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Best Books to Give this Christmas

Everyone knows a book lover, and while at first you might think “That’s ideal: I can just get them a book for Christmas!” you quickly realise that there’s far, far too much choice for what to buy. With new releases advertised left right and centre, and festive favourites rolled out and put back on display, it can get a bit overwhelming. That said, here’s a … Continue reading Best Books to Give this Christmas

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Cornwall Snapshots

During opportunities week, instead of reading, I got an “opportunity” to travel to Cornwall for the weekend. It is just 2 hours away from Exeter by car, however, the atmosphere is very different: it is calm, peaceful and the nature is especially stunning. We left Exeter on Friday night to head down to Cornwall with great hopes that the weather would be nice and sunny. The next morning, we woke up early to travel to Land’s End, which is the most westerly point of Cornwall and also of England. It was not the best day for outdoor activities, but we decided to take every chance to see all the places that we wanted. Here are some snapshots of Cornwall through my lens. Continue reading Cornwall Snapshots

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How to execute the Perfect Flat Christmas Dinner

Every year students attempt to create the perfect Christmas dinner, and no matter how carefully you plan it, things will inevitably go wrong. Last year I did two Christmas dinners, one with my flat and one with a group of friends, and although they were both pretty successful, neither of them ran perfectly smoothly. Between the chicken in a bag that wouldn’t defrost, the pigs … Continue reading How to execute the Perfect Flat Christmas Dinner

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Review: Isaac Gracie @ Exeter Phoenix

Gracie has the ‘last words’ on love. I stood at the bar, beer in hand, amongst the bundle of young people all raring to see the London native swoon his way onto the stage. The fans weren’t rowdy, nor were they uncontrollable. They simply sipped their drinks, with the clinking of glasses and a lingering sense of anticipation in the air. Not one of wondering … Continue reading Review: Isaac Gracie @ Exeter Phoenix

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Review: Comptoir Libanais’ Christmas Menu

Fozz: So Katrina, I need to thank you properly for our cute little date night the other day where we got to try the new Christmas menu at Comptoir Libanais! I really enjoyed myself, and the food was pretty good…

Katrina: The food was so good! I’ve never been to Comptoir Libanais so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. As we walked in, I got a really nice vibe from the place straight away and everyone was very friendly. But back to the all important food, what did you think of the menu variety? Continue reading Review: Comptoir Libanais’ Christmas Menu

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In My Good Books: ‘The Children Act’ by Ian McEwan

As an avid Ian McEwan fan, I was keen to read The Children Act, published in 2014, and it is safe to say that this novel did not disappoint. What I find most striking about McEwan’s novels is that each of his books is utterly unique. Atonement explores love, war and innocence, The Child In Time describes a man’s emotional and psychological turmoil following the … Continue reading In My Good Books: ‘The Children Act’ by Ian McEwan

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Frost on Film: A Step Into The Ring

Sports films are not the easiest to make. Many sports are not readily transferable to the big screen and those that are, don’t often work. However, with the upcoming release of Creed II, boxing films keep proving to be the anomaly in all of this, churning out entries year upon year that entertain and motivate in equal measure. Continue reading Frost on Film: A Step Into The Ring

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Review: Shotgun Theatre’s Urinetown

I recently attended a talk by the theatre critic Libby Purves, who admitted that it’s difficult to critique musical theatre productions, because “they just do so much”. This is a statement I wholeheartedly agree with, and one which kept running through my mind during Shotgun’s production of the musical Urinetown. Despite certain hallmarks of an amateur production – largely relating to limitations posed by the venue, stage, and equipment – Urinetown comes across as a colourful explosion of work, creativity and talent. It is a synthesis of drama, dance, costume, set, singing, and music – as the onstage band and ever-present figure of the conductor (Ryan Mulgrew) never let the audience forget. Continue reading Review: Shotgun Theatre’s Urinetown

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Christmas Presents on a Student Budget

I’m sorry, the old Santa can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Because he’s broke. We all know the feeling. The September student loan has nearly been depleted. The Black Friday offers seemed to have everything you had been holding out to buy. The money from the part-time job has mysteriously been spent on food (and maybe alcohol depending on how your month has … Continue reading Christmas Presents on a Student Budget

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Preview: BSO’s Russian Winter

The Bournemouth Symphony orchestra will soon once again grace Exeter Great Hall with its abilities, bringing a seasonal selection to the stage. As the title suggests, the evening of the 6th will consist of three works that deal with the not-so-mild temperament of a ‘Russian Winter’, in what is sure to be a resounding conclusion to the first term’s worth of the orchestra’s 2018-19 season. Conducting the evening will be Antonio Méndez, Principal Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife and evidently an expert in his field. He is highly-sought after, and the fact that he is once again returning to work with the BSO is testament to both his and the orchestra’s stature in the classical music world. Continue reading Preview: BSO’s Russian Winter

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Trending on Twitter: Did Iceland know their advert would be banned and should we care?

