Deputy Editor, Noises Off magazine (NSDF)

This freelance role with Noises Off, the resident magazine at the National Student Drama Festival, focusses on engaging festival participants with theatre criticism and reviewing. You will also learn about the process of making the magazine, including copyediting, proofing and writing copy for social media.

This role would suit a creative early career freelancer with some experience in writing about or reviewing theatre, with an interest in creative engagement, who is enthusiastic about the future of the magazine and keen to take an active role in it in years to come.

You will be required to be in Leicester for the full festival, 9th - 15th April 2022.

This is a paid role with meals and accommodation provided.


Deputy Editor responsibilities

  • Working with Noises Off writers and NSDF participants to provide constructive and helpful feedback on their writing within a fast-paced festival environment
  • Communicating sensitively and thoughtfully with a range of participants, including creatives presenting their work at the festival, likely for the first time
  • Supporting the Editor with editorial decisions (pagination, commissioning content and creative direction)
  • Uploading articles to the website CMS accurately and quickly
  • Working with the Editor to copyedit articles, and working with the Editor and Designer to proof the print magazine
  • To work within the guidelines of the NSDF Young Persons Protection Policy, always valuing the welfare and safety of festival participants above any other work


Person specification

  • A passion for theatre reviewing and cultural criticism
  • Keen eye for editing and high attention to detail
  • Commitment to improving access and representation in theatre criticism
  • An ambitious vision for the future of Noises Off
  • Fast learner comfortable with flexible teamwork


About Noises Off

Founded in 1980 by the playwright Stephen Jeffreys, Noises Off is the resident magazine of NSDF. During the annual week-long festival, participants (aged 16-26 or in full-time education) work together to produce multiple issues of the magazine, with contents including reviews of and commentary about shows at the festival, wider commentary and opinion about the theatre industry and the arts, alongside opportunities for a range of cultural criticism – and anything participants are keen to write about. Under its current editorship, Noises Off (or Noff for short) welcomes experimental criticism and new forms and methods of writing about performance.

The magazine is an integral part of the festival – it is facilitated and funded by the festival, but fiercely retains its editorial independence. Its role is to critique the work of emerging theatre companies and artists within a supportive festival environment, and to help the next generation of cultural critics sharpen and hone their skills, gaining experience working with editors and writing to deadline.

Noises Off plays an important role in the wider ecology of emerging theatre companies. It exists as a voice to advocate for the next generation of artists, to question the industry and make theatre’s future a better place. It also exists as a place for cultural criticism, for shrewd opinion and insightful commentary as well as well-written reviews that are as dexterous and gentle as they are sharp.

Two editors work alongside a designer and photographer during the week-long festival, mentoring a team of writers who apply to attend the festival as part of the Noises Off team. The magazine also runs open submissions – anyone attending the festival who wants to write for the magazine can. When the festival is held in-person, it’s based in the ‘Noffice’ – everyone at the festival is invited to come to the Noffice and join in the conversation, with zine-making, discussions, collaboration and more.

The aim of Noises Off, simply put, is to nurture and encourage the next generation of cultural critics, to empower young people to write about theatre and performance, and to write about it fairly and with flair.


About NSDF 2022

NSDF is a week-long annual festival that showcases the best theatre created by 16- 26 year olds from all over the UK. Alongside this, we offer 100+ workshops, discussions and events. NSDF 22 will take place in various venues across Leicester from 9th-15th April 2022. At NSDF, talent is spotted and coached and lives get changed. You get to be part of something. For all the latest information about NSDF 22, please visit this page.  

How to Apply?

Email with a CV and cover letter (max. 2 pages) by 5pm on 21st January 2022.

Your cover letter should answer the following:

  • Tell us what interests you about Noises Off, and what would make you a good Deputy Editor.
  • What do you think of the current landscape of theatre criticism, and what would you like to see happen at Noises Off in 2022 (and/or beyond)?


NSDF is committed to making the Festival as accessible as possible. If you require assistance in filling in this form or require a screen-readable version of this form, please contact

NSDF encourages a diverse range of voices to apply and is a passionate believer in Equal Opportunities for all.