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Drama takes centre stage at the Durham Drama Festival

Durham Drama Festival, which is in its 39th year, is the pivotal event in the student theatre calendar, celebrating the wealth of creative talent among students at Durham University

The Babysitters  Durham Film Festival 2013

The 2014 Durham Drama Festival takes place from February 12 to 15, offering 25 performances around the city that promise to showcase some of the freshest student writing that the country has to offer.

Durham’s student playwrights, actors and directors will have their work judged by an impressive panel that includes high-profile industry professionals, including input from the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The Heaps Durham Film Festival 2013This year’s judges include playwright Joe Wilde, actor and producer Emma West, Benedict Ayrton (producer, actor and educator) and the RSC’s Michael Corbidge, from the National Student Drama Festival.

The judges will attend each performance, give feedback, and present awards at Durham’s D’Oliviers ceremony, which will be held on the final day of the festival to celebrate the week’s achievements.  
The festival comprises performances, workshops and socials. 

Student-written performances that debut at DDF regularly springboard from their initial success to receive further acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and elsewhere. ‘Island State’ by Dom Riley and ‘A Hundred Minus One Day’ by Idgie Beau were performed at the Edinburgh Fringe 2013, where Idgie Beau received a commendation for her writing by the National Student Drama Festival. ‘Island State’ was also performed at the prestigious Waterloo East Theatre, London

DDF, which is in its 39th year, is the pivotal event in the student theatre calendar, celebrating the wealth of creative talent among students at Durham University, encouraging participation in theatre in any capacity. 

New opportunities for DDF14 include the construction of a temporary Black Box Studio space inside the Durham Student Union and special development workshops for successful entrants into the festival.

In addition to the Assembly Rooms and the Black Box Studio, there is also a special site-specific night in which historic locations around Durham City are used as performance space. This year we are very pleased to stage productions in Prior’s Hall (Durham Cathedral), DUS Debating Chambers (Pemberton Buildings, Palace Green) and the Norman Chapel (Durham Castle).

Ticket prices are kept affordable to students and the wider Durham community alike to ensure that theatre remains accessible to everyone. One ticket entitles you to see all shows performed in a single evening. Full Price= £5.50, Student = £5.00, DST member = £4.50. A full festival ticket may also be purchased which allows access to all performances over the week.Full details of performances, performance times and ticket prices can be found at


  • Date published: 27th January 2014
  • Written by: Paul Ross
  • Photography by: Yang Yu and Nikki Todhunter



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