Drama festival: we will return!

THE National Student Drama Festival could move away from its usual venue of Scarborough next year – but just as a one off, organisers say.

Director Holly Kendrick told the Evening News that if they get funding, an international version of the festival may be held in Sheffield as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

She said: “It would be a one off and will be a very different format. This is our home and we would bring everyone from Scarborough who are involved in the drama festival with us.

“We will be back in Scarborough in 2013 regardless. The event in Sheffield will just be like Scarborough away from home.”

Ms Kendrick said they will not be able to announce whether or not they have got the funding until the end of May.

She said that this year’s festival had been a huge success, with 650 students, 150 visiting artists and 120 volunteers taking part.

The event featured 13 shows chosen from more than 100 and has attracted some big names from the world of theatre, film and television.

Visiting artists included Iain Canning, the Oscar-winning producer of The King’s Speech, and actors Richard Wilson, Paul McGann and Janet Suzman.

There were also representatives from the Bristol Old Vic, the National Theatre, National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Soho Theatre, Spamalot, Sunday Times, Theatre 503 and many others were also taking part.

Ms Kendrick said: “It’s been absolutely amazing, with some wonderful shows and brilliant workshops.

“There have been so many highlights. The shows have been phenomenal and it was great to have Richard Wilson and Paul McGann with us.

“The National Theatre of Scotland workshops were also extraordinary and the Rash Dash and Amadeus shows both got a standing ovation.

“It’s been really lovely to be back in Scarborough again and everyone has enjoyed it.”

Venues for the event included the Spa, University of Hull Scarborough Campus, Stephen Joseph Theatre and Filey Road Sports Centre.

Student workshops were led by a number of stars including Iain Canning, one of the four producers of The King’s Speech, who recently won an Oscar for the film.

Paul McGann made his name opposite Richard E Grant in Withnail and I on the big screen and on television starred in The Monocled Mutineer.

Suzman is a respected Shakespearean actress as well a director and has worked extensively with the RSC.