LSFPA student appointed as theatre critic for National Student Drama Festival 2021

A head and shoulders portrait of Elisha Pearce. She has long dark hair and is wearing an orange sweater.
LSFPA BA Drama & Theatre student, Elisha Pearce – NSDF Emerging Theatre Critic

Elisha Pearce, a third year student on Lincoln School of Fine and Performing Arts’ BA Drama & Theatre course, has been selected as an emerging theatre critic for Noises Off Magazine at this years prestigious National Student Drama Festival.

NSDF was founded in 1956 ‘to encourage and celebrate the best and brightest student theatre that the UK has to offer’. For 2021, it’s 65th year, the festival will welcome 16 new pieces of performance work from students around the country, alongside debates, discussions and evening events. The festival will also feature masterclasses with Clint Dyer, Deputy Artistic Director of The Royal National Theatre; film and theatre director, Phyllida Lloyd; Hamilton star, Giles Terera; The Crown‘s Josh O’Connor, comedian Katy Brand, choreographer Matthew Bourne’s company New Adventures and many more.

The competitive selection process required applicants to submit their own critical reflections on work they’ve seen this year. Festival organisers particularly praised Elisha’s review of Crave – a one-act play by acclaimed British playwright Sarah Kane which was reimagined for social distancing, and live-streamed from London’s Chichester Festival Theatre.

Elisha, who is also General Manager of the student-led Lincoln Company, will join a group of dedicated writers who will spend the week of the festival asking questions about the work they see, interviewing artists, honing their critical skills, and receiving mentoring to help them take the first step into arts journalism.

Speaking about the opportunity, Elisha said, “I feel immensely lucky to be selected as part of the Noises Off team. My studies at LSFPA have developed my critical eye and given me the confidence to share my opinions, I now intend to pursue a career in arts criticism post-graduation and this is a big stepping-stone. I can’t wait to see and review all the work at the festival, and to participate in the writer’s workshop with Maddy Costa – a critic I have always really admired!”

Head of Lincoln School of Fine and Performing Arts, Dr Andrew Westerside said, “We’re incredibly proud of Elisha and the hard work she’s put in to securing this opportunity. She’ll be undertaking a valuable professional experience, and we’re delighted that she’ll be providing critical analysis of the work and representing Lincoln at NSDF 2021. This is an important national event which showcases the best from the future of the industry – we’re looking forward to receiving Elisha’s reviews and insight across the week.”

The National Student Drama Festival runs from 27th March – 2nd April 2021. Events are free and booking is via:


Read Elisha’s reviews and follow her journey through the festival via: @elishapearce_7, @noffmag, and @NSDFest on Twitter.

Find out more about NSDF 2021 and Noises Off here:

All enquiries via: Rachel Baynton |