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Review: ArtSoc Exhibition Night

The spring exhibition for Exeter Art Society was held in the main ballroom of Reed Hall and the atmosphere of the night was permeated by music from the Exeter University Jazz Band. This ambitious showcase of art, music, and dance proved to be an incredibly enjoyable evening, and one that highlighted the amazing artistic talent of many students at Exeter. There was a wide selection … Continue reading Review: ArtSoc Exhibition Night

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Review: Spotlights: A Night at the Musicals

Lively, thrilling, and spectacular, Exeter University’s musical theatre show choir ‘Spotlights’ successfully revived everyone’s love of musicals in their performance of ‘A Night at the Musicals’ last night. Following on from their sell-out show at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, this high energy show is back with a new choir and a new set list. This group of talented performers really did make the room … Continue reading Review: Spotlights: A Night at the Musicals

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Review: Happy Death Day 2U

 The cold, undeniable success of Happy Death Day in 2017 almost guaranteed that it would get a sequel in the coming years. It’s easy to swallow, empowering and managed to convert a $5 million budget into at least a $125 million profit. Quite a feat. Yet claiming that “it can only go up from here” is never a safe bet when it comes to franchises. Continue reading Review: Happy Death Day 2U

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Top Spring Reads

It’s no surprise that when the sun comes out Netflix loses its appeal (or maybe throughout winter you’ve already browsed and binged all it has to offer), and everyone rushes outside to soak up some irresistible sunshine – more often than not with a book in hand. As a reader, nothing beats the sense of being totally immersed within the pages of a novel, so why not foster that feeling by reading something suited to the season? The blissful time is not too far away when compulsory course reading lists will be a long-forgotten memory and any book opened will be one of complete choice. In the meantime, get your spring-reading bucket list in order; here are some suggestions that offer particularly compelling reads at this time of year. Continue reading Top Spring Reads

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Preview: Spring Art Exhibition 13th March

The end of year Spring Art Exhibition, hosted by the University of Exeter Art Society, takes place this Wednesday and is set to be an exciting evening that will showcase a curated variety of the incredible work that ArtSoc members have created. Ranging from abstract paintings, analytic pencil drawings to complex collages, you will be guided through the beautiful Reed Hall by four themes: Art for a Cause, the Natural World, Light and Dark and the Open Theme. Continue reading Preview: Spring Art Exhibition 13th March

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Malia Obama: Yes She Can

On a recent trip to Miami, former first daughter Malia Obama came under media scrutiny for turning into a “party girl”. This encouraged Trump supporters to show similar outrage, claiming that Malia is irresponsible. Fundamentally, Malia Obama is facing criticism because she is a 20 year old female, not quite of the legal drinking age of 21. The fact that she turns 21 on 4th … Continue reading Malia Obama: Yes She Can

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Review: Rita, Sue & Bob Too @ Exeter Northcott

Rita, Sue & Bob Too, playing at the Northcott theatre, tells the story of Rita (Alyce Liburd) and Sue (Gemma Dobson), two 15-year-old girls living in Bradford in 80’s Britain, who are sexually pursued by an older, married man that they babysit for. The show examines gender relations that seem prevalent in our current #MeToo climate where powerful men take advantage of young women. While the play managed to portray two lovable protagonists, the vital conversations around sexual abuse fell silent. Continue reading Review: Rita, Sue & Bob Too @ Exeter Northcott

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Marching Towards the ‘Change’ for Climate Change

On Friday 15th February, young people embarked on climate change strikes across all different regions of the UK. The march attracted thousands of school pupils across the country, throughout 60 towns and cities including London, Cardiff, Oxford, Edinburgh, Manchester and Belfast. The movement was first instigated by 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who decided to skip school on Fridays last year to protest outside the … Continue reading Marching Towards the ‘Change’ for Climate Change

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Preview: Dolly Alderton @ Exeter Northcott

Hold the phone. The award winning journalist, Sunday Times Style Columnist, co-host of The High Low and all round mega-babe Dolly Alderton is hitting our very own Northcott this March. After a hugely successful run of live dates throughout 2018, the Exeter Alumni returns to her alma mater to celebrate the paperback publication of her bestselling debut Everything I Know About Love. The paperback, which includes a new chapter Everything I Know At Thirty, discusses the surprising realisations and reflections that come with hitting such a milestone. Promising to be an evening full of love and laughter, it’s an event you certainly do not want to miss. Continue reading Preview: Dolly Alderton @ Exeter Northcott

