With tuition fees and student loans at an all time high, student theatre-makers from disadvantaged backgrounds are unable to access the platforms and opportunities crucial to showcasing their work, which are vital to secure a future for their talents outside education.
NDT, partnering with universities across the country, will provide the funds for up to twelve exceptional student theatre companies each year to enter National Student Drama Festival – twice the number supported in previous years.The NSDF Pickles Fund, renewed each year, will provide each chosen group with the £98 entry fee for the festival and, if a supported group is selected, will source additional funds to help the company present their show at the Festival, which takes place each year.
This is the only grant of this kind available to students in the UK.
New Diorama provided a great deal of support, offered crucial advice & challenged us to keep pushing our work into new, better places. Without their support we wouldn't have attended National Student Drama Festival, where we won the Sunday Times Playwrighting Award, 2015. Without them this would have been a much harder journey"
Pub Corner Poets
How It Works
12 £98 Investments
Student theatre companies write to NDT with a proposal. We'll write a cheque for £98 for the shows we're most excited about.
NSDF select for the festival
The NSDF send an assessor to each show entered. The best shows from the year are selected to attend the festival.
Further support for selected groups
If our supported companies get selected, we work with the group(s) to ensure they are able to afford and attend the festival.
Supported groups have gone on to win prizes at the festival, including the Sunday Times Playwright Award. These shows have toured nationally.
How To Apply
If you are:
- A theatre company based in the UK
- In your final year of education, or within one year of having left full-time education
Then you are eligible to apply visit click here and simply fill out the online form - it will ask you for details including the following:
Your company name
A little bit about the work your company makes
Details of the show you'd like to submit to NSDF
When we can see the show you'd like us to support
Why you're applying to the NSDF Pickles Fund
To download all of this information in a handy PDF, please click here.
Please note there are no age limits or restrictions on any opportunities offered by New Diorama. We welcome applications from student companies of all ages.
NSDF PICKLES FUND 2018/19
Just Club, University of Hull, STANDING TOO CLOSE ON OUR OWN IN THE DARK
Quick Duck Theatre, University of Birmingham, MAGIC HOUR: THE MURDER MYSTERY DISCO
Winners: Singularity of Vision Award, Best Ensemble
NSDF PICKLES FUND 2017/18
Poltergeist Theatre, Oxford University, LIGHTS OVER TESCO CARPARK
Winners: Samuel French New Play Award, Judges’ Award for Outstanding Achievement in Devised and Ensemble Theatre, Judges’ Commendations for Directing.
The Backpack Ensemble, Lincoln University, THE SEARCH FOR A BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS
Winners: The Sunday Times Playwrighting Award, The Buzz Goodbody Director Award, The Festgoers’ Award
NSDF PICKLES FUND 2016/17
Pub Corner Poets, Hull University, SAD LITTLE MAN
NSDF PICKLES FUND 2015/16
Breach Theatre, University of Warwick, BEANFIELD
NSDF PICKLES FUND 2014/15
Pub Corner Poets, Hull University, ANGRY
Winners: The Sunday Times Playwriting Award