Sir Alan Ayckbourn – NSDF Festival Patron
Clive Wolfe – NSDF President
Donna Munday (Chair)
Full biographies below
Sir Alan Ayckbourn – NSDF Festival Patron
Sir Alan is one of England’s most prolific playwrights whose work (77 plays to date) has been translated into over 40 languages and is performed worldwide receiving many awards. His plays include Relatively Speaking, How The Other Half Loves, Absurd Person Singular, The Norman Conquests trilogy, Bedroom Farce, A Small Family Business and Comic Potential. As a dedicated proponent of theatre in the round, he considers one of his proudest achievements to be the creation of a permanent home for the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, of which he was Artistic Director between 1972 and 2009. The recipient of many personal awards, he is also the first British playwright to receive Oliver and Tony Special Lifetime Achievement Awards. Knighted in 1997 for services to the theatre, he is the Patron of the National Student Drama Festival, and Patron and Trustee of the International Student Playscript Competition. For further information please visit www.alanayckbourn.net
Clive Wolfe – NSDF President
Festival President CLIVE WOLFE has been involved in every NSDF bar that in 1962: acted in first winner (1956: director Timothy West) and 1961; Local Organiser, 1959; Festival Selector 1962 – 2000; Festival Judge ) mostly with Harold Hobson and Rona Laurie), 1965 – 1970; first (until last year, the only) professional NSDF organiser from 1968; also Artistic Director, 1970 – 2000. married teacher and constant help, Pat, 1969. Other student drama work: 1976, founded the World Student Drama Trust, International Student Playscript Competition and National Student Theatre Company, which he has presented on the Edinburgh fringe and in London for 25 years; 1987, founded the professional Springboard Theatre Company to further the careers of past NSDF and NSTC successes. Other relevant experience: acted, sang in, directed or organised over 50 student productions (including a memorable In Camera directed by Robert Winston), and more with, amongst others, the Tavistock Rep and (mercifully briefly, professionally) Butlins and Theatre Royal York. Organiser the 1973 Alexandra Palace Centenary Celebrations (over 50 events in 10 days) to save the building from demolition. Emergency organiser of the biennial Bolton Festival, 1981. Uncomfortable part-time managing director, 1983 – 1990, of a family pharmacy that supplemented the student drama venture. Recreations: music, cinema, theatre, swimming. Was appointed the first Festival President.
The NSDF Board
Khalid Abdalla was born in Glasgow to Egyptian parents. He was raised in London, before studying at Cambridge University and then training in Paris at Ecole Phillippe Gaulier. His theatre credits include: THE DUCHESS OF MALFI, BEDBOUND (Judge’s Award for Acting – National Student Drama Festival 2003), THE CHAIRS, OTHELLO, GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS and EQUUS (all at Cambridge) and THE SUPPLIANTS (directed by Sam Leifer at BAC). Screen work includes: He is currently filming Freddy in THE GREEN ZONE THRILLER for Paul Greengrass (Working Title). The lead role of Amir in THE KITE RUNNER directed by Marc Forster for Dreamworks. Ziad in Paul Greengrass’ UNITED 93 (Working Title), SPOOKS (Kudos Productions, for BBC) and DETACHED (directed by Tom Tyrwhitt).
Anthony Alderson first joined the Pleasance team in 1986, and has been involved with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for over twenty years, he was appointed director of the Pleasance in 2004. Anthony worked as associate producer for Glynis Henderson Productions for six years managing several world tours including Stomp. During that time Stomp was presented in over 47 different countries, it was one of the first productions to open in China. Other theatrical work has included: National Theatre, Royal Opera House, Cheek by Jowl, Ennio Marchetto, David Strassman, as well as project managing the first Kenyan National Festival. Anthony is the founder of Maya World Productions, a documentary film company, film titles include Dancing at the Crossroads, Mumbai Jumbo and Following the Swarm.
Robert Hewison took part in university theatre and comedy at Oxford, including a West End run of Hang your Head Down and Die in 1964. After time in television and at art school he went back to Oxford to do research on Ruskin, a life-long passion which led to him curating the Ruskin centenary exhibition at Tate Modern in 2000 and becoming Slade Professor at Oxford that year. He has always earned his living as a journalist and contemporary cultural historian, publishing more than 15 books and writing on the theatre for The Sunday Times since 1981. He has been the Sunday Times’s Festival Judge since 1985. He is Professor of Cultural Policy and Leadership Studies at City University London and is an Associate of the think-tank Demos. His study of the writer and artists John Byrne will be published in June, to be followed by The Cultural Leadership Handbook: How To Run A Creative Organisation.
Donna Munday first attended NSDF91 with Flesh and Bone whilst a student at Lancaster University. Won a special Sunday Times Student Drama Critic Award for her controversial articles and contributed to make a substantial contribution to the production of Noises Off for several years. She is Director of Theatre Production for Working Title Films, where she runs their theatrical division and has responsibility for the general management of Billy Elliot The Musical, and developing other Working Title theatrical product including Bridget Jones the Musical. Previously Donna held the posts of Executive Director at Nimax Theatres, managing its group of five West End theatres and Interim Chief Executive at Sheffield Theatres. From 2003-2007 Donna was Chief Executive at Royal & Derngate Theatres in Northampton. In 2000 she joined Really Useful Theatres as General Manager, responsible for the successful management of all productions within RUT’s thirteen West End Theatres. From 1995-2000 Donna was Finance Director at the Royal Court Theatre. Prior to this she worked for a number of national and international theatre production and touring companies. Donna is also a Board Member of the Society of London Theatre and of Headlong Theatre Company.
Sarah Nicholson is General Manager for Sheffield Theatres. Previously she worked for the National Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, NT Studio and volunteered for AAA-Norcap. Sarah’s first festival was as a student was in 1994.
Gary Verity is Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire. Gary has successfully raised the profile of Yorkshire on a national and international level having overseen award winning marketing campaigns and major tourism initiatives. He works closely with tourism businesses, local authorities and other partners to further grow the county’s visitor economy, which has increased to £7b since his appointment, and make Yorkshire a destination of choice for visitors worldwide. A dynamic and motivational leader, Gary has gained a strong reputation as a results-driven Managing Director with international experience in brand building and managing complex businesses. Gary’s proven record of inspirational leadership ranges from entrepreneurial start-up situations to large-scale transformations within FTSE100 companies. A passionate Yorkshireman, in his spare time Gary is an award-winning Dales sheep farmer and lives on a working farm near Leyburn. He is also a strong advocate of cancer support and has raised just under £450,000 for charities in Yorkshire
Glen Walford is an International Theatre Director. She is Artistic Director of London Bubble (Founder), Chung-Ying Theatre Hong Kong (Founder), and Ludlow Festival Shakespeare. As Artistic Director of Liverpool Everyman she commissioned and directed Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine and in 2010 directed Meera Syal as Shirley for Menier Chocolate Factory and Trafalgar Studios. Winner of Solo Performance at Whatsonstage Awards. Directed in countries worldwide in ten languages and in 2010 directed Blood Brothers in Tokyo and her own musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona in Seoul. She is a Trustee of NSDF and has been judge six times.