You won’t see Iceland’s famed Christmas advert on your TV screen this year but, if you have any form of social media, you surely know the devastating story of that cute little orangutan.

I had seen this same animation before on Facebook from Greenpeace and promptly signed their accompanying petition to ‘end dirty palm oil’. I was consequently surprised to see it getting such a resurgence on social media months later and wondered why more people had now decided to circulate the video. It is the word “banned” that is fuelling the intrigue and engagement. Continue reading Trending on Twitter: Did Iceland know their advert would be banned and should we care?

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Review: Rendezvous in Bratislava @ Exeter Phoenix

Part of the magic of live theatre lies in the sharing of experiences. For a couple of hours, audience and performers are united in one space to share stories, music and emotion. On arrival at the Exeter Phoenix Voo-doo Lounge to see Rendezvous in Bratislava, we were welcomed by a woman dressed as a waitress, carrying a tray and speaking rapidly at us in very chirpy Slovak. She offered us a shot of sloe gin each, which we clinked and drank with surprised glee. A nice bev is of course another thing that is shared at the theatre, and this began our evening which was to be full of shared experiences. Continue reading Review: Rendezvous in Bratislava @ Exeter Phoenix

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The John Lewis Christmas Adverts

“It HAS to be out by now, surely?” My housemate Katy burst into my room on the morning of 10th November. After a few minutes of googling, we reached the conclusion that the advert would be coming out soon, possibly even that very day. Over the past few years, the John Lewis Christmas advert has been released between 5th and 11th November. When it came … Continue reading The John Lewis Christmas Adverts

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Lace, Spanx, Thong or ‘No’ – What Constitutes Consent?

(TW// Rape, sexual assault) Rape is commonly understood to be the act of sexual violence in which a woman is penetrated orally or sexually by a man without having given consent. In today’s society, rape is a frequently and openly discussed topic which has lost much of the stigma and taboo which used to surround it. In recent times, various rape cases have swarmed the … Continue reading Lace, Spanx, Thong or ‘No’ – What Constitutes Consent?

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The English Pear: 5 Porridge Recipes

“Ahhh, this porridge is just right,” she said happily and she ate it all up” – The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Porridge is the best way to start your morning. It’s warming, affordable, healthy, and all round delicious. You can make porridge in many ways, but we’ve listed our five favourites below. We always use chunky traditional rolled oats cooked on the hob for the creamiest porridge (microwave porridge traumas pushed us to this). Add the milk of your choice and you’re ready to go! Continue reading The English Pear: 5 Porridge Recipes

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Interview with BSO’s Marta Gardolińska

Ben Britton: Congratulations on becoming the BSO’s Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association. Could you tell our readers a bit about what the role entails?

Marta Gardolińska: It is a kind of assisting position, but a bit more than that, because it means I have three main responsibilities. One is covering for all the conductors, which means whenever they get sick, whenever they don’t catch a plane, I am there and I have to take over either the rehearsal or concert. The second thing is working with the Participation Department, which organises school concerts and the BSO Resound Concerts, a lot of outreach work. So, I am usually the person who goes to conduct the bigger concerts of these programmes. And I have a series of concerts with the actual BSO throughout the season; one of them is tonight.
Continue reading Interview with BSO’s Marta Gardolińska

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Review: BSO’s Smooth Classics Vol. 2

On Wednesday, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra brought to Exeter a different form of concert to the standard set-up. As the conductor, Marta Gardolińska, explained to me in my pre-concert interview for RAZZ, it was a night designed to attract those less familiar with classical music with a variety of musical delights. Rather than one or two shorter pieces, an interval, and then a symphony (as is typically done in contemporary concerts), the evening consisted of a tremendous sequence of pieces by a whole range of composers. The title of the evening was ‘Smooth Classics, Vol. 2’ with pieces chosen for their relaxing temperament. This being said, there was a multitude of emotions amongst the pieces of music, which the BSO asserted clearly in their performance. Continue reading Review: BSO’s Smooth Classics Vol. 2

