everybody has been working bloody hard, and at the end of the week grogginess is inevitable (God knows I had a shameful nod during something so incredible as By the Bog of Cats), but the fact it took pinching to keep me awake means the show couldn't, which isn't fantastic. Had the Russian Government shown this play to the Chechen terrorists, they would have saved a fortune on sleeping gas.
"anyone can look bad when the directors haven't achieved a balance which can please the audience" This chronic narcolepsy was probably largely due to the relentless score. The only time it changed was during the Prince's scenes, making them a welcome relief and by contrast massively enjoyable. The random dwarf bashing and general anti-wife humour of the pair got the most laughs, but we got the impression the audience felt embarrassed to laugh or clap. Some songs didn't get a whisper, even though a pause was given, with each subsequent one making it harder to be polite. It says something rather ironic however, that the band (including the physically rambunctious conductor, who
perpetually drew focus) got more applause than the cast. Speaking of the cast, I got the impression they didn't really enjoy singing the songs; in fact they didn't seem to enjoy being in the play, as we could see throughout the bows, which were lacking in the smile department. It has been a long week, but I couldn't sense the thrill you'd hope to feel after performing in the NSDF. They didn't look happy, bless 'em. I do not however want the cast to take too much offence to this review, as I believe anyone can look bad when the directors haven't achieved a balance which can please the audience. These problems should have been noticed and addressed: had it not been for the fact that I was staring directly at Cinderella, I would have believed that all her lines were delivered by a computer. In retrospect this would have been preferable, since at least a computer has auto-tune function (that's fn+9 in case you're wondering). Most of the cast didn't sing consistently well, the exceptions being Britain Flemming's Baker's Wife and Emmeline Willcocks' Rapunzel, who sounded great. I
feel the cast was also let down by the choreographer Phoebe Gardner, who with the cunning use of maypole and line dance fusion failed to impress, or push the cast to their potential, while making the actors look silly. The elephant in the room, or cast, was definitely Alicia Bennett, who looked like she just didn't know what she was doing. Irked by this I inspected her bio, discovering that perhaps she had a whoopsie thinking that she had such a vast talent range, allowing her to produce, design and hand make costumes, and play two roles in the production. This must have pissed off Snow White who we only saw for the last 30 seconds, including the bows. For a piece of theatre which I'm told has been witty, engaging and fun in productions passed, for me this one didn't tick any of the boxes. But rather than be down to a crappy cast, which it certainly isn't, I think the choices make by the production team made it laughable, which is a shame. It wasn't produced with the knowledge that it was a musical.
REVIEWS INTO THE WOODS
Minchael Vickers and Robin Richardson share some thoughts Those NSDF goers who were present during an SJT discussion recently would be aware that the selectors know of the obvious lack of musicals at NSDF - and now we know for good reason. We are aware that Sondheim is very ambitious even for professional companies, and that his recitative-like sections of music are incredibly hard to pitch, but some of this cast struggled with the obviously easier parts. Not wanting to rant on about music, we understand that this is not a music-based Festival or cast, but then why choose Sondheim without obviously musically trained performers? The directorial interpretation has defecated on some obviously very talented performers, any good
characterisation or pretence was utterly lost amongst amateurly executed music and clumsy scene changes. Due to their garish costumes and inconsistent styles of characterisation it was impossible to gauge whether or not it was their intent to create a satire or to follow the script letterfor-letter. In fact, there seemed to be no original directorial vision at all. We could not understand the company's intent, and we found ourselves distracted by the plastering on the ceiling due to the tedium of the stage craft. It was not however, a terrible production. We could understand how it would appeal to younger audiences as it had heavy connotations of a classic AmDram pantomime. That said, we
do not see how it has a place at a drama festival that celebrates new ideas and innovation. This does not mean in any way that we do not appreciate the tone and style of musicals, as they are an enjoyable and a complex artform and require a strict application of time and dedication. But if this level of dedication was present in Into the Woods, it was in no way apparent. The obviously talented cast seemed to really enjoy the characters and show as a whole, but there was a distinct lack of polishing that made the audience visibly wince. I wish we could be more constructive with our criticism and perhaps our views have been morphed by six days of fatigue, but I feel probably not, and it was just a bit pants.
A Fairytale Journey
Jonathon Brittain turns over a new leaf The woods are a place of transformation, of growing up. Jack, Little Red and Cinderella all pass through on their way to a happy ending, Into the Woods tells this tale, and of what happens when they must return. Like Tell Tale, this show deals with stories we are all familiar with, but rather than being about regression Into the Woods is about growing up. Into the Woods is a deeply flawed musical, overlong, monotonous and in two halves that feel like (and probably should be) two different shows. It is also intelligent, touching and very funny, luckily a sense of humour is, along with excellent singing, this production's greatest
strength. This production and its cast buys into Sondheim's tone, none more so than Vicky Baker, Oliver Thompson and the strangely magnetic Ben Hopkins as (respectively) Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella's Prince and the cow Milky White. The show has transferred well into the space and the simple design overcomes various staging problems thrown up by the script with just the use of a couple of ladders. This design, with wood nymph-like stage hands and a visible orchestra reinforces the notion that the world these characters inhabit is artificial. It is only in the second half that they break out of their confines,
accept responsibility and grow to be fully rounded characters. The show suffers from an occasional lagging pace compounded by Fest-Goer's fatigue. The script is problematic but, despite any weaknesses, this is still a stylish, ultimately touching and very funny production.
REVIEWS INTO THE WOODS
Rebecca-Louise Simpson waxes musical There has been a distinct lack of musical theatre at NSDF in recent years. - with the Cameron Mackintosh award having been withdrawn from the offering on numerous occasions. Anyone who was unfortunate enough o have experienced Mikey The Chavtastic Musical (in 2004?) will perhaps understand p0otential reasons why the musical theatre landscape of NSDF has remained barren. Some of the most wellrounded & innovative performances in recent years have featured live music & soundscape, whilst this style is certainly aurally pleasing, it is not what would normally be considered musical theatre in any traditional sense.