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Overlooked at the Oscars

At the 91st Academy Awards, high budgeted films like A Star is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Black Panther took home the majority of the Oscars. Thankfully, Alfonso Cuaron was recognised for his masterpiece Roma, taking home the award for best director, best foreign language, and best cinematography. Spike Lee also received his well overdue Oscar for best adapted screenplay for Blackkklansman. The last time Spike Lee was nominated, the … Continue reading Overlooked at the Oscars

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In My Good Books: ‘Conversations With Friends’ by Sally Rooney

Sally Rooney’s first novel Conversations with Friends encapsulates the depths, challenges and complications of friendship in the 21st century. Following the story of Frances and Bobbi, two students in Ireland, Conversations with Friends is a gripping tale of love, lust and heartbreak as each character navigates the complexities of relationships. Rooney portrays a toxic, yet somehow unbreakable, friendship and hence explores the concepts of passivity … Continue reading In My Good Books: ‘Conversations With Friends’ by Sally Rooney

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The English Pear: Savoury Galettes

This Pancake Day we have decided to stray from the norm and leave the maple syrup to one side (at least until after the savoury pancake round). The French galette, made with buckwheat flour, is one of our favourites and reminds us of holidays in France. We’ve got two fillings for you: one classic with ham and cheese, and the other Spanakopita-inspired with spinach and … Continue reading The English Pear: Savoury Galettes

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The Oscars’ Highlights

The best and worst night in film finally arrived, with the annual Academy Awards held on the 24th of February. At its best, the Oscars are ultimately a night to celebrate the best in film, so let’s start positive. In Oscar’s history only three black women have won an award for anything other than acting, and two of them were this year, with Black Panther winning Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. In another win for black talent, Spike Lee finally got a non-honorary Oscar, and Samuel L Jackson’s reaction to announcing his name was ecstatic. Seeing the legendary director jump on the actor in celebration was a high point of the night. The academy were very strict with cutting people off after 90 seconds, but when Spike Lee tells you ‘Do not turn that motherfucking clock on’, you listen. Continue reading The Oscars’ Highlights

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Review: Theatre with Teeth’s Jawbreaker Variety Night

Theatre with Teeth took over the Exeter Phoenix on Thursday 21st February for a night that promised music, comedy, spoken word and theatre – a showcase of Exeter’s talent. Auditions happened weeks ago and the successful performers represented the best that Exeter could offer. The evening did not disappoint in all that it promised. Priced at an ambitious but justified £10 per ticket, the evening was jam-packed with touching, funny, punchy and eclectic performances in all spheres of the arts. The evening was split between the auditorium, for performances with larger numbers, more sound technology and anticipating larger audiences, and the workshop, a small, brick-walled room with the feel of an underground Soho jazz bar. However, the audience numbers were equal, with people moving around the venue and piling up at the door of the workshop to get a glimpse.
Continue reading Review: Theatre with Teeth’s Jawbreaker Variety Night

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Cheap Places to Escape To

Now we are nearing the end of February, those lighter evenings and bright days of Spring and Summer are tantalizingly close, yet somehow still seem just out of reach. Without the Christmas festivities or the challenges of New Year’s Resolutions as a distraction, February can end up feeling rather uninspiring, wintery and seemingly endless. But booking your next run-away trip can provide the perfect pick-me-up. … Continue reading Cheap Places to Escape To

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Review: Opera Society’s The Marriage of Figaro

 The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and translated by Edward J. Dent is the first production by the Exeter Opera Society, bringing a multi-layered tale of love, jealousy and confusion to 1920s England, performed in St David’s Church. In just a month and a half, and with the majority of performers never having seen, let alone taken part in an opera, the society successfully brought a unique cultural event to students and families alike. Continue reading Review: Opera Society’s The Marriage of Figaro

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Review: Vice

In 2018’s Vice, director Adam McKay explores the political climate of right-winged America from the 70’s to the mid 2000’s, as well as providing an overview of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s career. I do admit that my knowledge of American politics and history is extremely limited, however, I would argue that this fact simply emphasises McKay’s missed opportunity. The movie fails to give the … Continue reading Review: Vice

