Two days after the Queen died, they sent for me. I was sixteen. Barely more than a child. Father and Mother could do nothing. News of my supposed beauty had reached the capitol, so they came, they saw me, and they took me. Dressed in a great fur coat and a long, velvet dress trimmed with white ermine, I was bundled into a carriage and never saw home again. Mother and Father’s faces grew distant, like clouds, until they were as indistinct as clouds, and then they were gone. Continue reading “Poisoned”
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Present Laughter follows a few days in the life of Garry Essendine, an esteemed stage actor, just before he embarks on a tour of Africa. As the play progresses, it delves into Garry’s ego, penchant for one-night stands with bright young things, and precarious relationships with his nearest and dearest – an ex-wife, a beleaguered secretary, and friends and business partners Morris and Henry – all explored with equally humorous and heart-breaking results. The play debuted in 1942 and was one of Noel Coward’s best-known plays, earning great praise from critics and the public alike. Many have said that the character of Garry Essendine is a self-portrait – Coward was known as ‘the original pop star’ and had to navigate the highs and lows of celebrity life himself. The 2019 revival’s director, Andy Warchus, chose to stay true to Coward’s script, apart from two key gender swaps: ‘Henry’ becomes ‘Helen’, and his wife becomes a husband. This is key in the way that the relationships between characters play out, and, arguably, more accurately reflects Coward’s character and original intention for the script, as he himself was closeted during his lifetime. Continue reading Review: NT Live ‘Present Laughter’
Mullets originally became popular in the 80s with people seeking a “business in the front, party in the back” hairstyle. However, in the 90s there was a decline of people wanting to rock the mullet, leaving it in the gutter completely in the noughties, with no one particularly keen to jump on the mullet bandwagon. Today, the style is making a comeback. Continue reading Exeter Uni Takes on The Mullet
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Love’s Labour’s Lost, a poetic story of four couples, is a rarely performed gem by Shakespeare. I especially have a soft spot for the character of Berwone whose romantic iambic pentameter burrowed their way into my heart quite a few years ago. This production was able to adapt the story successfully by keeping the central point relevant, and making the humour and wit punchy. Continue reading Review: Exeter University’s Shakespeare Company’s ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’
A chance to get all dressed up and attend the Exeter University Great Hall, alive with lights, jazzy tunes and spectacular dance numbers – what more could you want from a Monday evening? The Exeter University Ballroom and Latin Society and Jazz Orchestra Showcase promised to be “an unforgettable journey through Hollywood classics” and it did not disappoint. The atmosphere was filled with energy and expectation as audience members began to arrive and dancers milled around in their costumes for the opening number. The private bar and black-tie dress code added to the event’s glamour, with some people really committing in their DJs and posh frocks. My housemates and I certainly appreciated the opportunity to get out our classy velvet dresses without a £40 ball ticket usually characteristic of a Uni black-tie event! Continue reading Review: Showcase- Jazz Orchestra and Ballroom & Latin Society
Pro-democracy protests have gripped Hong Kong since June. These protests initially began in opposition against a bill which proposed extradition to mainland China. While this bill was withdrawn in September, protests have continued with broader calls for democracy and police accountability. These protests fall within Hong Kong’s complex history, formerly a British colony until 1997 and now technically part of China. Hong Kong operates within the “one country, two systems” structure, meaning that Hong Kong’s people experience greater rights and freedoms than in China. Last week, following months of increasingly violent protests and clashes with police, local council elections in Hong Kong showed overwhelming support for pro-democracy movements, with the election of pro-democracy councillors in 17 out of the 18 districts. Continue reading Living Through Hong Kong’s Protests: The International Student Perspective
The perfect gift this Christmas
Explore, discover and support Exeter, city of independents.