"Vocally it was performed well, the entire cast achieving the comnplexities of Sondheim's phrasing" I was then therefore intrigued to see what would merit this performance of Into the Woods achieving a successful selection when many others had failed. Clearly their quite frankly enormous (ÂŁ10,000) initial budget had allowed for lovely costumes, the set was extremely simple & effective (did you pinch the map from Wicked?) The small stage area made much of the blocking seem awkward and clumsy, which is a shame as the chorography did not look as though the cast were able to do it justice in such a limited stage area. Vocally it was performed well, the entire cast achieving the complexities of
Sondheim's phrasing, and in ensemble scenes creating the palimpsest of song that is tricky to say the least. There weren't any performers who could be identified as the weakest, however certain performers stood out as being more skilled than others for a variety of reasons. Vocally Britain Fleming had the most emotional material to work with, and has a beautiful soprano voice which means that despite her kicking my arse at tupple the cheeky swine - I was impressed by her performance, especially considering that neither her work or degree have any relation to the theatre. Becky Durbin was a wonderful witch; having seen Bernadette Peters in the same role, vocally & in terms of characterisation, Durbin equalled that performance. Vicky Baker played the subtext of her role with wit & energy, rather than making her lines obvious innuendo laden laugh inducing one-liners. She gently played her lyrics with humour that worked well, and physically the role well.
enjoy the show, although for some inexplicable reason this afternoon the pace in act two seemed to drop & drag in places which was a shame. The piece has obviously benefitted from its advantageous production process. It is not as raw and fresh as some shows, as it has been performed extensively before NSDF, it also lacks the make do & mend 'suffering for our art' type feel of most of the selected shows at NSDF. A final note to say that, despite winning the quiz & flaunting their pissed up state due to the prize money, they are a nice company of people.
As the tallest and, forgive me if I'm wrong, oldest cast member, Vicky would not perhaps be the obvious choice for this role, however she plays the girl on the cusp of adolescence and being led astray with conviction, and without a horribly shrill version of The Grandmother's House. The song Agony was actually completely the opposite played with humour & humility, these two wannabe sexual predators engage in a 'woe is me' standoff that truly captures the humour within the libretto. Overall I did
REVIEWS IN LOVING MEMORY
On Living Mamaries reported by Jon Brittain There is no doubt that In Loving Memory deserves to be at the NSDF. Insinuations have been made that it is not at the same standard as other selected shows, but it should be kept in mind that shows, while judged by the same standards, are not necessarily judged on the same criteria. Earlier in the week Guidelines for Measures to Cope was praised for its presentation but taken to task over a potential lack of authenticity. This problem is not one that affects In Loving Memory at all, and the strength of the project lies in the honesty and energy that the company project. They give the impression that they are intimately familiar with
the problems they are addressing. Other projects might have seemless tech, quick scene changes, polished choreography and a complex script but they will never be able to replicate genuine experience. Honesty permeates the play throughout, and moments that would seem cliched elsewhere, such as kissing a deceased friend's baseball cap, are affecting here. The large cast are impressively sychronised and within the ensemble there is room for several to shine. A strong central performance from Charlie Hillman unifies the different vignettes and a touching near silent performance from Tiffany
Thompson as his mother is genuinely affecting despite its brevity. This is not a play without flaws, but if it were a choice between this and a more technically proficient show with nothing to say about society In Loving Memory should be chosen every time. Yes, this show would be improved if given the help of a professional writer, director or dramaturg, but to focus on that misses the point. The point is that it deserves to be given the help.
Guns, Bad. Knives, Bad. by Dan Collington
Guns, bad. Knifes, bad. In Loving Memory ... well. In Loving Memory performed at the New Hall Theatre by RJL Productions, is a performance that asks the audience a few questions. Well maybe not a few, maybe just one very large one; if this is the standard of the work selected by the NSDF selectors, what on earth was the rejected work like? Now don't get me wrong, the performance wasn't a complete and utter waste of time, it did have a good heart, and at least attempted to have a good message, it's just that it failed to develop much depth to the initial idea of 'GUNS ARE BAD'. The performance began with a very
thought-provoking projection of various quotes and questions, such as something along the lines of 'Is Hip-Hop responsible for gun culture?' and 'Have guns become fashion accessories?' This was a very strong start to the piece and filled me with anticipation for how they were going to approach their opinions on these matters...unfortunately the piece after this point didn't relate to the questions posed at all. The action got off on the wrong foot; it began with a row between two rival 'gangs' about what I'm not sure was ever specified to the audience and quite frankly I'm not sure the cast themselves knew. The lead cast member then went on to describe himself as a
drug dealer and explained this was due to the fact that his father was not around, so he had to provide for his family, which firstly is a little offensive to women; insinuating they are unable to provide for their families without a man. Secondly isn't exactly the first career path you would choose especially considering him later being referred to as a straight-A student and a really sound guy, and thirdly later on in the play his father is mentioned as if he is still in the picture contradicting what has already been said in the piece. Other aspects of the piece included a trio of singers who showed up every so often to sing us a little ditty, the first of which
REVIEWS IN LOVING MEMORY reminded me of one of the those bad acts you get in the early stages of the X Factor (I could hear Simon Cowell shouting 'NEXT' echoing in my head), the harmonies were not far off though, they just weren't quite right and the song was delivered with no conviction or expression at all. The next song these three performed was Amazing Grace (unoriginally in a funeral scene). This did sound beautiful, the harmonies where nice though it would have been nice to have a little more dynamic, but all the same it was very nice, however the singers still failed to create
any stage presence, performing the song with no emotion at all. The movement parts were by far the best parts of the performance and you could tell that the performers did have a good amount of skill, though I think they could have really done with making more of them. The problem with this show is its inconsistency, for example the audience were given no time to learn about any of the characters before the shooting happened and we lost one. At the funeral for the deceased, we are introduced to a grieving mother,
this just seemed a bit odd to just be sprung on us at this point. We were also told not to stereotype these people but I didn't see any characters that challenged a stereotype. It is safe to say I did not enjoy this performance; it lacked depth, meaning, and it appeared like a rehearsal. I wanted more from the initial themes set through the projections. I just wish it had related back to them.
