Who am I?
I’m a second year English undergraduate and I love to spend my time getting involved with theatre at Durham, especially directing and acting. With 28 different theatre companies putting on shows all year round, I’m never short of opportunities. This year I’ve taken on a real challenge as I’m directing the Durham Drama Festival!
What is Durham Drama Festival?
Durham Drama Festival or DDF as it’s known, is a highlight of the year for the Durham Student Theatre community. The annual event is jam packed with dramatic opportunities—eight student written plays performed over a week in February. This year, there is also a launch night event showcasing different styles of student writing, a series of industry-led workshops for students and Judges’ feedback sessions. Then there are the ‘d’Olivier’s’, Durham’s very own version of the Olivier Awards, to celebrate at the end of it all.
My role as director
I have loved directing the festival so far this year; my role has included recruiting an Executive Committee, reading through script entries, selecting eight production teams and organising eight audition processes. It’s been a never-ending whirlwind where I have got to collaborate with other like-minded and talented students, to create a week of high-quality, professional theatre. The fact that the festival is produced and run entirely by students here at Durham, makes it even more exciting.
I’ve loved getting to work with students across the three different venues in Durham and liaising with people who specialise in all areas of theatre, from tech to marketing. Sourcing and liaising with our four industry professional judges has been a highlight. They will judges the shows in the festival and award prizes to the winning entries. and I have also loved planning workshop opportunities and end of week celebrations, concluding the festival with an awards ceremony in Hatfield.
What makes DDF 2022 special?
This year Durham Drama Festival’s programme is diverse in style and genre–ranging from devised pieces of theatre to absurdism to farcical comedy and spanning internationally across Hungary, Shanghai, Italy and Austria. The launch night is showcasing student writing of all types including poetry, classical adaptations, short extracts and sketch comedy–this year’s festival covers more ground than ever. I wanted to break away from having any limits on subject matter or genre. All of the plays are being entered into the National Student Drama Festival and will be made available online. For the first time the festival is combining online and live theatre.
Why I believe student writing is so important
Student writing is the early work of a would-be writer or playwright exploring their voice for the first time. It is important that any creative voice has an outlet, and this is especially significant for one developing itself, experimenting and bringing something entirely new to a theatrical scene that often recycles plays written a long time ago. Theatre should always be evolving and finding new ways to be relevant to present audiences; student writing does just that by offering us something unseen before.
Durham Drama Festival 2022 – Programme
Our Programme is split across three venues. Audiences can buy tickets to all shows at that venue, or each show individually:
Mark Hillery Arts Centre, Collingwood College
• You Will Hear Me, by Yolan Noszkay
• Beautiful Nothing, by Em Oliver
• The Marriage Proposal, by Yibu Jin
Assembly Rooms Theatre, Durham City
• Hotel Charmon, by Millie Glenister
• Mrs Alexander, by Éloïse Richmond
• Cottage, by Ben Willows
Mount Oswald Hub
• The Children of Yesterday, by Enzo Lebeau
• Stage’s Fool, by James Murray
Further information and booking tickets
Tickets for DDF 2022 are now available
Book online at https://www.durhamstudenttheatre.org/whats-on/