40th anniversary for a very special theatre

18 Dec 2009 14:10:00.000

PA 326/09

A unique student theatre is celebrating 40 years of outstanding drama with a new short film to mark its anniversary.

New Theatre at The University of Nottingham is unique as the only completely student-run theatre in England. Since 1969 it has provided a platform for thousands of talented performers, directors and crew members in some of the best student productions in the country.

Today New Theatre is self-financed and still going strong, producing up to 20 shows a year — a dizzying schedule that means a different show every week. There are currently more than 1,000 New Theatre members and more than 5,000 tickets were sold last year.

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As well as entertaining University of Nottingham students throughout the academic year, New Theatre productions have impressed the judges at the National Student Drama Festival — scooping five awards last year — and received critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Alumni bitten by the acting bug include Daniel Weyman, who discovered New Theatre in the second year of his physics degree and has gone on to an acclaimed portrayal of Nicholas Nickleby in a recent TV adaptation. Actress Ruth Wilson, best known for her role in the 2006 TV adaptation of Jane Eyre and more recently in the BBC production Small Island, was also a regular performer in New Theatre productions.

New Theatre, an integral part of the Students’ Union, has been on campus since 1969, when it was first opened in the old engineering building. The first production was Ibsen’s Ghosts; the last four decades have seen hundreds of productions ranging from Shakespeare’s most well-known works to new plays written by University of Nottingham students — and everything in between.

To mark its 40th anniversary, the student-run NUTS TV has produced a film focusing on a recent production, entitled ‘Rhinoceros: From Production to Performance'. The film can be viewed at:


Rob Greenhalgh, President of the Students’ Union, said: “The New Theatre is a fantastic resource for students, and we are very pleased to be able to celebrate 40 years of performances. Over the decades the theatre has been a fun way for students to develop all sorts of skills outside of their courses and it’s now a hugely important part of campus life.

“The New Theatre is one of the things that make The University of Nottingham unique and we’re always impressed by the number of students who give up an incredible amount of their spare time to make the productions a success. We look forward to seeing what the next 40 years will bring!”

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.

The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation – School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.
Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

Story credits

More information is available from Rob Greenhalgh , President, Students’ Union, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 846 8773, supresident@nottingham.ac.uk
Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: tim.utton@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

Additional resources

Watch the film here

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