In Loving Misery by Will Bourdillon
W3 vs. W14, a territorial dispute, culminating in a direct tussle. A shot is fired and a gang member falls. These events and their consequences are the plot of In Loving Memory, a piece comprising dance, song and poetry, performed by students of Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College. It's a brave undertaking as it attempts to construct a story through this array of multimedia scenes. Unfortunately, there is a distinct lack of flow between individual episodes. Scene changes take too long, leaving the audience feeling that they must start from scratch with their engagement with the characters. Instead of a consistent throughline of narrative, what is presented feels more like an unlinked tableau of routines that aim to showcase the various disciplines of the performers involved. The plot is laced in quite loosely, with a distinct lack
of recognisable catharsis, leaving it seeming like an afterthought.
laboured and overly structured in comparison to this potential.
Most of the individual performances are competently handled, though few rise to that arena of inventiveness or excellence. The performance poetry is an outstanding let down for the piece, it's slow-paced delivery seeming like an undue
The themes of the piece are compelling in their concept, but are touched on so briefly as to seem ultimately irrelevant. Emotional engagement is not made an easy thing for an audience, as characters are not developed, and only a restricted view of the subject matter is used.
"A capable ensemble performing a thematically interesting piece" consideration for the audience, an attempt to lay down the words in a careful and precise form to increase accessibility. Performance poetry at its best is a constant flow of words, at a speed which attempts match the rate that the brain processes the images presented. This is an approach missed by In Loving Memory, and their chosen method seems
A capable ensemble performing a thematically interesting piece, In Loving Memory fails to live up to it's potential, mainly due to it's lack of focus. It could become a fantastic piece of theatre, though much work is needed before this point is reached. This work, though, would be a worthwhile investment. In Loving Memory is a starting point for something larger, deeper and more exciting.
REVIEWS IN LOVING MEMORY
This is a Loving Headline
brought to you by Rebecca Louise Simpson After having the misfortune of having shared audience space with members of this company during the week, I felt that I had the right to expect this play to be outstanding at an international level. This would be the only justification for their appalling behaviour, that they were above the standard of NSDF. This however was not the case. The piece was evidently the product of workshops and much rehearsal, however I don't feel that it has fully moved beyond this status. There were many staple 'drama techniques' used, however they were not used in any imaginative way. In terms of a 'marked modular performance', the piece would undoubtedly tick an examiner's box, however as an overall performance it was at best incoherent.
Writer's Diaries is one of the most raw and moving books (and films) that I have read on this subject matter. I personally feel that by losing the one weak main protagonist and fully exploring the section of the piece where the victim was 'everyman' and attaching them to true life accounts, the creators would have more chance of evoking empathy. With the recent surge in TV dance competitions, the choreographer could reincarnate this whole piece as an 'issuedriven movement piece', and would better achieve the aims of the piece, as that way the best elements would survive and I would not have to pretend to give a damn about the two dimensional stereotypical characters.
"The piece was evidently the product of workshops"
The main character was too generic, and his death was certainly not 'devastating', as described in the blurb. The same with the mother, although Tiffany Thompson cried beautifully throughout the piece; the lack of any character development at all left me feeling bereft, not for the character, but lack of emotional stimulus. What could have been a really touching and honest performance was, essentially, lots of pretty dance moves and beautiful singing, with a naff, underdeveloped plot. I would much rather have seen a deeper exploration of real accounts or experience of this knife and gun crime; The Freedom
This cloud is not devastating
REVIEWS THE PILLOWMAN
Tilly Mitchell is a career woman, she initally hates playboy millionaire Rock Hudson but could there be love in the air...? Humour and horror work together like chilli and chocolate; fantastic if you get the balance right, disastrous if you don't. The ultimate challenge behind Martin McDonagh's chilling dark comedy The Pillowman comes in achieving the perfect blend between the two. It is a play that requires its actors to narrate truly horrendous stories whilst performing characters that are both malevolent and sidesplittingly funny. When done well, this generates a wonderful incongruity that chokes the audience in a titillating mix of laughter and horror. The first half of last night's production achieved this effect magnificently, due mainly to the high standard of acting that was upheld by this obviously competent cast. Matthew Johnson's portrayal of bent copper Tupolski was particularly good. With all the poise and underlying cruelty of a Guy Ritchie villain, Johnson's demeanour was malicious but controlled, lending his delivery a violent subtext that contrasted well with the wit of the script. James
Gammage's interpretation of the mentally damaged Michal was similarly impressive, the childish awkwardness with which he casually narrated the specifics of his brutal crimes held an uncanny innocence that tore me periodically between sympathy and hatred, forcing me to question the line between fault and blamelessness. Unfortunately the play fell down slightly in the second half. This was opened with a visual enactment of the story Little Jesus in which a child is tortured by her foster parents for claiming to be the Messiah. Despite the story's frightening content the crude choreography during this sequence tipped the comedy/horror balance further towards farce than was necessary, making it seem anecdotal and vaguely silly. The tension in the play's second half hinges on the shocking nature of this story, thus its amusing rendition meant that, despite continuing to be enjoyable and engaging, the play never truly recovered its fear factor.
Pillow the Field (Plough the Field) Jon Brittain no doubt causes more controversy It is no wonder The Pillowman is taught in schools, it is an excellent script filled with strong characters, humour, pathos, reveals and reversals. It also poses few problems to those who choose to interpret it; the text is self-explanatory and the majority of the staging is specified. This production does not subvert any of these instructions, and is an extremely faithful adaptation of the text that relies on its performers to lift it above humdrum; luckily it can afford to. The four strong main cast are a great mix. The second scene stands out in particular as Michal's lack of understanding and Katurian's love/hate feelings towards him are extremely touching. Michal is probably the hardest role to pitch in this dark comedy but James Gamage shone in it, never straying too close to caricature. Also strong was Matthew Johnson as Topolski, who walked the tightrope between drama and comedy, maintaining momentum at all points. The ensemble performed their roles well but their
presence seems superfluous, the difference between reality and the stories could be much more defined but instead the direction seemed non-committal compared to the more intimate scenes. The set too is an awkward middle ground between naturalistic and minimalistic, too sparse to be the former but too cluttered to be the latter. This production is extremely funny and deeply touching in places but it would benefit from some stronger choices being made. As it stands this interpretation is vanilla, and the cast can handle much more.