The InExeter Independent Gift Card is the perfect gift for Christmas. With a choice of over 70 independent businesses to spend the card in, it is a great way to explore Exeter’s best loved indie cafes, restaurants, artisan producers, hairdressers, jewellers, homeware and fashion shops, makers and crafters. With so much choice it really is the *gift of all gifts* for someone special this festive season. Continue reading The Perfect Gift This Christmas: InExeter Independent Gift Card
Christmas is not only the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ but also the most expensive. For students, the plethora of costs can make the difference between actual meals or solely instant noodles for seven days a week. However, one of the most magical parts of this festive season is decorating our flats and houses, without our families dictating the exact number of millimetres that have to be between each bauble on the tree. Becoming the next expert on ‘Grand Designs’ is an expensive venture though, so I’m here to help you give your home a student-friendly Christmas makeover that won’t break your bank – and that’s sustainable too! Continue reading Crafty Christmas Decorations on a Student Budget
Friday, 29th November, 11am, Bedford Square. The honey pot for the environmental warriors of Exeter. The difference? These warriors came in pushchairs and from school playgrounds. They came in families with toddlers dancing and darting between placards. Fridays for Future along with Extinction rebellion dominated this corner of Exeter, and their army were predominately teenagers. Continue reading 2, 4, 6, 8: Save Our Planet, It’s Not Too Late
Now that the month is over, it feels like a good time to consider the scope of what the Movember movement is tackling in terms of men’s physical and mental health. First started in 2003 in Australia when four friends asked twenty-six others to ‘bring back the trend’ of growing moustaches, Movember has come a long way – raising £598 million over the last sixteen years. The annual event has become about more than just growing out your facial hair, with men and women across the globe raising awareness and money for this worthwhile cause. Continue reading More Than Moustaches: Why Movember Matters
Following on from a critically acclaimed first two seasons, historical drama The Crown has recently released its highly anticipated third season. Ten new episodes cover the period from 1964 to 1977, depicting specific historical events such as the tragic Aberfan mining disaster of 1966, the moon landing in 1969 and the 1972 miners’ strike, alongside more continuous narrative developments: the breakdown of Princess Margaret’s marriage to Antony Armstrong Jones; the Queen’s unlikely relationship with Labour leader Harold Wilson; and the introduction of Prince Charles and Princess Anne as significant members of the Royal Family. With a £50 million budget and the continuous dedication of Peter Morgan as its chief writer and creator, it was unlikely this season would disappoint; and indeed, it did not. Continue reading Review: The Crown, Season 3
In some ways James Mangold’s latest directorial outing is a rare breed as we are not often treated to films about racing cars and the drivers inside. Since the release of Rush in 2013, there hasn’t been anything particularly comparable in cinemas, that is, until now. Le Mans ’66 serves almost as the spiritual cousin to Rush, delivering exhilaration, excitement and energy in spades, tracing the story of two men who fought to beat the odds and win an acclaimed international racing marathon. Continue reading Frost on Film: Le Mans ’66
Last Christmas is overwhelmingly ridiculous. Except it’s also weirdly enjoyable. When I watched the trailer, I was so excited. A Christmas romantic comedy? Written by Emma Thompson? A George Michael soundtrack? Sign me up. Continue reading Review: Last Christmas
When Melissa A. Fabello’s Twitter thread went viral, I understood the criticism. Fabello’s Tweets suggested that you should ask friends if they have the capacity to support you in times of emotional difficulty and provided a script for those who didn’t. The proposed response lacked empathy and sounded particularly clinical. However, the sentiment behind the message resonated with me. Although there is an essential level of effort involved in maintaining friendships, everyone has a limit to how much they can handle. Ultimately when you reach capacity, emotional support becomes performative and damaging to your own self-care. Continue reading Compassion and Self-Care: Considering Friendship as Emotional Labour
As a writer, journalist, poet, editor, consultant and literary entrepreneur, Cathy Galvin has a long list of accomplishments. Slightly star struck, I was fortunate enough to catch up with her over the phone. Classily sat on my bedroom floor, we chatted about the gloom of the dark winter weather. Continue reading Interview: Cathy Galvin
Angie was slow my mother used to say. She told me she was ‘out of it’, and needed Adderall to help her focus. I was the younger daughter, by five years, so this gave me an internal feeling of superiority. I used to get called bright in comparison. I was naturally focused, but Angie didn’t seem to envy me, so she resisted the prescriptions my mother pushed for. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: ‘Blinkers’
“Individually, we don’t have a say in the management of our university, but collectively we might” – an anonymous student from Kings College London supporting the industrial action of the 2018 academic strikes. Continue reading The UCU Strike and the Recent Cultural History of Strike Action.
