29 March 2018

Smash the cricket bat. Burst the bubble. Be radical, says Ben Monk

*the only play seen by a first-timer*


There was a cricket bat. I hoped it was Chekhov’s bat. I hoped the whole thing would be a cricket bat, smashing up well-made-play-Britness as skillfully as Alastair McDowell did. But it wasn’t. I’m sorry.


What is the selection process for NSDF? It was fine, OK. It was fine. But what was new? What was radical? What was special? Out of all the performances in the country, why this?


They use black boxes. And the classic physi-cool theatre shapes – The Beating Heart! The Flying Man! I was dying for an adventure. I was killing for playfulness. I was dreaming of invention. 


But y’know I’ve got problems writing this review. This is my first ever day at NSDF. Students should be coming together right? Supporting right? Learning right?


Fine, OK, so you no longer get criticism but positivism. To develop performance thinking there HAS to be criticism. I’m sorry we’re all students. I’m sorry if the writers lack authority. But NSDF can take you – kicking and screaming and clawing – out of a bubble. To see the wild work around you, the cool thinkers, the new experiences AND SAY: yeah, fuck it, let’s learn and try something different next time


But it’s not you, it’s me, it’s the system – I’m patronising AF, don’t be mad, I’m a good guy. But here we go:

Maybe ban revivals at NSDF?

@noffmag // [email protected]

Photo credit: Aenne Pallasca