REVIEWS THE PILLOWMAN
Wind in the Pillows
Jasmine Woodcock-Stewart's wild ride 'The first duty of a storyteller is to tell a story', declares Katurian Katurian Katurian, the protagonist in Bath Spa's production of the darkly twisted comedy. A play about two brothers, two detectives, child mutilation and the power of storytelling. McDonagh's writing is a work of art, and a gift to any theatre company. It is for this reason, I fear, that much of the credit for the production could be misplaced. By all means, Passion et la Gloire did a good job, but I was subject to a gentle breeze rather than being blown away. A gust of wind however does come in the form of Chris Cains, both honest and intelligent in his portrayal of the writer. Surrounded by three characters with heavy comic resonance, he motored the piece through, without falling into the trap of bland seriousness. Or serious blandness for that matter. It is unsurprising then, that his directorial achievements don't quite match up to those of his achievements on stage. Perhaps this is a little harsh when McDonagh gives us a play set in one room, with little supposed opportunity for creativity. There were indeed sensitively directed moments, but the wide picture, (hard to see if you are inside the frame) was somewhat neglected. My disappointment was fashioned upon the absence of certain lines I'd been hungrily anticipating, (perhaps my own fault in knowing the play too well), a need for more direction in the way lines were pointed and a deflation that the reeking potential of
the stories themselves were only touched upon. This was a straight production of the play as it is. Nothing new or radically exciting was developed. Matthew Johnson's (Tupolski's) natural comic ability brought the play off the page, his timing and colouring of the lines sharp and perfectly timed, although I do have my doubts about his 'campness', soundly demonstrated by his "Thanks Babe" remark to the disgruntled bulldog, Ariel. Unfortunately, my biggest let down came in the form of Garnage's Michael, who had either made the conscious choice to play down the comedy, or simply wasn't able to play the comedy of the scene. Do great writers write better when they have a host of traumatic past experiences to draw upon? The important question. Was McDonagh haunted by scarring memories of sadistic apple bobbing and toeless boys in order to turn his pen to this very play? Regardless, it is through The Pillowman's dark humour, we are asked to examine the nature of pain and art and its relationship to life. And most of all, it's a great story.
Nick Beckman and Ed Price join forces to tackle a play too big for just one reviewer The Pillowman is a play with a grotesque, sinister theme to it. One that expresses the darker side of writing. However The Pillowman performed in the McCarthy was very interesting as it juxtaposed comedy and horror to entice the audience. For example, Katurian's vulnerability and Tupolski's dominance were epitomised by the mental seduction of not only Katurian but of Ariel also. Our AS text was The Pillowman and we therefore had a preconcieved opinion of the play - we interpreted the sinister nature as dark humour. However Tupolski's comical nature shook us somewhat and
we felt the piece lost power and force through "sillines," at times. Having said that, it generally strengthened Tupolski as a character; we felt as the Inspector who used brains rather than brawn to trick his victim into a false sense of security to overall make him more vulnerable. To conclude, we thought that The Pillowman was one of the strongest pieces in the festival. As it chose to incorporate the two styles that directly contrast each other, to allow the audience to view the piece through the eyes of all the characters.
REVIEWS PHAEDRA'S LOVE
Phaedra, Fucking and Franklin On the edge with edginess, Max Bruges To cruelly paraphrase that allpurpose American statesman B.J. Franklin: "He who sacrifices a little engagement for a little edginess deserves neither, and will lose both." Take that paradigm of student edginess that is . Masturbation? Check. Nihilism? Check. Incest? Check. Sexual violence? Quadruple check. It may just be my cosy upbringing in the leafy ghettoes of Surrey,
"overburdened with sexual ferocity, primal rage, or smug indifference" but I challenge anyone to sit through the entirety of Ashley Scott Layton's production without one awkward averted glance, or stifled gasp, or indignant harrumph. Whatever your reaction, you cannot deny that you were in some way moved by the horrific events playing out on the stage; and so one would assume that Mr. Layton's work had not fallen foul of pseudoFranklin's warning. 'Ah-ha!' one will say, 'audience reaction equals emotional engagement! Great success!' This is, however, sadly flawed: our reactions come not from engagement, but sheer squeamishness. Making an audience squirm is no talent; hell, even Big Brother manages that. No, engagement comes from a complex relationship between the characters and the audience, built up gradually through subtle direction and good old fashioned acting talent. Layton's ensemble had the latter in spades, yet
critically lacked in the subtlety of the former. Quite simply, we had no opportunity to engage at all with Kane's characters: so perverse and unlikeable as every single one was played out to be, and every line so overburdened with sexual ferocity, primal rage
"Our reactions come not from engagement, but sheer squeamishness"
from mere gasps of shock to tears of pity and horror! The intensity of Kane's text is what makes it such a riveting piece of drama, yet as we saw at the New Hall, it is in desperate need of emotional control in order to prevent it from burning itself out. Consider, if you will, this tortured analogy. The 'edgy' and shocking events of Kane's play are like petrol, and it is the director's aim to pour this petrol into the engine of emotional control in order to drive the moving engagement with the audience. As stood, Layton had simply dropped a match to the barrel of petrol and watched it explode. It was the actions, not the actors and their characters that held our attention: I saw only a priest giving head to an arrogant brat; not the animalistic decline of order into chaos. A shocking spectacle, undoubtedly, but one that will only be remembered as 'the blow-job play'.
or smug indifference that they remain unrelatable ogres. Look at the utterly gripping : precisely crafted characters, astonishingly well-paced dialogue and action; yet not a single rape, blow-job or genital mutilation in sight; just a humble bit of infanticide. So how did this piece, with edginess that pales into insignificance when placed alongside Phaedra, succeed in engaging its audience so effectively? Because when an edgy act involves characters we care about, then we can be moved
Point Horror - Drama Festival!
