Blackout Champions National Student Drama Festival

Blackout donated a wide range of drape and rigging equipment to the 2016 National Student Drama Festival (NSDF) which took place in Scarborough, 19 – 25 March.

Taking place across the seaside town, NSDF featured a range of technical workshops for theatre and the wider entertainment industry, and showcased productions made by young theatre makers aged 16 – 25. Established in 1956, this year marked the 60th anniversary of the Festival, which welcomed youngsters from all over the country.

This year 25 volunteer crew members joined the NSDF Technical Team to gain hands on experience with everything from drapes and rigging, sound, lighting, video, stage management and special effects. Blackout donated a range of equipment from its extensive stock list to dress all five venues; The Grand Hall, Ocean Room, Training Room, Spa Theatre and the two performance spaces at the University of Hull Scarborough Campus.

Over 300m of black wool serge drape, 132m of Easibuild pipe, 42m of TripleE Unitrack, white sharkstooth gauze and 76m of red velour drape was donated by Blackout, along with a range of rigging products, truss and hoist motors to enable the NSDF to offer the highest standard of production space to its visiting shows and audiences.

David Graham, NSDF’s technical director said: “This is the fourth year that Blackout have supported the Festival. Without their generosity and willingness to help, we would not be able to deliver the high standard of temporary venues that the Festival audiences have come to expect. Rigging and drapes are the unsung heroes in the industry, often hidden away or hiding what we don’t want our audiences to see. It is important that our student team get an understanding of their function from day one. Blackout always delivers equipment that is turned out to the highest standard and I certainly hope that we can continue our relationship for future festivals.”

Martin Wood, managing director at Blackout commented: “We’ve been supplying equipment to the National Student Drama Festival for many years and we’re pleased to once again be able to help young people in the industry get hands-on experience. It is vital for companies like ourselves to nurture young talent and provide opportunities for the next generation who are interested in learning more about the industry.”