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The English Pear: Jacket Potatoes 2 Ways

Sweet Jacket Potatoes 2 Ways: Homemade baked beans and Tuna Avocado Salad   “What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow” – A. A. Milne We think it’s fair to say that the jacket potato has become something of a student staple, and rightly so. With this recipe we’ve reworked this go-to in … Continue reading The English Pear: Jacket Potatoes 2 Ways

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Frost On Film: Green Book

Never a Dull Moment At face value, Green Book sounds extremely formulaic and predictable. It is story about two mismatched men forced together by necessity rather than choice, who gradually become close friends. Add into the mix the over-trodden turf of the road trip as the method in which these two men become close, and it seems the film is destined for mediocrity. The fact that … Continue reading Frost On Film: Green Book

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Frost on Film: Glass

An Underwhelming Finale In 2016 Split was released and received good reviews, seemingly placing M. Night Shyamalan’s directorial career back on track, following a rather dire succession of releases. However, while the tale boasted a fascinating killer at its centre suffering from multiple personality disorder, what drew more attention was the end of the film. In its final moments, Split revealed an aged Bruce Willis … Continue reading Frost on Film: Glass

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Rom-Coms and The Search for Love

In my formative years I was in love with the idea of love and I attribute this to growing up watching romantic comedies. I love romantic comedies and I say that with pride. So often we are taught to regard the genre as a guilty pleasure because, ultimately, we are taught that what women like is frivolous and not to be taken with as much seriousness as movies with men in the limelight. We are trained to associate male leading, serious movies with critical acclaim and Oscar recognition, rather than rom-coms. While I do recognise that there are a lot of problems with many films in the romantic comedy genre, like how so many of the protagonists represent white, middle class, educated woman, I have also learned a great deal from them.
Continue reading Rom-Coms and The Search for Love

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In My Good Books: ‘Normal People’ by Sally Rooney

I was excited to read Sally Rooney’s second novel as it was acclaimed a best seller of 2018. Normal People follows the intertwined lives of Marianne and Connell as they battle with social politics, sexual maturation and their own thoughts. I think the name of this novel truly encapsulates the narrative, as while seemingly little occurs in this novel, it recounts the intricate relationship of … Continue reading In My Good Books: ‘Normal People’ by Sally Rooney

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Review: Odd Encounter @ Exeter Phoenix

Odd Encounter was… well, just that, a very odd encounter. Upon entering the ‘Workshop’ room, I was welcomed by an exceptionally friendly and glittery drag queen, Mysti Valentine, who was to be the one of the stars of the show. The description of this performance was vague at best, so I went in with an open mind and was not disappointed. As Britons do best, … Continue reading Review: Odd Encounter @ Exeter Phoenix

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Abortion Laws in the ‘Western World’

The question of abortion rights occupies a high-profile space in the realm of ethical debate. The moral concerns around abortion laws continue to appear in the press, never leaving the scrutiny of the public eye for very long. But it can be very difficult to navigate conversations around abortion and to decide on a personal stance. Understanding some of the various attitudes to abortion might … Continue reading Abortion Laws in the ‘Western World’

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Review: How To Train Your Dragon 3

*SPOILERS ALERT* The final film in the Dream Works Animation’s beloved trilogy is a hugely satisfying experience, a perspective which seems to be reflected in the facts: it has grossed $85 million worldwide, and has become the third highest-grossing film of 2019. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World follows Hiccup, chief and ruler of Berk, and his dragon Toothless, who continue to rescue … Continue reading Review: How To Train Your Dragon 3

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It’s Debatable: Valentine’s Day

In a society where tinder and the hook-up culture have left behind their status of scandal, and any chivalrous gestures are vilified, it’s no surprise that romanticism could be nearing its expiration date.