Holly Jazz Lowe concludes the week with Episode 7 Are you surprised, Reader? Yes, it took me by surprise too; our very own Robert Hewison, the brooding figure on the cliff tops; the murderer. We left poor Madrigal tied by her own knot skills to a railing on the cliff up past the Holbeck with a freshlydead Bret, courtesy of the aforementioned Robert Hewison. It seems like the perfect place to pick up from too. Here we go: Madrigal was shit-scared. Of course she was. Hewison, cool as a cucumber, was taking his blade and wiping the blood off onto the inner sleeve of his leather jacket. "Mr Hewison?!" Madrigal managed to squeak. "You? B.. bu... but..." Hewison began to laugh, a cold, mirthless laugh. "You're going to ask WHY, aren't you? You want to know why I've been murdering everyone at this Festival. Oh... Madrigal," he said, clocking her pass, "can't you figure that bit out for yourself ? Tell you what, if you figure it out,
I won't kill you. Promise!" Here, he sat on the grass in front of her, cross-legged like a child, looking up to her, awaiting her theory. Madrigal needed to think fast. If she could get this theory right, then her life might be spared. Think, Madrigal, think!
What did she know? Bret had told her that the killer was initially after him... because... he had...because he had overheard Hewison's internal monologue which was inexplicably being said aloud when he thought he was alone on the cliff lift at night... so whatever Bret had overheard, it was enough to make Hewison kill him and anyone he may have spoken to. Because the information must have been so top secret! So... what information would a Festival Judge be guarding so highly that he would be willing to kill masses of people to keep it under wraps...? I KNOW! Robert Hewison looked around and behind him. "Who said that?"
The Scarborough cliff lift. In the sun, which we've never actually seen.
Madrigal did the same. She had not said that she knew it, for she
still did not know it. Nobody on that cliff top had said "I know"... Reader, had said it. I had not meant to, it just came out, in an exclamation as I too realised why indeed he had been doing these murders. I had realised what the information he was guarding was. I had remembered every show I'd been to see this week. Asking Robert afterwards "What did you think of that, then?" and every single time, the same answer with the same smile, "Oh, Holly. If I told you that, I would have to kill you..." He's guarding his thoughts on the shows. His role as Judge is not one he takes lightly. He won't give a single word in answer to his opinions on the show. But when he is alone, he enters dialogue with himself. He rode that cliff lift thinking he was alone, and he discussed aloud, with his own mind out of his real, audible mouth, just what he thought of what he'd seen so far. If that information got leaked, it could potentially ruin the whole Awards. I am sitting in the NOFFice with my hand over my mouth, trying to late to stop me saying the words I have already said which the murderer on the cliff tops has heard. Hewison, from the cliffs, ignoring poor Madrigal who has no idea now what is going on, looks directly at me. That is, at me in the way I am looking at him, through the story. "Holly. If you know, if you're
DAILY SERIAL writing about this, about me murdering all these people, then everybody will know because you're going to publish it, aren't you. You leave me no choice. You know what I now have to do." He left Madrigal on that railing and started walking slowly but surely back to the road to make his way down, down, down to the Spa and across and into the NOFFice to kill me. Reader, I am not left much time. If you are reading this, then it means our plan has succeeded
"It will become clear that Bret never had told anybody at the Festival what he had overheard that night in the cliff lift."
for many years until it just fizzles out for no real reason. The Awards Ceremony will go ahead as usual after James Philips gives another "THE SHOW MUST GO ON" speech, and in order to make things as normal as possible for the Festival, Robert Hewison will remain in his role as one of the three Judges. It will become clear that Bret never had told anybody at the Festival what he had overheard that night in the cliff lift. This will cause Hewison years of deep regret at the realisation that all
these killings were in vain. The irony being that this will cause him to regress into a madness of which the only visible symptom is the tendency to speak aloud all the thoughts of his brain, all of the time. But now, Reader, I see him crossing the stone veranda toward the NOFFice. He's seen me and I have left it too late to find any sort of defence weapon. I only hope this story is worth my life. I must leave you with one more vital piece of information:
although it also means that I am dead. I know it's not the best plan, but I decided to give my life rather than the story. Sound familiar? As I type these very words he is edging closer and closer. We have a plan to show him the alternate story ending that retracts him as being the murderer. Obviously we will then run the proper story when he thinks everything is in order, but he will have most definitely killed me first. Reader, I must tell you my predictions for what I think will happen after my death. Madrigal, stuck on that cliff will be rescued by Leon who always has a penknife on him, mostly because it has a bottle opener attached. They will find out, as you will in Noises Off, exactly what has happened. The horror of the events will cause them to strike up a closeness and eventual relationship which they will retain
Ho Ja Lo
10 Things NOFF Didn't Suggest to do but I Did Anyway Lawrence Carter suggests things to do As fun and exciting as working at NSDF is, there are times where you just have to make your own fun. Jon Brittain's suggestions in issue #1 were not particularly applicable to LOs so I made up some of my own: 1. Ram-shank one of the NSDF team: Picture the scene. It's past midnight in the Ocean Room's dancefloor. I was making my way to the bar through the dance floor whilst a club tune was playing and, lo and behold, I run into Emma Betteridge who mockingly starts dancing with me. As she walked on by, I proceeded to follow her around grinding her (sort of) and pretending to give her booty a good old smack whilst being compeletly unnoticed by her. "Daddy...No" comes to mind. 2. Rugby tackle an LO My victim on this occasion was Dillon Max Grant, the big black guy that looks like he should be in WWE. Well if you're going to do these things you may as well do them properly and where better to do it than in the middle of a technical meeting. All I can say was that it was worth it...he stole my bandanna and revenge is pretty damn sweet. 3. Fall asleep in a theatre: Don't panic it wasn't during a performance. Three hours before one in fact. I must say the seats at the new hall are very comfy and I slept like a baby...that was until the Phaedra's Love band decided to
have a jam session. I must say, as alarm clocks go I have heard a lot worse. The show doesn't do the band justace. 4. Unintentionally performance:
My apologies to the cast of Whitehouse Institute, now time to explain. I was in the gent's toilets by the Holbeck washing my hands when these two guys in suits walk in. I've seen a lot of things in life (even elephants flying) so I shrugged it off. I dried my hands and went out the door... right into a hoard of theatre viewers who were looking somewhat confused. No-one told me the tour went through the loos. Like any quick thinking scumbag I smiled, waved and got out of there as quick as I could. 5. Barring a VIP from their own performance: This wasn't me being a git and was in fact a genuine mistake. We were closing the Ocean Room temporarily to set up for the Hip Hop Shakespeare show. These two guys came up to me and asked to go in. I rejected them and gave my reasons for doing so (orders are orders). They then mentioned they were performing. I looked down and read their ID tags, one of which said "Akala". Bugger. 6. Challenging Eccleston for ID
This time I was being a git. Don't ever say VIP's don't have a sense of humour.