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Review: Shakespeare Society’s ‘Twelfth Night’

Rated one of the top 3 pubs in Exeter on Trip Advisor, and an unlikely destination for a take on arguably Shakespeare’s most famous comedy, I – having never been to the Hole In The Wall – walked in expecting to see a theatre-like stage and chairs. Instead I arrived to a small arrangement of rowed wooden seats and benches, from which an audience watched … Continue reading Review: Shakespeare Society’s ‘Twelfth Night’

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Review: Non-Binary Electro Hour @ Exeter Phoenix

With all forms of theatre that promise to be personal, political, and a tad eccentric, I do my best to go in with no expectations, allowing the show to paint over the blank canvas of my mind, to educate and enlighten me. For Non-Binary Electro Hour, I certainly couldn’t have done it any other way. An electrifying spectacle of art, impersonations, politics and spoken word, the show was a unique and eye-opening exploration of gender through performance.
Continue reading Review: Non-Binary Electro Hour @ Exeter Phoenix

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Review: Double Bill: Bitter About Glitter/Deuce

A festival of trans, non-binary and gender queer theatre in Exeter, what’s not to love? Come as You Are was the sort of thing that I had never been to before but was something I had to get my queer self over to straight away. The double bill of Bitter About Glitter and Deuce were, though some of the least obscure of the shows on offer, the two that were most intriguing. Besides the brief description of them online, there wasn’t a lot of information available beforehand and so I went in unsure of what to expect. That said, I still came out slightly underwhelmed. Continue reading Review: Double Bill: Bitter About Glitter/Deuce

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In My Good Books: ‘The Pursuit of Love’ by Nancy Mitford

Originally published in 1945, The Pursuit of Love is a tale of domesticity. This novel follows the protagonist’s quest for a husband and, preferably, love. Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love offers a light-hearted romance with under-pinning tragic elements, as the characters navigate their complex social obligations. The heroine of the novel (Linda Radlett) is an outspoken and strong-willed character, who is simultaneously endearing and exasperating … Continue reading In My Good Books: ‘The Pursuit of Love’ by Nancy Mitford

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The Hate U Give: Disrupting The Single Story of Black Stereotypes

‘THUG LIFE’: Rapper and Activist Tupac Shakur said the acronym stands for The Hate You Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone. “That’s the hate they are giving us… a system designed against us. That’s thug life” – Angie Thomas Angie Thomas’ Young Adult bestseller, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, has been adapted into an equally hard-hitting film. Through the complex characters, the film fully … Continue reading The Hate U Give: Disrupting The Single Story of Black Stereotypes

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Review: Henry V at Exeter Northcott

The production of Shakespeare’s Henry V recently performed at Exeter’s Northcott Theatre by Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory was given shining 4-star reviews from The Guardian, The Times, What’s on Stage and many others, and it’s really not hard to see why. Lily Arnold, Matthew Graham, and Jane Curnow’s collaboration on set, lighting, and costumes brought the stage to life, with it’s minimalistic scenery of … Continue reading Review: Henry V at Exeter Northcott

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Preview: BSO’s Smooth Classics II

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra returns once again to Exeter Great Hall on Wednesday, with the exciting second volume of the ‘Smooth Classics’ branch of their main season. Presenting well-known pieces, including several individual movements from piano concertos, the evening promises to be both diverting and soothing. Conducting the pieces, in her Exeter debut, is Marta Gardolińska, the new BSO Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association, whose last-minute stand-in last month at Poole was received with resounding praise. RAZZ has been lucky enough to secure a forthcoming interview with Ms Gardolińska, to discuss her work and role, and this reviewer looks forward to both meeting her, and seeing her skill first-hand. Continue reading Preview: BSO’s Smooth Classics II

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The English Pear: Honey Roasted Parsnip Soup

“Then consider what victual or esculent things there are which grow speedily and within the year, as parsnips, carrots, turnips, onions, radish, artichokes of Jerusalem, maize and the like” – Of Plantations, Francis Bacon 

As the days are getting colder and the evenings darker, soup brings ultimate cosiness. This honey roasted parsnip soup is our favourite autumnal lunch option. It uses parsnip whilst it’s at its best, and by roasting the veg it brings the first Christmassy feels of the year. This recipe uses a blender or food processor, but an easy alternative is to mash the roasted veg before adding in the liquids. We love pairing this soup with chunky bread, heaps of blankets and a good book. Continue reading The English Pear: Honey Roasted Parsnip Soup