Thanks to the help of huge companies such as John Lewis, adverts have now become a staple of the festive period for many people. Cute animals, memorable songs and messages of friendship and unity – the recipe for Christmas advert success! Here is a list of my favourite Christmas adverts from over the past few years. Continue reading From #ExcitableEdgar to the ‘Plug Boy’: The Best of Christmas Adverts
Hello, my name is Ruby and I am very, very single. And that’s okay, most of the time. And I’m Emily, and I am also very single. And I’m trying to learn that that’s okay after time in a relationship. Continue reading How To Be Single
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
For most, a railway waiting room is a fleeting moment, a brief pause on the way to a real destination. However, in Duet, the protagonist Josh (Finn Thornton) has no other destination. Every day he visits his station’s waiting room to play the piano as he waits to move on from his wife’s tragic death. In this touching play, James Murphy has crafted a script that explores the difficulties of grief, love, mental illness and friendship, in words that are able to move us both to tears and laughter. Continue reading Review: Theatre with Teeth’s Duet
Disney Sequels. Two words which conjure up a slew of childhood straight-to-VHS or DVD extravaganzas, sporting worse animation and subpar storylines (except the Cinderella sequels, which were surprisingly better than the original). But Frozen II is no cheap add on. The animation is stunning, the voice work is impeccable and the soundtrack is stellar. But this is to be expected. The question is, does it live up to the hype of the original? Continue reading Review: Frozen II
RAZZ wants to encourage students to engage with politics to stay as informed as possible. We understand though that most political discourse is designed to exclude young people. Therefore, we’ve read the manifestos of the main political parties for the 2019 General Election and reduced them down to what we feel most affects and interests students. Here is a breakdown and brief evaluation of the Liberal Democrats Manifesto. Remember to stay informed and vote on 12 December. Continue reading RAZZ Covers GE2019: The Liberal Democrats Manifesto
RAZZ wants to encourage students to engage with politics to stay as informed as possible. We understand though that most political discourse is designed to exclude young people. Therefore, we’ve read the manifestos of the main political parties for the 2019 General Election and reduced them down to what we feel most affects and interests students. Here is a breakdown and brief evaluation of the Conservative Party Manifesto. Remember to stay informed and vote on 12 December. Continue reading RAZZ Covers GE2019: The Conservative Party Manifesto
RAZZ wants to encourage students to engage with politics to stay as informed as possible. We understand though that most political discourse is designed to exclude young people. Therefore, we’ve read the manifestos of the main political parties for the 2019 General Election and reduced them down to what we feel most affects and interests students. Here is a breakdown and brief evaluation of the Green Party manifesto. Remember to stay informed and vote on 12 December. Continue reading RAZZ covers GE2019: The Green Party Manifesto
“The river lapped and the boat rose and fell, and a far-off little voice called without cease for its parents from the depths of the goblin world.”
