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Review: Theatre with Teeth’s Duet

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

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Review: Breaking Up With JK Rowling @ Exeter Phoenix

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

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How to Support University Staff on Strike

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.

Continue reading How to Support University Staff on Strike

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Review: Substance and Shadow Theatre’s ‘Walking with God’

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’

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Review: Com Soc’s “A Streetcar Named Shakira”

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”

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Review: Loyle Carner @ Exeter Great Hall

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

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Review: Spotlights:Expressing Yourself

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