National Student Drama Festival Award – Edinburgh 2014








Supported by IdeasTap and Pleasance.

The National Student Drama Festival is back in Edinburgh for the eighth year running to find the outstanding new production at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe – and bring it to London for a run at Pleasance Theatre Islington.

Here’s how it works:

A team of NSDF professionals will see all of the plays entered.

Long listed hows will be chosen to get an hour of feedback, notes and advice each, from one of the panel.

The panel from NSDF includes: Michael Corbidge, Psyche Stott, Alexandra Spencer-Jones and Michael Brazier

The commended shortlist and the winning show will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Sunday 24th August at Pleasance.

The winning play will win a transfer to the Pleasance Theatre Islington. The company will incur no technical costs and will be given a share of the box office.

You will also receive:

  • £500
  • Bespoke workshops in London during your show’s run at the Pleasance.

Your production must be brand new – new writing, new devised theatre, a new adaptation or innovative reworking of a film or a play.

To enter your show at IdeasTap click here

Mates by Two Box Productions

With the human race threatened by a polluted environment that after prolonged exposure causes infertility, the government has created an incubator into which men and women are sent until they reproduce. ‘Mates’ follows Sian as she oversees two couples, acting as their dysfunctional guardian angel and trying to counteract the government’s intentions for them.

Lysistrata by Christopher Adams after Aristophanes

Athens, 2012. A modern-day Lysistrata convinces the women to hold a sex strike and occupy the Acropolis in protest at the austerity inflicted on Greece by the Troika. Dildos, friendship, bitch fights, lap dances, lost love.

Queen B by Ben Williamson

Queen B: Dan is lost. Everything hasn’t quite turned out how he would have liked and he is afraid the most of his life has already passed him by. When he meets Amy, a completely unfiltered and free-spirited 19-year-old girl with a fractured family life, he finds a way to live again, rebelling against everything he read more »

Glue by Rory Platt

‘Why do you think I look like this? Because I’ve been built to do this. That’s why I’ve got a cap and a tail and they make 160 million backup copies of me every day. So I can carry out this task.”  Two women sit taking a written test. A biology teacher examines a sample read more »

Play With Myself: The Trials and Tribulations of Drama Practitioner Gregory Bike

Drama practitioner Gregory Bike invites you to witness a stage adaptation of the most important part of his life. Tasked with putting on a play Gregory not only has to write, direct, and act in his masterpiece but must also find love, avoid seeing his son’s presumably awful performances and avoid an early death at read more »

Albee Vector the Sound Collector by Greenlight Theatre

Albee Vector the Sound Collector is an interactive family show in which the audience has to help Albee make sounds and collect them into jars for his tale of how he survived kings, curses and cruelty on his quest for the most beautiful sound in the world.

Chris is Dead by Empty Photo Theatre

‘Death is very inconsiderate.’ ‘So are TalkTalk.’ How do you mourn someone when you’re really, really annoyed with them? Grief can be overwhelming and heartbreaking, but as far as Sam, Mac and Hattie are concerned, Chris dying is basically just plain inconvenient. An awkwardly funny, shamelessly honest story about love, loss and splitting the phone read more »

The Dolls of New Albion: A Steampunk Opera by Paul Shapera

  In the fantastical Steampunk city of New Albion, broken-hearted scientist Annabelle McAlistair rarely leaves the confines of her lab. She is working on a formula for bringing back the dead. After reviving her dead love Jasper – placing him inside a life-sized, mechanical doll – Annabelle’s desperate actions set into motion an escalating series read more »

Leave Me by Act One

Leave Me is performing with Spotlites @ The Merchants’ Hall from the 10-25th at 7.30pm. Leave me is a small story about a big issue. With just two characters, live music in an intimate in-the-round setting, Leave Me explores love and all its dangers.

We Were Kings

Three friends – Jack, Rosie & Max – reunite over a drink after going their separate ways. Max has returned from his first deployment; Jack is forging new plans; Rosie is uninspired and dissatisfied. Fast-paced new writing fused with physical theatre.

