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Showcase of young drama comes to City of Culture

7 April 2017

Catch the best of new theatre talent at the National Student Drama Festival (NSDF), which comes to the University of Hull this month as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 programme.

National Student Drama Festival

The Festival, which runs from Saturday 8 to Friday 14 April, is for anyone aged 16 to 25 years old, offering an opportunity to perform, watch, learn, discuss, write and try something new.

Tickets for the shows are now sale to the general public – of all ages – via the Festival website.

It’s been a springboard for the likes of comedian and writer Meera Syal CBE, who performed at the National Student Drama Festival when it was held at the University of Hull in the 1980s.

Now a Patron of the Festival, Meera said:

The NSDF changed the course of my life, undoubtedly. The support and exposure I received from the NSDF at Hull and then as part of their season in Edinburgh was more than career changing, it was life affirming.

To those taking part in this year’s festival, she said:

Enjoy every moment – the affirmation and creative exchange with your peers and mentors will – I hope – give you, as it did me, the courage and determination to go out there and create your own stories.

Sponsored by The Sunday Times, the Festival will feature 14 shows by young artists from around the country including an unprecedented 10 new plays, among them Hull based graduates of the University, Pub Corner Poets, with their new play Sad Little Man by Josh Overton.

There will be 48 performances throughout the week, as well as workshops teaching vital skills and talks by inspirational speakers including Erica Whyman, deputy director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

As well as the performers on stage, the National Student Drama Festival also provides invaluable experience for those hoping for a career backstage. Hull students will be among those taking on roles from stage manager to sound and lighting.

Helen Fitchett, a third year Drama undergraduate student, said:

I worked in the technical team at the NSDF last year and am returning for 2017 as stage manager for one of the venues. It’s an amazing experience, and you learn so much in such a short space of time. Not just the technical knowhow, but how to work with teams of people you don’t always know. I know that after last year’s experience I was more confident when I returned to my degree and I knew more practical skills. This real, practical hands-on experience is so good to add to your CV.

As a Principal Partner, the University of Hull is playing a significant role in producing and hosting some of the spectacular events that form part of the Hull 2017 programme, and University staff and students are at the heart of the activity.

Tickets for the shows and more information can be found at

You can follow the festival via @nsdfest on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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