Well. NSDF 2022 has unfurled its wings and taken flight. Somewhere along the way, before becoming airborne, I’m sure that it brushed its feathers across your shoulders as you asked yourself questions. What will this bring? What will I learn? How will I feel to be once again in a dim room with an audience of keen strangers? Who will I be when the lights go down? Who will I be?
I’m sure that it brushed its feathers across your shoulders, because it touched mine too, as I asked myself endless things – festival dates, long in my calendar, fast approaching. Or rather, I attempted not to ask myself endless things by going to bed super late and getting up too early while vaguely committing to a habit of drinking morning coffees instead of tea just to feel like I’d sort of moved…somewhere. Shifted something. In a sluggish pandemic life that felt like it had forgotten that impermanence and change are meant to be the only constants in this world. What does this have to do with NSDF, you ask. Nothing really. I just reckon that if I’m here editing a newspaper you ought to know something about me. The person. That’s the only way I understand legitimising myself as a facilitator of the voices you’ll read in this digital newspaper, voices far more important in this festival than mine.
There was another point to telling you that actually! We are still in a pandemic. I’ve been very aware of this fact. The first ever in person pandemic NSDF. It’s A Badge. Not a great badge, but A Badge. A pandemic, I’m sure we can all agree, which has been a realm of exhausting uncertainty. Exhausting uncertainty which human beings react to and deal with, in diverse ways, together.
This first issue of Noises Off 2022 attempts to reconcile diverse ways. It attempts to remember the past while hoping for the future. It attempts to reconcile reviewing theatre with a spirit of generosity. It attempts to manage expectation and reality. It attempts to pose new questions from old answers. It attempts.
Being back at NSDF has been a shock to my introverted system. I count my mistakes. I try to learn from them. I stay up too late writing this editorial because I’ve got used to needing the quiet to be able to make sense (and barely at that!).
I hope you enjoy the contents of this first issue of your favourite festival paper. Our writers have done a wonderful job of throwing themselves in at the deep end, producing responsive and thought-provoking writing about the industry, the festival, the work and ultimately their subjective experiences. Which is what we’re all in this theatre thing for, isn’t it? In diverse ways.
As the festival soars onwards at speed (the end of day 2? already?) take time to consider its flight. We want to know what you think. How you feel. What you saw. What you heard. How was it when the lights went down? Who were you? What I’m saying is, come write for Noises Off, we’d be so pleased to have you. Bring your whole self.
Noises Off Editor