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Festival that launched the careers of some of Britain's best-loved actors comes to DMU

It’s the festival that helped launch the careers of some of Britain’s best-loved actors – and it’s coming to De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) next year.

INSET student drama

Up-and-coming performers from across the country will showcase their skills at DMU at the National Student Drama Festival (NSDF) in the spring.

Around 14 shows – selected from more than 100 entries - will play out in Leicester next March, as the week-long festival is staged outside Yorkshire for the first time in a quarter of a century.

Organisers hope it will be the first instalment of an annual residency at DMU.  

As well as the shows – which will be performed on campus and at the city theatre Curve – the programme will offer more than 100 acting, producing and technical workshops, led by professionals from leading theatre companies and top drama schools.

INSET student drama 1

The NSDF will recruit 60 young people to the technical team, giving hands-on experience and training with state-of-the-art kit, and another 30 to the management team, developing skills in producing, venue management and arts administration.

There will also be a cabaret and a themed dance and the festival magazine Noises Off magazine will publish an issue each and every day, with rolling news, reviews and comment online.

“We are moving to Leicester because the opportunity to hold the festival in such a diverse and culturally vibrant city as Leicester is too good an opportunity to miss,” said festival director Michael Brazier.

“And the partnership with De Montfort and the Curve offers the festival audience superb facilities for the shows, workshops and festival events.

“De Montfort has a ‘village’ campus with all our venues very close to each other. Inclusivity and togetherness for all will be hugely improved.

“The city has several festivals throughout the year and we hope we will be as important to Leicester's cultural calendar as we believe Leicester will be for the festival.”

Rob Brannen, head of the School of Arts at DMU, said the partnership between the festival and the university was a “perfect match”.

“We are absolutely delighted to be hosting the NSDF next year and working in partnership with them on such a prestigious national festival.

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“For us, this partnership is a perfect match as DMU and NSDF both actively support the development of the next generation of artists and theatre-makers.

“We are also looking forward to creative dialogues across a wide range of subject areas facilitated by the festival’s activities that will enhance the broader education of young people as they engage in the truly interdisciplinary art form of theatre.”

The play’s the thing for the NSDF, which was founded in 1956 by two critics from the Sunday Times and the-then president of the National Union of Students.
Stephen Fry, Meera Syal, Mark Gatiss, Pete Postlethwaite, Sandi Toksvig, Doon Mackichan and Tim Piggot-Smith are just some of the well-known names who got an early taste of a career in performing at the festival.  

The annual festival, which will be held from Saturday, March 24 to 30 next year, is open to anyone between the ages of 16 and 25.

For more information click here.

Posted on Tuesday 4th July 2017

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