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Durham Drama Festival 2022

Now in its 48th year, the annual Durham Drama Festival takes to the stage from 30 January – 6 February in exciting venues across Durham city. The festival is week-long celebration of new writing created by our students, made up of eight brand new full-length, productions and showcases student-written extracts in a launch night performance. This year promises diverse genres and styles of play with something for everyone.

The varied programme includes work from international students and includes settings from Shanghai to Italy and Austria to Hungary. Performances include, Beautiful Nothing a one-woman show, that explores sexuality and gender, while Cottage is a dark comedy that delves into one of the most shameful yet thrilling parts of queer history. The Children of Yesterday is a 20th century historical drama, covering both the space of Europe and the tumultuous time between 1870 and 1952.

Competition Judges

The plays in the festival are judged by a panel of industry professionals. This year’s judges are actor John Schwarb, best known for his film and television roles including Dark Money (2019) "The Queen's Gambit" (2020); local playwright Christina Castling who has won Trinity College London’s International Playwriting Competition; script editor Micheál Jacob who has worked in television comedy for twenty years, and writer and director Alexandra Spencer Jones, Artistic Director of the theatre company ‘Action to the Word’ and won the Musical Theatre Matters: UK award for Best Emerging Artist. 

Durham Drama Festival 2022 will involve over 100 students as actors, producers, writers, directors, technical operators, event managers, and in many other roles to deliver the shows. The festival is organized by Durham Student Theatre, made up of 26 different theatre companies. DST is one of the largest and most exciting student theatre societies in the country, performing over 80 productions every year. 


Performances will take place at The Assembly Rooms Theatre, The Hub at Mount Oswald and the Mark Hillery Arts Centre in Collingwood College, allowing audiences to visit the various venues in the city, whilst enjoying superb student entertainment.  Each play will also be filmed, so that anyone who can’t make it a live performance will be able to watch the shows online after the festival.

DDF 2022 launches On 30th January with an event showcasing different styles of student writing comprising of poetry, short play extracts, classical adaptations and sketch comedy, including a guest appearance from nationally renowned sketch troupe The Durham Revue. 

The festival also includes a series of workshops hosted by the judges and concludes with an awards ceremony in Durham University’s Hatfield College. 

Jodie Sale, Festival Director: “Everyone has been working hard since September to pull off a week of high standard, professional theatre across Durham City. The talent on show in the writing, directing, producing and acting of all these shows is astounding.”

Full programme

Mark Hillery Arts Centre, Collingwood College:  

  • You will Hear Me, by Yolan Noszkay 
  • Beautiful Nothing, by Em Oliver
  • The Marriage Proposal, by Yibu Jin

Assembly Rooms Theatre, Durham City:

  • Hotel Charmon, by Millie Glenister
  • Mrs Alexander, by Éloïse Richmond
  • Cottage, by Ben Willows

Mount Oswald Hub:

  • The Children of Yesterday, by Enzo Lebeau 
  • Stage’s Fool, by James Murray 

Tickets on sale now

Tickets for DDF 2022 are now available. Book online

With limited availability, prior booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.

Find out more