Setterfield’s tale begins at The Swan, a pub at Radcot, the hub of storytelling on the Thames. The regular drinkers are disturbed by the sudden entrance of an enormous man, bleeding and injured from the mouth, cradling a puppet in his arms. After the man collapses dramatically and the puppet is retrieved from his arms, the locals discover to their horror that he had been holding the drowned body of a little girl. Mysteriously, the girl soon revives, yet seems incapable of speaking. The novel then follows the story of three different characters, all laying a claim to this girl. One is a farmer searching for the missing child of his son, a grandchild whom he only recently discovered existed. Another is a landowner whose wife is sinking into madness after the disappearance of their daughter. The last, a confused middle-aged woman haunted by disturbing nightmares of her drowned younger sister from decades before, is convinced that her sibling has returned. Continue reading Review: Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
RAZZ wants to encourage students to engage with politics and stay as informed as possible. We understand though that most political discourse is designed to exclude young people. Therefore, we’ve read the manifestos of the main political parties for the 2019 General Election and reduced them down to what we feel most affects and interests students. Here is a breakdown and brief evaluation of the Labour Party manifesto. Remember, register to vote before 00:00 26 November! Continue reading RAZZ Covers GE2019: The Labour Party Manifesto
I didn’t know what to expect walking into Breaking Up With JK Rowling at Exeter Phoenix as part of the Come As You Are Festival, and I don’t think I could have correctly guessed. Upon walking in, I was greeted by a striking image of J.K. Rowling’s books torn up, defaced, scattered around tables and all over the floor, and a single microphone in the middle of the room. The cabaret-style seating encouraged chat between audience members and performers alike as they set up casually in full view, creating a relaxed ambience. Each tattered and scribbled-on piece of paper, child’s sock and crumbled-up ‘Bertie Bott’s Every Flavoured Beans’ wrapper stirred up a feeling of pleasant nostalgia. There was immediately a feeling of powerful, jarring contrast in having a story that has so pivotally shaped a generation being treated with physical disregard. The sacrilege of mishandling a book is one felt by many book-lovers and, for the right viewing audience, a powerful semiotic image. But where there is sadness, there is anger, too. After all, J.K. Rowling was the first to rip apart her own work with all the clumsiness of physically ripping out pages. Continue reading Review: Breaking Up With JK Rowling @ Exeter Phoenix
From 25 November to 4 December, members of the UCU will be striking. This isn’t just your lecturers, but also librarians, IT and administration professionals who are taking part. They are striking on a variety of issues, including the topic of pension that led to strike action back in 2018. However, the strike action is also over falling pay, the gender and ethnic pay gap, precarious employment practices, and unsafe workloads. I understand that some students may have to attend classes due to pressures surrounding compulsory contact hours, personal wellbeing, and international student requirements. However, if you are in a privileged position and wish to support University staff on strike, here is some more information on how to show solidarity.
By 1991, director Ridley Scott was well accustomed to taking risks and yet, even for him, the finale of Thelma & Louise proved to be an outlandish proposition so immediate and surprising that its cultural impact can still be viewed today. The image of two women screaming jovially in the front seats of a convertible as they freefall off a cliff is an unforgettable one. At the time, this ending was a huge risk but it payed off considerably as Thelma & Louise became one of Scott’s biggest critical successes, earning him his first Oscar nomination for Best Director. It has also cemented Thelma and Louise’s place as cultural icons of feminist cinema. Continue reading Frost on Film: The Cliff’s Edge- Thelma & Louise’s finale and its influences
Substance and Shadow Theatre are an Exeter-based theatre company with a propensity for horror and history, shown in their most recent production, Walking with God. An immersive and creepy original play, the show demonstrates the company’s inventive and unique nature, which perfectly suits the darker side of Exeter’s past.
Performed in St Nicholas Priory, the eerie ex-monastery gave a ghostly edge to their dark piece on Jack the Ripper, and with a large portion of the action set in Exeter Digby Mental Asylum, Substance and Shadow convincingly brought the London murders to its Devon audience. Even upon entering the building through Exeter’s darker alleyways, it felt as though we were transported to the labyrinth of 19th Century Whitechapel. Their choice of venue and aptly decorated, candle-lit scene perfectly combined with the immersive nature of their theatre, culminating in a time-travel experience to Victorian London/Exeter.