Beans on Toast by Patch of Blue Theatre Company

Scott loves Jen. Jen loves Scott. Jen is gone. Warm, funny and touching memory play by lamp-light, fragmented memories and live folk music. Created and performed by this year’s graduates of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, this beautiful new musical play asks whether we should let go of what we have lost, or cling on to the memory read more »

Jack and I: The Jack The Ripper Musical by DhK Productions

DhK Productions returns to the Fringe with their second “historical” musical comedy, the tale of the infamous ‘Jack the Ripper’. “Near-faultless … should be commended for its comedic and historical value.” (Ed Fringe Review) Detective Inspector Abberline is faced with the impossible task of satisfying his boss, the media, the public, his wife, and his read more »

Departures: A Song Cycle by Joe Bunce and Matthew Malone

Eight strangers stand at a nondescript railway platform on an unremarkable weekday afternoon. As their train is delayed further, they put down their crumpled Metros, pocket their bleeping smartphones and begin to share their secrets, hopes and fears. A musical snapshot of modern Britain.

The Villains, the Vote and the Black, Black Oil by Tom Chalmers

Dripping with political bite, ‘The Villains, the Vote and the Black, Black Oil’ explores three harrowing tales of capitalism in Scotland. With live music and excessive Donald Trump-ing it’ll having you laughing and singing as you go.

Games of Love and Chance by David K. Barnes

Two young members of the wealthy elite are arranged to marry before the weekend is up, despite never having met. Expecting the worst, in a bid to secretly spy on one another they swap places with their servants, who relish the idea of sipping martinis while their employers mix the next round. Misunderstandings and maladroit read more »

Actors by Underscore Theatre

It’s 60 minutes and counting until the Tallaght Thespians go onstage with their production of Hamlet. But where on earth is Hamlet? Is Ophelia having a real-life mental breakdown? Why do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hate each other? And is the director really a visionary or just insane? Come join the dressing room madness as a bunch read more »

Shrew by Ami Jones

Shrew is a new piece of solo theatre exploring one of literature’s most vivid, intriguing, and disturbing women – Shakespeare’s Katharina, better known as the infamous heroine of The Taming of the Shrew. In a murky in-between world which is neither reality (where she does not belong) nor the play (where she belongs even less), read more »

Ruined by Tim Norwood

Against unbearable pain, will you survive, or shatter? A visceral, chilling tale of life in a world obsessed with violence. Four voices take listeners on a disjointed, poetic journey. Ruined is an intense piece of new writing from the creators of Titus (****, Edinburgh Spotlight, 2013).

The Improv Musical

Improvised musical mayhem that aims to leave you roaring with laughter. Your host will ask you, the audience, to make the decisions that create the story: the characters, scenario and even the song titles! The show is in your hands.  

A Modernist Event by the Lincoln Company

Combines a breathtaking new rendition of their popular avant-garde piece, Artaud: A Trilogy, with kitsch and quirky dada extravaganza, Gas Heart. Through the use of sensory exploitation, extreme… physicality and surreal projections, a contemporary theatre of cruelty is born. You are invited to enter the world of Dada, where each body part has a mind of read more »

Please Don’t Cry (At My Funeral) by This Egg

A show that gently wonders about our desire for happy families. Josie and Izzy are making a show and want to share with you a truth that they discovered in the rehearsal room. An adventurously funny and heartwarmingly touching show charged with vitality and immediacy. Please Don’t Cry (At My Funeral) furiously questions how we can make what we read more »

MenSWEAR Collection: Three, Two, F**k by Jack West

A simply-staged and intensely-written play featuring a cast of three talented young actors that tells the story of a band that has finally broken into the music scene after years of struggling on the underground circuit and their struggle with such sudden, and maybe fleeting, acclaim and fame. The band members’ discussion quickly focuses on read more »

MenSWEAR Collection: Spunk by Stuart Crowther

SPUNK focuses on a wheelchair-bound man’s efforts to achieve sexual satisfaction. Inspired by a documentary about sex workers who cater exclusively for disabled people, the play deals with issues such as disability, prostitution and prejudice within the LGBT community and aims to challenge the perceptions of audiences by asking how often do we hear about read more »

