Preview: Durham Drama Festival
This year’s Durham Drama Festival will take place from the 22nd – 25th of February and promises to deliver its biggest year yet – which is no mean feat after 36 previously successful years.
With premieres of plays by Durham student writers, numerous workshops to be delivered by industry professionals on all aspects of working in theatre, and a large helping of late-night socials, the festival is one of the highlights of Durham’s theatrical calendar.
We had over thirty budding playwrights apply to showcase their work at this year’s festival, and we’ll be putting the work of 15 of them on the stage over the course of the festival.
Unlike previous years, the festival won’t just be confined to the Assembly Rooms stage, as this year we’ll be putting on plays in various venues around Durham – historic buildings, basements, bars – it’s certainly going to be an interesting week.
Shows from previous festivals have gone on to be performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and in London theatres, making DDF the place to be to see up-and-coming talent.
The programme for this year has something for every taste – a fair share of comedies alongside drama, musicals and improvised pieces.
And there’s plenty to do in the daytime too – with workshops on all kinds of subjects being held at various times throughout the week, which Sarah Peters, the festival’s publicity officer, is particularly excited about: “t’s just amazing – we’ve got workshops on devising drama and teaching drama from professionals at Northern Stage and the Darlington Arts Centre, discussions on writing for theatre and reviews with Matt Wolf, a reviewer for the New York Times and the Herald Tribune, and most excitingly we’ve got musical theatre workshops from prolific composer Ann Dudley, who’s currently working on the new film of Les Miserables, starring our good friend Russell Crowe.’’
The socials include a spooky night with a hypnotist, an open mic night, the D’aftas – a glittering award ceremony featuring performances from Instep and DULOG – and a legendary afterparty.
As well as being great events, the socials give festival participants a chance to chat to the workshop leaders and judges, allowing the actors, directors and writers of the future to network with people already thriving in the industry.
Visit www.durhamdramafest.com for full details of the festival and (most importantly) how to book tickets.