7. Having a band crash on your floor (and several LOs): When I was asked if I could let The Tom Craven Band stay at my house for a few days I readily accepted expecting only three people. What I didn't expect was a 5 peice band, their groupie and their imaginary fan Guthrie, who they left behind and had to be mailed back to Watford 2nd class. Despite eating me out of house and home they were a great bunch of lads/lasses/figments of imagination who ensured I never had to pay for a drink for the next two days. Great success.
"I smiled, waved and got out of there as quick as I could" 8. Partied with the cast of Phaedra's Love: Having a girl bring you back to their place is generally a good thing. Having ten do so (along with several guys as well, beggars cant be choosers) is something special. Despite it being a great laugh, they left all their debauchery on the stage unfortunately. Dammit! 9. Invent a cheesy chat-up line out of the items in the induction packs: The ones involving the programmes are a bit off the wall so I'll stick to the one that's easiest to understand. "Would you like some Equity on your lips? I've used the last of the lip balm stick but there's other ways
We Love Gavin 10. Wander round the Spa playing a guitar: Whittaker! to apply it". Kat Sanders (and pretty much everyone else) was not too impressed.
"When all else fails, so do I". After Chris Hicklin being dragged in at the last minute to provide the afternoon's musical, A huge thankyou to the legend entertainment with Freddie Porter Gavin Whittaker! For the past six (grey hairs anyone?). After years he has worked on five entertaining/annoying anyone in Festivals. That's committment. No the vicinity we decided to go on it's not; beiung theatre manager for tour. This involved wandering four out of five, working nine till around the Spa playing the first the early hours every year without a verse of Hallelujah by Leonoard pat on the back. I think it's time to Cohen over and over again. We show the hugely needed gratitude were eventually arrested for to Gavin. For the huge ?cake? and disturbing the peace. Buy losts of love he has given over the years. copies of NOFF because that's paying for my bail.
Lynsey Kellock writes us a poem Well sometimes I go to a place called Scarborough, And I look across the sea and see all the drama, Since I come to this town where everyone is here, The people in the town and the seagulls squawking near, Oh why don't you come on over to the festival... NSDF, NSDF NSDF NSDF Why don't you go to shows and to workshops too? It's all experience.... Meeting new people and learning all new skills, is the way forward... The LO's are here to help and are working very hard, We hope you enjoyed the festival and will come around next year, So enjoy the rest of the festival and party at... NSDF NSDF NSDF!!
"A physical theatre piece about the workshop sign up may be quite apt."
NSDF The Musical
Emily Julier tells us her thoughts While stood outside Into The Wood's last night on Front-ofHouse duties, it suddenly occurred to my fellow Font-of-House friend and I that there definitely should be an 'NSDF the Musical'. A physical theatre piece about the workshop sign up may be quite apt, with Festival-goers all rhythmically moving and falling over one another to make their early morning journey worth while. After careful observation, we are determined to capture the festivals best features, from students
puking to local organiser's sleepy moments during very boring hours of the day. In respect of this, our smash hit song entitled 'Sugar' will captivate our audience, and students from all over the globe! This musical is not one to be missed (if it ever happens), so take some advice and look out for this fantastic new comical, wonderful and fascinating piece of theatre bought to you exclusively by 'Double Trouble' (Emily and Steph to be exact). Thanks for reading, happy drinking!
Tupple TM SASH Tournament
Mark Cunningham and Pete Sormont inform us about Tupple A great big hearty thanks to the 50 people who partook in the inaugural NSDF/SASH Tupple tournament, parting with ÂŁ2 to spend their evening with aching calves and tortured feet. The prospect of suffering through the qualifying rounds was enough to scare away some contestants even before they entered the infamous square. The first round was littered with rapid fire eliminations bamboozling the erstwhile efforts of chief judge Marky C.... But as the four tournament arenas entered the second round the tension began to grow, the crowd and cramp adding to some desperate attempts at surviving the trial, leading to frayed tempers and scurrilous accusations of favouritism at the judges. The third and fourth rounds whittled the field down, the hardcore contestants settled on their haunches in the ocean room foyer, denying the lactic acid for long bouts of attrition combat. The 'fortunate' winners often rewarded by an immediate return to the square, with no chance for even a sip of refreshment. In an attempt to speed up the competition, and save the poor Spa staff from an even later night, the judges amended the hallowed rules to force more contact opportunities. Highlight of the third round was the controversial bout between Matty Beck and Britain Fleming (Into the Woods), the judges having to recommend a restart after crowd interference, and contested rulings.. Following the restart Matty's early form crumbled and
he crashed into the crowd allowing Miss Fleming to ride her luck into the later rounds. Occasional late entrants into later rounds, fell by the wayside allowing the core competition a brief respite, but finally all attention was focused on the main arena. The Ocean room foyer was filled by a simmering tension as the crowd roared the final few into further endeavour. An undercurrent of gender conflict simmered as the semifinals pitched male against male and female against female. Britain Fleming's luck was ended by Amber Hind, whilst the macho contest finished with Ken Johnson entering the final in his debut festival. So to the final, and a marathon effort of almost four minutes led to the judges conferring deeply as
both competitors appeared to lose their poise simultaneously. After the heated discussion between the four line judges and both referees the decision was made, and referee Pete Stormont raised the arm of the victorious Ken Johnson. In a magnanimous gesture the winner, as a member of the tech crew, felt his prize be of better benefit to another, and consequently the actual prize, of two tickets for NSDF 11, was awarded to Britain Fleming.
