The Buzz Goodbody Director Award

Funded by: Royal Theatrical Support Trust

The Buzz Goodbody Director Award is awarded to a director of a production at NSDF who has demonstrated extraordinary achievement in direction. 

The winning director receives a cash prize of £1,000.

The Award memorialises Mary Ann – nick-named “Buzz” – Goodbody. Buzz was the celebrated first female director of the RSC and the driving force behind the establishment of its studio theatre, The Other Place at Stratford-upon-Avon, in the early 1970s. Buzz died tragically in 1975, aged 28.

The Royal Theatrical Support Trust is a charity dedicated to the fostering and advancement of the public knowledge, experience and appreciation of theatre and drama at every level of performance and audience, including by way of support for emerging theatre directors and for training and education in the theatrical arts. 

The Sunday Times Playwrighting Award

The historic and prestigious award for playwrighting. 

The Sunday Times Harold Hobson Drama Critic Award

Named after the great drama Critic who helped found NSDF.

Samuel French New Play Award

Awarded in association with theatrical licensing and publishing house Samuel French Ltd, a Concord Theatricals company, this prize aims to champion and support new writing talent. The winning show will be professionally published as a playtext by Samuel French. 

The Camden People's Theatre Award

Recognises a production in the festival that is formally inventive, adventurous in spirit and/or which explores issues of contemporary social, cultural or political pertinence. The production is then offered a London run as part of CPT's autumn season.

The Cameron Mackintosh Award

Funded by one of NSDF's great supporters, this award recognises the enduring imprtance and development of musical theatre.

The Holbeck Cup 

A new award from Slung Low, the Holbeck Cup is given to a production that has shown outstanding quality. In addition to the cup itself there is a cash prize and a residency with accommodation at Slung Low's venue, The Holbeck, to create a new peice or refune existing work. 

Spotlight Most Promising Actors

Awarded to the two most promising actors, two complimentary memberships of Spotlight. 

Judges Awards and Commendations 


Arts Award

NSDF is delighted to be supporting Arts Award. All students who are involved already complete a number of different parts of Arts Award from Bronze-Gold level, and students who are part of our Technical or Management Teams take part in activities which directly map to Silver and Gold.

Things you could do at the festival that would contribute to arts award (for age 16 and above).

  • Join our Technical Team who support all the productions and events and build some of the theatre spaces. There are technical workshops throughout the week.
  • Join our Management Team who help us produce and manage the festival. The team also participate in workshops.
  • Write reviews and articles and interviews for our Noises Off magazine and use your articles and reviews for your own portfolio
  • Submit a show for the festival.
  • Come to the festival as part of a school group – see all the shows and participate in workshops run by theatre schools, professional companies and visiting artists
  • Make a video of the festival with your own reviews and comment about the productions and compare the styles of the plays at the festival.
  • For more details about how you can achieve your Arts Award qualification by getting involved with NSDF, please contact Lizzie Melbourne by email lizzie@nsdf.org.uk or call 07539768087. 


Visit the Arts Award website

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