Continue reading Review: Substance and Shadow Theatre’s ‘Walking with God’
Enjoy live music? Want to get dressed up on a gloomy Monday evening? This Monday (25th November) you can be transported into Hollywood for a night in the movies, with Ballroom and Latin society and the Exeter University Jazz Orchestra. From Grease, to James Bond, Harry Potter to Rocky Horror, there promises to be something for everyone! Find our event on Facebook or message Ballroom and Latin or Jazz Orchestra directly for more details. For only £5, a bar and amazing music and dancing it will be a night to remember! Continue reading Preview: Showcase-Jazz Orchestra & Ballroom and Latin Society
Have you ever dreamt of witnessing a real, live witch burning? Or getting the inside scoop on Gwyneth Paltrow’s successful skincare range? Maybe not, but “A Streetcar Named Shakira” is a comedy sketch show which will give you just those things (and more). Bursting with originality, confidence and energy, this innovative performance engages the audience and delivers a night full of side-splitting laughter. Continue reading Review: Com Soc’s “A Streetcar Named Shakira”
The exhibition is well laid out, starting with a wider examination of the culture and reaching a highpoint as it showcases the objects of a Roman dining room, which is swiftly followed by a suitably confined space to show kitchen utensils and examples of food. This sense of flow continues throughout the majority of the exhibition, meaning that even when busy, it is not too difficult to see everything, and aspects of food and death are blended to give an idea of their links in Roman culture. The skilful curation and brilliant artefacts make this an exhibition that you’d be foolish to miss if you are in the region – or even worth a little train journey. Continue reading Review: ‘Last Supper in Pompeii’ at the Ashmolean
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Moving, theatrical and passionate. A treat from start to finish!
The English Touring Opera treated us to Kurt Weill’s Der Silbersee, The Silver Lake. The songspiel (play with music) is mostly known for being banned by the Nazis as soon as it was created. In the current political climate, ETO argues, it is imperative that art makes a political comment and the narrative seems to ring true today. Continue reading Review: The Silver Lake @ Exeter Northcott
It was always going to feel weird at a gig in the same place I’ve been forced to do so many exams. I was just getting past that, and the ridiculous Freshers’ Ball flashbacks (hello Professor Green), when the first surprise came out: Arlo Parks. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough to find out beforehand, but who was supporting Loyle Carner on his epic European tour seemed to be the best kept secret and one I was grateful to finally hear. Continue reading Review: Loyle Carner @ Exeter Great Hall
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Outstanding, vibrant, and spectacular; ‘Expressing Yourself’ is not a show to be missed!
Following their third consecutive sell-out summer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Exeter University’s musical theatre show choir, Spotlights, is back with their exceptional show ‘Expressing Yourself’. This talented group of musical theatre lovers took to the stage to perform a brand-new set list, with high-energy choreography seamlessly blended with rich harmonies. With musical hits ranging all ages and genres, from Broadway classics, such as Wicked, to new fan favourites Hamilton and Kinky Boots, and even including Disney tunes from Tangled. Whether you are a theatre fanatic or just partial to occasionally belting in the shower, there is certainly a number to suit every audience member’s tastes. This joyous show is a true celebration of inclusivity, diversity, and being the version of yourself that you want to be. The production was received with consistent cheers and applause – it truly is not one to be missed! Continue reading Review: Spotlights:Expressing Yourself
When you are seventeen, love is mutually assured destruction. These novelty pangs of brilliance and devotion which bubble and surface like lava; irresistible, deadly and hot to the touch. Who will detonate your shiny new feelings first? The ebbing confusion of backhanded compliments and rebellion. It is only a matter of time before one of you brings a match to this fuse. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: “Old Love”
London-born rapper Ocean Wisdom, named the “future of UK Hip-Hop” by Complex Magazine, has enjoyed a meteoric rise since he dropped his debut track ‘Walkin’’ in the summer of 2015. Since then, he has released three sensational albums, collaborating with Hip-Hop heavyweights such as Dizzee Rascal. Continue reading Preview: Ocean Wisdom @ The Lemon Grove
Endometriosis is a chronic pain condition that affects one in ten women in the UK. Whilst it has a severe impact on the health of millions, few know about its symptoms or impacts. The NHS website gives a description of the condition, “tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries” which causes pain and issues with fertility. It also states the causes of the condition are largely unexplained, and there is no known cure. Endometriosis UK states it affects 1.5 million women in the UK or 176 million women worldwide, the same number diagnosed with diabetes. One of the most startling statistics they give is the fact that it takes on average “7.5 years from onset of symptoms to get a diagnosis.” Continue reading Endometriosis: One in Ten
Off Menu is definitely my favourite podcast. Sounds strange to make comedy out of food but every episode is hilarious. James and Ed invite guests to their magical restaurant where they can order their dream meal, but if you’re not that passionate about cooking then don’t be put off! Food content acts more as a conversation prompt and the chat always ends up somewhere rogue. Ed and James are amazing hosts and I could happily listen to just those two, but they have had some amazing guests, Nish Kumar being my favourite.