Death is the New Porn by Jack Elliot

Three self-styled vigilantes decide to seek revenge for anyone who has been the victim of a brutal crime. But in their zeal to take an eye for an eye, their long standing friendships come under increasing pressure. As the cracks begin to show and old demons come back to haunt them, the dynamic of the read more »

Contrast by Rory McGregor

Who are you? Honestly. Who are you? You’re you presumably, but what about the other you? Contrast follows the lives and experiences of two conmen: Alan Debenham, a homeless imposter of Louis Theroux, and the ‘artist’ Alan Conway, who spent three years taking the life and identity of Stanley Kubrick for his own ends. Contrast read more »

Soldier Box by Lachlan Lewis-Smith

Based on Joe Glenton’s book, Soldier Box (Verso Books), this is a true story of a soldier’s experience in Afghanistan and explores the process of conscientious objection and it’s perception within the military.

The Despondent Divorcée

7:00pm, C Venues – C Cubed, 31st July – 25th August (Excl. 8th and 9th)  A 1940s New York hotel spirals through a storm of media speculation following the eighth-storey suicide leap of a desperate young woman. A psychological thriller featuring the bittersweet poetry of Sara Teasdale and live jazz music.

Mildred and the Midnight City by Casey Jay Andrews and Nathan Foad

11:45am, Pleasance Courtyard, 30th July – 25th August (excl. 9th) A family friendly puppetry adventure following the intrepid journey of an unlikely little hero.

According to his Need by Oliver Eagleton

Nick, a lifelong bachelor, attempts to pick up girls by joining the Socialist Party. Here his failed persona as a tree-hugging, injustice-hating ally of the working class lands him in a relationship with his polar opposite, Cass. Things spiral into absurdity as he uses politics for romantic ends, while she uses romance for political ends. read more »

Sex with Benefits by Daniel Huntley Solon

Grey and Duncan have been taking for three years. As they start testing the boundaries of their relationship, they discover exactly how little they know about each other.

The Baron Conspiracy by the Lincoln Company

Thomas Ronald Baron was a safety inspector of Apollo 1 fire. He produced a 500 page report, refusing NASA attempt to land on the moon. After he testified, Baron, his wife and step daughter were killed as a train collided with their car. The same day, the report disappeared. The piece  explores the compelling journey read more »

Alba – A New Scottish Musical by Finn Anderson

With only his Dad’s ashes for company, Roddy swaps his designer suit and shoes for waterproofs and walking boots and takes off on an unexpected and life-changing pilgrimage. A Scottish folk-inspired actor-musician musical with an entirely original score from Best New Musical (Off West End Awards) nominee Finn Anderson. 

Tinderbox by Oliver Forsyth

Three activists met beneath a bank intent on starting a global revolution by bringing the business to it’s knees. Their high ideals of peaceful and international change, however, are soon undermined.

Sochi 2014 by Tess Berry-Hart

Following the success of Jim Cartwright’s Two and the self-devised Speak No Evil (‘★★★★★’,Three Weeks) in 2013, FULLfuse Theatre returns to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Tess Berry-Hart’sSochi 2014, a sensory, intimate and heart-wrenching play that uses verbatim testimony to present the human rights abuses in the buildup to this year’s Olympics in a more pertinent and provoking manner read more »

Eden Gate by Produced Moon

Edinburgh. 2017. Scotland’s capital is being ravaged by a deadly disease. Citizens and tourists alike are dropping like flies. Health organisation GTNV is providing mankind with a beacon of hope in the current terror and turmoil: Eden Gate. Offering shelf and a new beginning to anyone who can find their way to Eden Gate, GTNV read more »

Neverland by Lancaster Offshoots

Lancaster Offshoots’ Neverland is an original piece that explores the unique emotional and physical changes of growing up; and merges the lines of fantasy and reality.. Neverland is an immersive search looking at the finiteness of life and the overbearing weight of death; it looks at our dreams and our nightmares and what truths they hold about read more »