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Review: Chasing Coral

In the last 30 years, 50% of the world’s corals have been lost, and we are likely to lose the remainder within the next 30 years. Chasing Coral documents a group’s project to record time lapses of coral bleaching events, in order to awaken the public’s attention to the effects of global warming in our oceans. It is a ninety-minute whirlwind of beautiful visuals, comic episodes, and most importantly, a stark relation of the catastrophic impact our actions have had upon corals. Continue reading Review: Chasing Coral

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Review: Angelus

Over recent weeks, it’s been difficult to miss the publicity for Theatre with Teeth’s Angelus. After all, what person, seeing the image of the noose on that blood-red background, wouldn’t be intrigued to know what the play is about? With a few more clicks, you find out what is promised; a “splitting new play that deals with loss, morality, and the pursuit of redemption”, written by Patrick Swain. Judging by the size of the audience at the opening performance, I was certainly not the only person to be curious about this new “dark comedy”. Continue reading Review: Angelus

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Preview: Come As You Are @ Exeter Phoenix

Come As You Are is a ground-breaking and eccentric festival that celebrates trans, non-binary, and gender-queer theatre. Titling themselves “Gender Anarchists”, Camden People’s Theatre are travelling across the UK to challenge people’s preconceptions of gender and identity, demonstrating the freedom to be found in interrogating these oppressive norms. Continue reading Preview: Come As You Are @ Exeter Phoenix

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Autumn TV Pick: Shalom, Friday Night Dinner!

To many of you, I’m sure Friday Night Dinner is already a beloved modern classic. It was to my friends’ upmost surprise when I recently announced that I had never watched the programme before. Previously, when I had heard other people discussing it, I had ignorantly dismissed it as being just another Come Dine With Me style cooking show. When I finally got round to giving it a watch, I was undoubtedly stunned to find it was quite the opposite of the tame cooking show I had been imagining. Within a few minutes, I found myself close to tears as a result of laughing so much. Instantly, I felt accustomed to the characters and to the setting. Continue reading Autumn TV Pick: Shalom, Friday Night Dinner!

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Review: First Man

It is surprising that almost 50 years on from the infamous 1969 moon landing, few have tried to display the iconic events in a feature film. Damien Chazelle has changed that with his third directorial outing, First Man, a biopic which traces the experiences of the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong. For Chazelle, First Man represents a considerable shift from his previous body of work which focused more upon musicianship. However, like Whiplash and La La Land, Chazelle’s new film is fundamentally about an individual’s desire to achieve something truly great.
Continue reading Review: First Man

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Review: ‘Tehran Taboo’

Having lived in a Muslim country all my life, the contrast between the oppressive Islamic society and the individual lives depicted in Tehran Taboo is all too familiar. The movie follows the lives of three characters: Pari, a woman with a six-year-old son forced into prostitution due to the lack of financial support from her imprisoned, drug addicted husband; Babak, a musician who has sex … Continue reading Review: ‘Tehran Taboo’

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Review: EUTCo’s ‘The Shape of Things’

I entered the M&D room with little idea of what to expect, however, EUTCO’s The Shape of Things took me by surprise. For most of its two-hour duration, the play is an intense and voyeuristic examination of two couples, along with the diverse and ever-changing relationships between the four individuals. However, the final scene unravels much of what the audience has come to believe to be the truth about the characters. Facades crumble, lies emerge, and the audience is left questioning the truth of their own life, just as much as the truth of the play. Continue reading Review: EUTCo’s ‘The Shape of Things’

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8 Skin Care Products to Get You Winter Ready

#hellowinter #pumpkinspicelatteseason

 ‘Tis the season to look after those pores and to ensure you look glowy and prepped for those sweaty nights out in TP. I’ve chosen 8 products to make you look like the next Kim Kardashian of Exeter, on a student budget of course! One thing that is essential, is to remember to stay hydrated and I’m not talking vodka and cokes, but the good old H2O. Drinking water will keep your skin plump and rid it of any toxins that cause spots, as well as replenishing the skin tissues. Try carrying around a water bottle every day, adding fruits to it can make it a lot easier to drink and is a way to benefit from vitamins! Let’s talk about the elephant in the room…remembering to take your makeup off after a night out at Exeter’s finest selection of clubs. I know it’s annoying and when you’re pissed it’s the last thing you want to do. But do it. It only takes a minute or two. Don’t let your skin suffer from being clogged up with makeup, dirt, pollution and pieces of curly fry grease! You’ll thank me later. Continue reading 8 Skin Care Products to Get You Winter Ready

