NSDF 19 Bursary Programme

7 December 2018


Guest Director James Phillips announces new Bursary Programme for NSDF ’19 and reduction in ticket prices for Management, Technical and Noises Off Teams.



NSDF is a unique and precious thing, a charity that has helped generations of talented young people of all backgrounds find their home within the arts.

Which is why I’m delighted that my first act as Guest Director of NSDF is to give things away.

This year NSDF will be providing bursaries for one hundred free festival tickets, to those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to come to the Festival.

NSDF will also be cutting the price of tickets for all members of the Management, Technical and Noises Off Teams. A ticket for anyone who is accepted as part of these vital Festival Teams (and invaluable learning experiences) will now be half price. (£60 reduced from £120)

NSDF is about widening access to the arts, about empowering new generations to make new things. It is a festival that aspires to make what should happen, actually happen.

I took over NSDF on Monday. This week we’ve spoken to lots of people directly about the cost of coming to the Festival - people we care about, whose opinions we trust, who have taken time to speak to us and write to us about individual situations. If I could then I’d offer the Festival to everyone for free. But I can’t. This is what we can do and so we’re going to do it.

These are incredibly difficult financial times- for small charities like ours as well as for individuals- and we can’t do all of the things we want to.

The things I’m announcing today are small steps which show our ambition and it’s thanks to the incredible generosity of the Arts Patrons’ Trust that this year we are able to offer the largest ever bursary programme in the history of the Festival.

NSDF can be a life changing week. Selector and Theatre Maker Chris Thorpe has written a blog that explains why: 5 Reasons You Should Go To NSDF ’19.

We want to help those who most need it. So we will be asking for a few details so we can assess those most in need. Here’s the page where you can apply for a bursary. 

If we manage to raise more money, we will use it to make the Festival more affordable for more people. Equally, if you’re someone who’s fortunate enough to be able to pay, please do so. And if you’re one of the fortunate few who could give a few extra pounds in order to give someone not so lucky the chance to come along, then please donate

NSDF ’19 is going to brave, bold and brilliant: bringing together some of the most exciting and accomplished professionals working in the British Theatre and a vibrant new generation of emerging young artists, critics, producers, technicians, administrators and audience members.


We hope you can join us.


NSDF: Be Part of Something.