Fearnot Wood by UCL Runaground

UCL Runaground presents Fearnot Wood, a black comedy set in the historic town of Lewes. One bonfire night, Garth has returned from a five year absence to seek refuge in his childhood home. As he prepares for the great revelry and pagan spectacle of Lewes Bonfire, a shadow of the past calls, hell-bent on revenge. The read more »

Alice in Wonderland by Daniel Jordan

Forget Victorian England. Think rave, carnival, circus. Westminster Students take to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with a remix of Carroll’s classic tale to bring an electric carnival of cultures for the age of now. This haunting adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is brought to life in a sinister re-imagining. Our mature Alice finds herself once again read more »

Grimm by Hypnotist Theatre

HYPNOTIST THEATRE present GRIMM: a fast-paced and engaging modern adaptation of the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, set in the mind of an amnesiac. A dark mystery devised from nothing by the cast, witness raw imagination as it finds expression onstage in the mind of a girl whose past is dragged back to life.

Case Number, by Kirsty Jones & Karolina Cybulski

Introducing Case Number, a new play which bravely attempts to shatter the shame culture that surrounds sexual assault against women. Miss Russell, a mere number, is forced to relive the trauma of her assault through the biased legal system in an attempt to reclaim her identity. Isolated, she faces the disturbing reality that only 3% read more »

Death Shall Have No Dominion Part Two: Mametz by InterAct Wales

It is 1916 and the Battle of Mametz Wood at the Somme is raging. The 38th Welsh Division would later be accused of cowardice – who will speak for those who did not return?

That Sinking Feeling by Alan Wanders

Blub… The final sound made by a sinking cruise liner as it makes its majestic descent to the ocean floor. But how did it sink? And why were the two contraceptive companies on board unable to consumate their merger? STaG invites you to fifty minutes of laughter and mayhem, which would give even the most read more »

The Trojan Women by 3Bugs Fringe Theatre Company

3Bugs Fringe Theatre Company returns for its 11th year at the Edinburgh Fringe with a new adaptation of Euripides’ tragedy, ‘The Trojan Women’. Mythology meets Mad Men, from Helen of Troy to Ella Fitzgerald. Set in 1950s post-war Britain, a time of disillusionment and strife. Hecuba and Andromache, once nobility, are forced into slavery by read more »

Love and Rabbits by the Underground Clown Club

Love & Rabbits Written and performed by The Underground Clown Club Part of the PBH Free Fringe Two fools take to the stage to evoke silly scenes and surreal stories for your delectation. There are misbehaving clocks, an elusive Woozle and some unusual nocturnal visitors. This is children’s poetry for adults. Come and join us read more »

Little Jokes by Seamus Collins

  BBC Writersroom 10 award-winner Seamus Collins brings Edward Lear’s much loved nonsense poetry to life in this magical tale of one boy’s struggle with loss, loneliness and growing up. Anthony can’t sleep, he misses his best friend Nat and his parents are off being astronauts. Until one night, when listening to his sister read read more »

‘Tis Pity by Natalie Audley

A young man falls violently in love with his little sister, despite her engagement to the son of a powerful Don. Gregory abandons law, common sense and tradition in his quest to win the love of his sister, Anita. A reimagining of John Ford’s taboo incest play, our reinterpretation blends the best of new writing with classic read more »


A TED* Talk with Clay JW Crowne (*not affiliated with, its members, fellows, organisers, partners, subsidiaries, sponsors or stockholders) Written by Nathan D’Arcy Roberts

A solo comedy-theatre show combining funny, moving storytelling with a pastiche of the hyperbolic TED Talk style. After a series of restraining orders, visionary thought-magnet Clay JW Crowne finally brings his prophetic TED* Talks to the public (in a format well within the terms of his injunction). The show is the Fringe debut of Plunger read more »

Low Tide in Glass Bay by Eliot Salt and Artemis Howard

Karen and Bronnie drink, joke and shortcut their way through life together in the small Welsh town of Tonypandy. The couple are blissfully conscience free even at their most destructive; their greatest crises are unresolved takeaway orders and dangerously low tides in their wine glasses. But when disaster strikes, it might be time for Karen read more »

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