"An undercurrent of gender conflict simmered as the semifinals pitched male against male and female against female,"
Because you Can't say it Enough but Grace is going to give it a go A
I began the week preparing myself for the shattering week ahead, with sleep and planning. Even though it was my second year on the team I still was unsure of the Stage Manager, the new members of the crew and the exact way the venue was going to deal with us. So it is with great pleasure that I say my thank yous. First of all I have had an amazing Venue Stage Manager to work with. He is laid back, a general laugh and more to the point has put up with me all week. I couldn't have asked for anyone better to work with for my first step on the stage management ladder as NSDF. So Richard Ducker, thanks for everything. Secondly a big shout out to my
crew in the Holbeck last night who helped Richard and I clear the venue in two hours which I am pretty sure is some kind of record for us Techie geeks. You were truly awesome giving up your free time to help us out.
"I couldn't have asked for anyone better to work with for my first step on the stage management ladder at NSDF" The TAs were amazing too they helped us to blitz the quick get out and keep on schedule (even though Mike, you did cheat). Finally (I am sure your pretty pleased about this) a ridiculously huge thank you to Neil Warhurst
(the technician at the Holbeck and the university) who has been an absolute rock all week. He has I am sure got pretty fed up of us (although he never showed it) as we would ring him at all hours, calling him back to the building, asking him questions all about where cables, light bulbs or in fact our brains were. So thank you for making us feel that you were on our side the whole time and that nothing was too much hassle. Yet again I have had a fantastic week on the Tech team learning more than I am sure some people do in a year. This is all due to the fantastic support we are given from Nic, the TAs and each other (cheese on toast I know). Grace, the DVSM of the Holbeck
Youâ€™ve all Been Awesome!
Colin and Jude kiss ass Thank you very much to everyone who has helped in the New Hall this Festival. We've both had a great time and the shows have all been very happy, and we couldn't have done it without you. Especially we would like to thank Bekki, Ben T, Camilla, Matt S, Georgia, Jen S, Rich B for operating our many shows and MJ for all his support.
Holly Jazz Lowe in the early days...if only she knew the road ahead
much love from Ashley Edwards The NSDF 2010 has been an experience of a life time. A multitude of performance styles and techniques have been experienced as well as a hectic schedule of local organisation and coordination roles. This year is my first NSDF encounter, and yet I am astounded by the sheer level of the event. The mix of people, styles, skills, techniques, methods etc. has overwhelmed many, many people. Performers, selectors,
administrators and Local Organisers and Coordinators should all be proud of the level of work, determination and dedication they have put into this year's Festival. Personally I want to send a massive thanks to Becky Goode, Pamela Walinck, Mark Cliverd, Olga Plocienniczak and Chris Wootton for the level of support they have offered to the Festival.
In addition I would like to commend Joe Moir for the level You put a gypsy spell on me. It won't go away.
You are very VERY sexy :) Lots of love,
Dear Arthur Phillip,
I will remember that scene. All my love,
Arthur Phillip, You're SEXY. Yours,
That girl you were talking to whose name you probably don't remember.
x??x To Phil Mann, You are lovely. Thank you for saving our team 'Daddy, No!' Lots of love Anonymous + 'Daddy, No!' x Dearest Fiona Mikel,
I have loved this year's NSDF. Everyone has worked to the ultimate limit and therefore a massive applause should be given. Thank you.
To the very attractive girl of Phaedra's Love ensemble fame. We met briefly on Wednesday night in the Ocean Room. You were with two of the Bad House cast. Our eyes met many a time during the evening, but sadly, I only plucked up the courage (with the help of a mate) to say hi at the end of the evening. I would like to think that the feeling was mutual and if I had stayed for the rest of the festival, something could have happened... It was a pleasure to meet you! BC
The Best Thing About NSDF '10 Tobias Simpson is the luckiest 3-year-old 1. Strophe agreeing to be my girlfriend. 2. My new best friend, Dillon. 3. Telling tales in
4. Being adored by Fest-Goers. 5. Being adored by LOs. 6. Seeing lots of plays. 7. Staying up past bedtime.
of dedication given in his Front of House Management position in this year's Festival as well as Luke Carey's Events Managements knowledge and Laura Fox' enthusiasm with her workshop duties.
8. For the sake of convenience, Mummy had abandoned our organic diet and relented on the junk food front. 9. Seemingly being the only child to escape the Festival unscathed. 10. Sleeping at NOFF - No matter how loud you guys think you are - You can't beat me.
More Fucking Haikus
this is the last sub-header I have to do before I can go to bed Holly Jazz Lowe Who would have thunk it: a Festival of Haiku. I gained a stalker... Tim, Ben and Dave Waiting to know if She met a horrible end Crucified, buried. Jazzy, Jazzy Lowe Sing us another song please How Lowe can she go? Come, Pillow Man, come smother me with soft pillows. End this so-called life. Plump beautiful curves, Tempting our lustful quiz team,
Great arse, girl great arse!! Wilko, where are you? With your really big voice so Opinionated.
Euan Forsyth I had to walk for ages to get to the stage, Angel was okay
Michael Evans Pre-copy deadline Signed, Sealed, Delivered was sung By many voices!
I had to walk for six times the length of the play. Not worth it but good.
Henry Ellis Holly loves haikus I am not such a fan of them. Happy now, Holly? John Winterburn NSDF ends We all go back to our homes Life is then less good.