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In My Good Books: ‘From The Heart’ by Susan Hill

From the Heart follows protagonist, Olive, as she navigates the complex social world of the 1950s. From the author of The Woman in Black, Hill presents a novel that is less haunting, but equally as powerful. From the Heart was published in 2017, making the exploration of coming of age, motherhood and sexuality as pertinent for the reader of 2018, despite the 1950s setting. Quaint friendship … Continue reading In My Good Books: ‘From The Heart’ by Susan Hill

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Review: Women of the World Festival, Exeter

The ‘Women of the World Festival’ (WOW) was founded in 2010 by Jude Kelly, and this year marked the 2nd annual WOW Exeter event, which welcomed female artists, writers, politicians, comedians, activists and more to discuss and celebrate their achievements. The varied activities on offer over the weekend sought to inspire future generations while also discuss the issues limiting women’s full potential. Continue reading Review: Women of the World Festival, Exeter

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Sancho’s Secret Student Sale

Walking up to it, the warm glow of Sancho’s shop draws you in, lightbulbs hanging gracefully from the ceiling. The place is crowded with students, their chatter filling the air. The temptation of the 20% off sale and free candles with each purchase has tempted quite a few, even on this chilled October afternoon. The shop is just the right size for one to feel cosy and have a pleasant experience. Exploring around the comfy winter clothes it is easy to feel at ease surrounded by the greenery of plants inhabiting the corners of the shop, hinting at the eco sustainable nature of the venue. Accompanying your journey through the fully recycled coats and hand-crafted jewellery is the lingering flowery aroma of scented candles and spiced cinnamon. Continue reading Sancho’s Secret Student Sale

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Trending on Twitter: Disney Princesses

Last week, Keira Knightley revealed that her three-year-old daughter is not allowed to watch Cinderella or The Little Mermaid, because Cinderella “waits around for a rich guy to rescue her” and Ariel gives up her voice for a man. This sparked a debate in the media about the portrayal of women in these films, and whether we should be banning them. Continue reading Trending on Twitter: Disney Princesses

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Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

“You’re a legend, Freddy.” “We are all legends”.

To this day, Queen remains one of the most iconic rock groups of all times. With songs like ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are The Champions’, it’s easy to get nostalgic about their era and feel compelled to sing along. So, if you are looking for an afternoon filled with drama, excitement and longing for the good old days, this new film, celebrating the lives of Queen, is out now! Bohemian Rhapsody takes us back in time to experience the epic band’s rise to fame starring Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor, Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Joseph Mazzello as John Deacon and of course Rami Malek as the acclaimed Freddie Mercury. Continue reading Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

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Gothic Lit Picks for Halloween

With the temperature taking a dive and the leaves continuing to drop off the trees, this week is the perfect time to curl up inside with a good book and lose yourself in a story. For Halloween season, I’ve put together a list of the best Gothic literature to get your fangs into and keep you on the edge of your seat! Continue reading Gothic Lit Picks for Halloween

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Review: BSO’s ‘Songs From The Heart’ @ Exeter Great Hall

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s evening of late-German Romanticism on Thursday was the logical continuation of their 2018/19 season, following the Beethoven of two weeks ago. From the sublimity of the 19th century, the audience was this week given an insight into the ever-so delicate aestheticism of sentimentality. Whilst each piece was highly personal to their respective composers, they also illustrated the last throes of an artistic movement largely out-manoeuvred by modernism, and the capability for emotional connection, regardless of social and cultural situation. The BSO’s performance was, once again, gladly received, and applauded with deserved enthusiasm throughout. Continue reading Review: BSO’s ‘Songs From The Heart’ @ Exeter Great Hall

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5 Low Effort Halloween Costumes

Let me make one thing clear: living on the ground floor on Halloween is one of the worst decisions a wimp like me could make. Clowns (this is in both a literal and figurative sense) have great fun poking their heads around the side of my windows and I have great fun closing them all. Before I do that though, I like to have a look at the amazing variety of costumes people have put together. Hand-sewn outfits and face paint that looks like it took hours – they look absolutely amazing. However, for all of those people who are in it for the sesh and nothing but the sesh, it can be a little hard to dress up when you know that it’s going to peel off like a soggy sponge when the night’s over. Here are five low-effort costume ideas that might come in handy. Continue reading 5 Low Effort Halloween Costumes