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Dave Stephenson


My entire uni experience revolved around the New Theatre. I landed the role of The Marquis de Sade in Quills during my first semester because I was the only person willing to do full frontal nudity for over an hour. The director hated my audition and thought I was too babyfaced for the role but no one else would do it. I wasn’t a fan of the play but only got one other offer - a very small role in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Despite my reservations about the script, I had a great time acting in Quills. It got my foot in the door, I made a name for myself (literally - I was frequently referred to as “naked Dave” for the rest of my time at uni) and I never looked back.

My favourite NT memories are from NSDF 2006 in Scarborough. We were the first generation to get plays into the festival and I performed in Cast Aside and Talking to Terrorists that year. It was exhausting but so much fun, one of the happiest weeks of my life. I was also involved in independent plays at Edinburgh 2005-2007, all with fellow NT members. These were all hugely important formative experiences for me and my friends.

My mates Ali Blackwell and Charlie Brafman were also on the committee so one of us always had keys to the theatre. If there was no play on that week, we would often use it out of hours as a private hang out spot right in the middle of campus. The sound system in the theatre was amazing. If campus security ever came snooping, we’d have to pretend that we were rehearsing or set building. Happy days.

I’m still very close to a lot of people who I met through the NT. It was a bonding experience like no other and I’m very proud to have been part of it.

I moved away from acting and began scriptwriting in my 20s. I had a bit of interest from the Beeb a couple of times and made three 10 minute episodes of a sitcom I had written, co-produced by fellow NT alumni Georgina Strawson and Ali Blackwell.

I stopped scriptwriting a few years ago and am now a teacher. I still dabble in writing when I find the time.

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