Did you know that NSDF used to travel from place to place back in the day? I don’t know the details but I hope the hosting city was decided based on a Eurovision Song Contest set of rules where the previous year’s winners hosted. How you might ‘win’ at NSDF is something of a mystery though because this is an entertainment medium where there are no winners, only losers, but we’ll see which company gets the most awards at the end of the week and then decide.
Moving on, travel it did until settling in Scarborough’s buxom bosom in 1990, although it took another year for the Festival to slide down the hill towards the coast. Fascinating facts abound dear reader! And who can blame it? There’s a bloody big sea on the other side of the road, which enjoys nothing more than putting on a show of its own with blasting waves and dramatic sunrises. I find the sea a terrifying place because it’s so untouched by human hand. Look behind you and you can see how the earth has been shaped by human hand, but look ahead and there’s an endless abyss that looks just as it did 4 billion years ago.
Which is why the pointless lights that dazzle all over it every night perturb me slightly. Why are they there? If NSDF is worried about saving some mahulah and funding Tibetan orphans in their theatrical endeavours they could start by slashing their power bills in half by turning off the fucking lights. I know that it’s fun for the techies to try and shine some lights into the endless dark just because they can, which is why I asked a VC of an unnamed venue who I’m friends with to tell me about the lights.
Yes, he could confirm, they are bloody big lights. And they drain a whole load of power. It takes as many as four people to move them off turrets (whatever they are, I get lost in technical language) and even he admits they are entirely pointless. ‘Not any more’ was his response to my question of, ‘Are they dangerous?’ which was reassuring. However, he did remind me that the lights above the Vitadome are Park Ammms (spelling?) liable to explode when wet, due to the high voltages pulsing through them and exposed electrical connections, which would cause burning hell fire to rain down on those below. This is why techies scare people.
Mind you, expecting sensible planning from the people who have nicknamed me Richard Dawson, no doubt because of some hilarious in-joke I’m not part of, on my ID card might be a little much. I kid, the organisation has been wonderful so far. And you can’t help but have respect for people who throw caution to the wind and let all those lucky 17 year olds enjoy a few pints in the bar.
Is it just me though or is the Festival really starting to pick up? The first few shows have come and gone and people seem to be settling into the whole swing of the thing. I was just privy to a touching moment where two apparent strangers realised that they’d both graduated from Warwick in 2001 and had both worked in theatre there. Touching stuff, right here at the NSDF.
After much contemplation I’ve decided that the best way to end this is by answering some of the question that you have been asking on the NOFF Ideas and Question Board. First off the bat is Yellow Post-It No.1 who asks,
“I am in a school. We are bored of doing the same plays. What plays should we do?”
On asking my magic number 8 ball (choosing a random play in the index of Raw Talent, a detailed history of NSDF on sale now for the bargain price of £10) it responded with Jacques by Euegene Ionesco. So there you go, a bit of absurdist theatre for you to get your bored teeth into you cheeky scallywag.
Pink Post-It No. 2 asks, “How do we make theatre more like film?” By transferring CGI technology to the medium of live stage productions. Gasp as spaceships hurtle past you at the speed of light, shriek as an alien prowls past you in the aisles, chuckle manically as D-Day soldiers are torn to pieces in front of your very eyes, all in the comfort of a large dark auditorium. Or just go to the fucking cinema. Theatre and film are media that are worlds apart in every way, you might well ask how we make theatre more like comics or computer games. Actually, why haven’t there been any stage adaptations of Watchmen or Resident Evil?
Pink Post-It No.3 wants to know, “Where can I find a pub with a giant pink arse outside?” Wherever the randy Scarborough baboons go to wet their whistle. (Notice how I resisted the urge to offend Christians by answering with “Any pub opposite a church”).