As Gary Glitter once sang, ‘It’s good to be back’. Speaking of inappropriate stains, NSDF has begun again. It’s an exciting moment, that point where the first snowflakes in the forms of addled students ready and willing to tear into the nitty gritty of that most elusive enema, theatre, gather on the mountains of expectation.
I began the day with a stroll along the coast. As you may have noticed, we are located slap bang next to the sea. It is both dramatic and attractive. I wholeheartedly suggest a morning walk along the sand as it is both good for the constitution and aids motion. There are a series of algae covered rocks towards the right hand end of the beach that look like tiny hills. Feel like a giant bounding across the Dales if you are looking for some light beach entertainment.
On returning to The Complex I joined the 2 o’clock excitement that is registration (early rising is easy to avoid) and braced myself for the relentless hordes of eager beavers just begging to get their hands on a laminated ID card if only to give them that sense of cliqueness when walking around Scarborough town.
I braced a little more than necessary it turns out. Not a releasing of the sluice gates this year, more the faulty drip of a hose tap. Being the studious investigator that I am I sought out il commendatori Kendrick and asked her about the apparent drop in numbers. It’s true, our numbers are fewer than last year but that’s not anyone’s fault apart from the Christians. If they’d chosen a fixed date for their pagan festival instead of fannying about with lunar cycles then NSDF wouldn’t have to happen earlier and clash with some students finishing dissertations and what not. (That’s my view by the way, not Holly’s who is a good god fearing Christian for anyone who cares).
No doubt this will be a year of quality over quantity and the idea of less crowded workshops and discussions has this foolish optimist excited about the upcoming week.
Topping the euphoria of registration is a difficult task but what the smug git didn’t know was that the Opening Ceremony had an ace slyly placed in its bra. The Decrees were dictated by a humorous musical duo of Tony Blair The Musical fame. If fascists had caught on to the idea of issuing their World Order by the medium of song the motto of this festival wouldn’t be the cheekily suggestive ‘Bring It On’ but rather ‘Theatre Makes One Free’. Some other admin things were said both before and after the song and dance but my mind had drifted to roast beef sandwiches.
It turned out that the Opening Ceremony was a mere façade, a means of securing an audience for the first show of the Festival, Tangle by Unlimited. The overriding theme was that of a peculiar piece of quantum physics which involves two tiny particles that share the same characteristics and react to stimuli simultaneously and in the same way no matter how far apart they are. Mind boggling stuff indeed. Unfortunately if it’s true, as the play suggests, that there’s someone else in the world who shares common feelings with me then I apologise for sending him/her into a catatonic sleep.
Now came the crux of the day, the very reason for ignoring my university career, a NSDF selector approved piece of student theatre that was Lost in the Wind. It was nice. Following it I retired to the Spa bar. Where else can you see the elites of the theatrical world getting drunk and reminiscing on old times? I can recommend nothing more than sitting and listening to the ruminations of these Titans.
Actually that’s not entirely true as the end of the night (or the beginning of work as I’m coming to think of it) brought Holly Jazz Lowe’s voice with it and it is a voice I want to place in a small wooden box and bring out on occasions when I want to smile and nod my head in whatever way is the fashion with the kids these days. I have a powerlessness against this kind of voice and now that the cold dark embrace of layout beckons I shall hold my head up high as I seek out some more caffeine.