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    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2007
    Apologies for this, but I'm a tad surprised at this. For ten years I've written and laid out the daily newspaper for the National Student Drama Festival here in the UK. A little mini-Edinburgh for student thesps that took place every Easter in Scarborough under the patronage of the Arts Council and Alan Ayckbourn.

    I say 'took', because it appears that the Arts Council has decided to remove the funding it has given the festival every year for the last 53 years to “refocus our investment”. It wishes to support: “the strongest, highest quality building-based producing theatres…the most dynamic and innovative touring companies…venues that support the changing nature of theatre.” It says it is looking to fund “a portfolio of strong, effective organisations that help to deliver increased attendance and participation in high quality arts.”

    This last part is what the National Student Drama Festival has been doing and will continue to do (hopefully). I mean, if grass roots theatre isn't where it begins..? It's not am-dram here. Our alumni include Stephen Fry and Timothy West for heaven's sake. Naturally, I'm a little annoyed and a petition has begun to save the NSDF at We've got until Jan 15 to contest this or the next fest on March 15 doesn't happen.

    If you could sign the petition (for what it's worth) that would be great. If you'd just like to join in the general annoyance at the arts council here as well, that's fine. If this should go in the London Zoo area, move it too.
    • CommentAuthoradrian r
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2007
    Apparently the trend is away from text-based theatre and towards physical companies, and doubtless that's where the Arse Council has decided to put its money.