Not Real Arts Jobs
for the final issue, wondered if you might be able to put in an advert For those of you leaving NSDF with even less of an idea about what you should do with your life, join the club! Fortunately, Not Real Arts Jobs exists all year round at http://notrealartsjobs.wordpress.c om. You can also sign up for tweets that will let you know when new articles have been posted at @notrealartsjobs
If you would like to submit a Not Real Arts Job to the site, simply email it to email@example.com and we'll do our best to include it. All the best, bon voyage, and hope you had a fantastic Festival. Not Real Arts Jobs
Becky Simpson Bad House scary? No! My toddler says that you are a bunch of wusses! Ailurophobic, cured this week masterfully By the Bog of Cats.
finer and more illustrious parts of life, such as pass printing, laminating and ticket booking too. Must have a passion for pasta, from tagliatelle to penne! I'd like a man who loves to ski and also loves to crack the whip on a team of LC's and LO's. I'd love a man who's a member of the Wu-Tang Clan, that sort of shit is just sexy. I don't need a man who is unfaithful and gets all up in my grill with their other partners. Please get in contact at the box office, I'm waiting for you, I know you're out there, your princess, Freddie Bear.
"Must have a passion for pasta from tagliatelle to Freddie Porter has no mates penne!" Box Office Assistant Male 18, and V-Neck sweaters, must have seeks his knight in shining armour.
Must have GSOH, a charming smile, a collection of lovely shirts
an Admin position with NSDF and has to be able to make me smile when I look at his little chin dimple. Also, he must enjoy the
Who would you do from the Fest? Confessing love in the NOFFice tonight were: Claire Trevien- Phil Mann Phil Mann- Phil Mann Richard TWatson- Auditions will be held for this honour Holly Jazz Lowe- The Pillowman Henry Ellis- Hester Jon Brittain- Little Red Riding Hood Euan Forsyth- Has to be Stropheshe oozes sexual decadence Ben Lander- Hermione Grainger Will Bourdillon- Sarah Davies Michael Evans- The Baker's Wife Jasmine Woodcock-Stewart Milky White Aaron Cryan- Holly Kendrick Ziggy Henderson- Jesus Girl Fran Bundey- The Doctor Robin Richardson- The dog puppet in Phaedra's Love Michael Vickers- Tracey Hutcheson Toby Simpson- My new girlfriend is Strophe Rebecca Simpson- Jon Neaves for his Blur connections and Carthage Kilbride Stuart Crisp- Thelma Holt Tim Coker- Any ugly sister in a musical Ben Wall- Holly Jazz Lowe Guernsey Girls- Hippolytus David Newell- Ariel (eh!) Vita Hewison- Lucy Burns Lucy Burns- Vita Hewison Zoe McNamara- Sticky out ear boy cutie pie from Tell Tale (no offence meant) Rachel Clutterbuck- Lucian Dianna Winpenny- Harry/Lucian Stacey Norns- Skinny jeans boy! Peter Holmes- Skinny Jeans boy! Katherine Tate- Damian Kell Chris Docherty- Chris Wootton Kat Sanders- Chris Wootton Mikel Price- Chris Wootton Sam Reeves- Anna Forsyth
Becky Goode- Chris Wootton Mark 'Sparky' Chilverd- Chris Wootton Pamela Walinck- Chris Wootton Freddie Bear- Chris Wootton Lawrence Carter- Anyone who says 'Yes!'. Alternatively, Chris Wootton Katie Lydon- Chris Wootton Beth Moxon- The Captain or one of the many gorgeus males in OCG! Chrissy Horsepool- Mark from Tell Tale or Ketch! Rhianne Cooley- Guernsey Girls Emily Atkinson- Myself Dani Tucker- Hippolytus Tom Lovett- Shitty Meg Katie Richardson- Ketvh Sophie Hargreaves- Harry Brewer/Captain Campbell/Ross Alice Boulton-Breeze- Myself Sarah Turner- Alan Rickman, I belive he was here in spirit Ben Luke- Hester Swain Amber Hine- Adrian Freddie Wintrip- Mark Ravenhill Georgie Patzeaird- You Jenni Mellor- Hester Swaine Will Kerr- Jenni Mellor Ollie Steadman- Joaquin Phoenix A. Lotofvagina- Wisehammer Nina Scott- Tegid Tegid Cartwright- Ben Osbourn Ben Osbourn- Nina/Tegid James Lamont- Belt Up's creepy attic RVB- Anthony Duran Anthony Duran- RVB Ckaudia Harinaro- Your mum. No- The Pillowman. No Harry. And the Wolf. Sam House- Sir Neil Angela- Neil Bailey Jones Becka O'S- The strangled badger Ginger Andy- Dave Larking Sam Powell- Anyone! I'm that desperate.
All Tech Crew- Nic Watson Nic Watson- All the tech crew Ben Stephen- The Administrator (former) Pete Sturmunt- I could tell you, but then... Martyn Andrew- Holly Jazz Lowe Cocin Paxton- Holly Jazz Lowe Phoebe BOurke- Alan Lane Cassandra Fumi- Mark Ravenhill Ed Price- Phaedre Charlie Parker- Phaedra Nick Beckman- Phaedra Mike Franzkowiak- Too Old Rich Mowbray- Anyt of the bouncers Mark Cunningham- All the random Festgoers Will Dalrymple- My girlfriend because she's the sweetest girl on the planet Danny Pisser- Danny Prosser George Ramsley- Bog Cat Ashleigh Griffith- The girl who was bleached Xanthe Palmer- The girl who was bleached Matthew Johnson- Jack Conwey Anthony Neylon- I want cripple sex Leonie Lazare- I want sexy time avec Ashleigh Griffith Adrian Spring- Saving myself for 'the one' (Not Keanu Reeves)
The Good Egg Awards
After the official awards ceremonies comes the Noises Off 'Good Egg' Awards extravaganza. Join us in the NOFFice after 8pm for a distribution of chocolate goodies to those who have been especially wonderful and helpful at Noises Off this week. There will be wine, wordplay and wonderfulness.