We’re in university, we’re young, and having fun with anonymous partners is no sin but what about romantic love then? Have people lost desire for it entirely and prefer the thrill of a temporary fix? As a romantic this appears to me as a true tragedy. But before all hope is lost, here comes Valentine’s Day to my rescue. Now, as the stores start to fill with insignificant gifts and the most opinionated (and probably lonely) will start preparing their speeches on how Valentine’s is a “consumerist day that epitomises everything wrong with capitalism”, give me a moment to share my views. Continue reading It’s Debatable: Valentine’s Day

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Top 10 Rom-Coms for Valentines Day

It’s that time of year again… That’s right, it’s February which means that Valentine’s day is just around the corner. Whether you love it or hate it, are single, taken or planning on snuggling up with the only two men you need in your life – Ben and Jerry – you can never (NEVER) go wrong with a day full of Rom-Coms, and this, after … Continue reading Top 10 Rom-Coms for Valentines Day

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Loving Your Own Company This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day can be perceived by many cynics as an Americanised, capitalist scam which profits off the romanticised ideology that you are incomplete without a (usually heterosexual) relationship. While it is about appreciating the loved ones in your life, and shouldn’t entirely be focused on romance, it does support the prevailing idea promoted in society that individually you need The One to make you whole, that your worth relies on the value that others give you. However, this is simply untrue: you are whole enough, and it is important to be equally in love with the idea of being single, as it is to desire a relationship. Continue reading Loving Your Own Company This Valentine’s Day

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Rogue Date Ideas – In and around Exeter!

Whether you find yourself bored of the traditional date ideas, or looking for something inventive to wow your partner this Valentine’s Day, this mixture of activities will surely give you some ideas. So put on your walking shoes, or get into your best lounge-wear and be ready for the big day. Indoor trampolining – Although this will require more effort than a romantic dinner, this date … Continue reading Rogue Date Ideas – In and around Exeter!

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Frost on Film: If Beale Street Could Talk

Today, in large part due to Trump’s presidency, the topic of racial hatred seems as prevalent as ever. Films released recently like The Hate U Give or Spike Lee’s brilliant Blackkklansman have attempted to discuss this issue with a loud and angry voice. If Beale Street Could Talk continues this trend but in a more subtle, muted way, elevating intimacy over depictions of racial prejudice. Continue reading Frost on Film: If Beale Street Could Talk

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Why are female screenwriters still not given the prime opportunities?

The average Brit will watch 22.3 hours of television a week, nearly one full day’s worth of TV. The average Brit will also watch 72 films a year which is, on average, more than one film a week. Between 2001 and 2016 just 18% of those television programmes were written by a woman, lessening to 14% for prime-time TV. In the film industry 79% of the films made had no women involved in the writing at all. It is no secret that screenwriting is a male-dominated industry, highlighted in recent times by speeches like that of Frances McDormand at the Oscars 2018, where she urged all women involved in the nominated films to stand up, raising awareness to the female talent in the room but also the lack of female representation. Why is this such a problem? Should it not just be the best TV made which gets to be aired? Yes, it should. But some of the best TV and films are being made by women and are not being given the chance to be seen. Continue reading Why are female screenwriters still not given the prime opportunities?

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Review: Mary Queen of Scots

Josie Rourke’s Mary Queen of Scots portrays the relationship between the emponyous figure (Saoirse Ronan) and Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) as less of a rivalry and more of a strained camaraderie. Its focus is far less on placing the two figures in opposition to one another and more on representing them both as strong, independent leaders constrained by circumstances. In a (less historically accurate albeit more feminist) twist … Continue reading Review: Mary Queen of Scots

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Review: Shakespeare Society’s ‘Doctor Faustus’

Being a frequent Facebook user, I was no stranger to the devilish, black-and-white profile pictures that those involved in Exeter University Shakespeare Society’s production of Doctor Faustus have switched to in recent weeks. Interest sufficiently piqued, I leapt at the opportunity to review the sold-out production, and I can safely say that it was positively spectacular.
Continue reading Review: Shakespeare Society’s ‘Doctor Faustus’

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Trending on Twitter: How does Brexit impact you?

Brexit seems to be all-encompassing: you only have to look at an online news website to see mention of the B-word. While the issue of the UK’s membership has been ruining family dinners for longer than this, the 23rd of June 2016 was when the UK made the decision to leave the European Union, after David Cameron’s Conservative campaign in the previous General Election included a promise to hold a referendum to determine the future of the UK as a part of Europe. Continue reading Trending on Twitter: How does Brexit impact you?