Continue reading Pop Culture Fix: Podcast Recommendations
The chic thrum of music melted into the night air as I arrived outside The Custom House next to the dark and shining quay for the Riptide launch party. I slipped through the peeling blue doors and up the staircase, to find myself in a throng of writers and people working for the journal. There was a congenial atmosphere as people milled about with glasses of wine, mingling against the constant murmur of voices sounding next to the loud, yet relaxing tunes which came from the musicians in the room before me. Continue reading Riptide Launch
From the outside, The Bowling Green looks a little run down; as you walk up Blackboy road it can feel a little like the road to nowhere, with town behind you. Yet, as you step inside, any doubts should be overridden by the warm, hospitable atmosphere. This is one of the only pubs I know where you can sip your pint as you sit ensconced in a sofa, warmed by a fire (and as the other pub I can think of is about double the price, I know which one I would choose). In essence, it acts like a true public house should, as a place to relax, enjoy and socialise. Continue reading The Bar Review: The Bowling Green
Kanye’s latest album, Jesus is King, has interesting ideas about how to blend hip-hop and gospel but is let down by inconsistent execution and poor lyricism, and is a disappointing return after two years of leaks and teasings. A track that is emblematic of this is ‘Water’, where Kanye raps on themes regarding rebirth and the healing power of faith, and its ability to purify. These are especially relevant given Kanye’s attempt to rebrand and move away from topics like sex and drugs. The production is simple but effective and provides a smooth, solid base for Ant Clemons’ excellent feature. Clemons sings well and is the highlight of the song, but he is let down by lazy lyricism from Kanye. Rather than speaking on his evolution as an artist, he decides to repeat variations of Jesus save us, which marks a concerning decline for the once revolutionary, boundary-pushing artist. Continue reading Singles’ Round-Up
As I stand at the edge of this rooftop, looking down on the place I once considered home, I begin to feel the irreversibility of what I am about to do. There are no second chances where I’m going. It is nearly time now; I am on my last cigarette. Inhale, exhale – like it is my oxygen supply. My lungs burn with each drag and the dizziness in my head is overwhelming, but I can’t bring myself to care. The things we worry about while we are alive just don’t seem as important when you know you are about to die. Smoking Kills. But so does everything: isn’t that the point? Continue reading “A Better Place”
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll recognise the name Extinction Rebellion. Since the beginning of their ‘International Rebellion’ they’ve become renowned for their civil disobedience, unlawful reputation and disruption of cities. Whilst many may not agree with their methods, this kind of radical activism is vital for creating the real change we urgently need to see in policy and legislation. The sad truth is there is only so much we as individuals can do. In becoming vegan, I was able to singlehandedly reduce my individual carbon footprint by up to 73%. Yet, this is not enough when 20 companies are responsible for a third of the carbon emissions of the world. “If we’re not tackling that then we’re not going to get the drastic reductions we need” according to Skye Frewin, XR Exeter University’s group representative. Continue reading Eco Activism on Campus