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BSO’s Rusty & Not So Rusty Musicians-‘Symphony in a Day’

Music has a remarkable power for uniting people. Whether it’s club-goers getting down to drum and bass, musical-theatre lovers belting out show tunes or a bunch of ‘rusty’ and ‘not so rusty’ musicians coming together to play Sibelius’s Second Symphony. Continue reading BSO’s Rusty & Not So Rusty Musicians-‘Symphony in a Day’

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Review: BSO’s Pastoral Brahms

Having climbed the snowy slope to campus, the brassy warmth of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s presence in the Great Hall was sure to revive the spirits of all who made it there. As were the evening’s three pieces, under the heading of ‘Pastoral Brahms’. Clemens Schuldt was conducting, his second evening with the BSO following his debut the night before. His familiarity with the German Romantic canon was well-suited to the work, with which he displayed a near-frantic excitement throughout. Continue reading Review: BSO’s Pastoral Brahms

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Review: Lights! Planets! People! @ Exeter Phoenix

Molly Naylor’s play Lights! Planets! People!, which premiered at the Exeter Phoenix last night, weaves together the titular words in a surprising but congruent way in the character of Maggie Hill, a sixty-year old, gay, bipolar, space scientist. As Maggie (Karen Hill) tackles issues in both her work and personal life, the audience were gripped by Maggie’s progress towards greater self-realisation and acceptance. Continue reading Review: Lights! Planets! People! @ Exeter Phoenix

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The English Pear: Dickens’ Birthday- Orange and Almond Cake

‘“Very good,” said Steerforth. “You’ll be glad to spend another shilling or so, in almond cakes, I dare say?”

I said, “Yes, I should like that, too.”

Charles Dickens – David Copperfield

In celebration of Charles Dickens’ birthday on 7th February, we have put together an almond cake recipe good enough to tempt both you and David. Our orange and almond cake takes inspiration from Dickens’ food allusion but modernises it into something simple and yummy. Be sure to make this cake and host a Dickens-cake and book club this Thursday!
Continue reading The English Pear: Dickens’ Birthday- Orange and Almond Cake

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Frost on Film: Italian Neo-Realist Film

Cinema has always been kind to the fantastical. Whether it be sci-fi or superheroes, there will always be a space for the otherworldly on the big screen, be it another Spielberg classic or the next instalment in the Marvel cinematic universe. But amidst all the CGI madness these films provide, I want to instead focus upon the Italian Neo-Realist school of filmmaking, a movement that originated in post-World War Two Italy.

Continue reading Frost on Film: Italian Neo-Realist Film

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Interview: Molly Naylor, Writer and Director of ‘Lights!Planets!People!’

Lights! Planets! People!, written by Molly Naylor and performed by Karen Hill, begins its tour this weekend, commencing with a performance at the Exeter Phoenix. This one-woman play tells the story of gay, bipolar, space scientist Maggie Hill through the narratives of a lecture Maggie is giving young women about her career in science, her first therapy session, and her failed attempts to contact her ex-girlfriend. Continue reading Interview: Molly Naylor, Writer and Director of ‘Lights!Planets!People!’

Review: Shotgun Theatre and Theatre with Teeth’s ‘The Remarkables’

The Remarkables is Shotgun Theatre and Theatre with Teeth’s highly anticipated original musical, and, at the opening night, pretty much every seat in Kay House Cabaret was filled. Without a doubt, not a single audience member left dissatisfied with the self-proclaimed “musical comedy of epic proportions”. The audience were laughing from the very beginning, and, overall, it was this comedy and the quality of the original music which carried the performance beyond its limited storyline and into a very memorable piece of student theatre. Continue reading Review: Shotgun Theatre and Theatre with Teeth’s ‘The Remarkables’

Review: Comedy Society’s ‘SpaceBar’

This year, Comedy Society have risen from the unknown and successfully become one of the most prominent, exciting, and innovative theatre societies at the University. After their Term 1 show Asockalypse Now, in which audience members were awarded one free sock with each ticket, I was intrigued to see their newest sketch-show SpaceBar. From the very beginning, I was not disappointed, as the small cast … Continue reading Review: Comedy Society’s ‘SpaceBar’