Last week saw the end of lectures and seminars and also the end of the French Society’s calendar of events. An active and well-attended society, the conclusion to the year was offered by a wonderful evening of theatre and, naturally, wine and cheese in Parliament Hall. A crowd-pleasing combination, the soirée proved to be a roaring success, with impressive acting, some classy live music and more than enough fromage to go around.
With the performance of Twelfth Night which took place in the StAge on the 10thof April as part of the On The Rocks Festival, Shakespeare’s beloved comedy has now been performed every year in St Andrews for the last four years. This, however, was definitely the most unique and, in more ways than one, the most impressive production.
Some shows don’t revive well.
The Just So Society, having finally ceded to pressure to programme classic musicals, may have hit a bum note in choosing Anything Goes – an immensely talented cast, some gaffs, and some great musical numbers do little to cover the frankly bald excuse for a script and the racial attitudes central to parts of the plot (centering around converting Chinese men to Christianity).
Jumpers for Goalposts by Tom Wells, charts the progress of a five aside team in an LGBT+ amateur football league. Each scene in the play takes place in the changing room after their games, charting their generally disastrous performances on the field along with their personal developments. While primarily a comedy, there are moments of significant pathos as the play discusses the physical assault of one character over his sexuality and portrays another living with HIV.
If the arrival of week eight seems daunting, here’s a playlist to get you through the influx of work. This Tuesday the Vic plays host to the launch of 602 and the uni’s extended birthday with a special gin cocktail on offer and DJ Asquire, its the perfect mid-week celebration. If you’re feeling the Halloween blues, the book of choice this week ‘The Making of Zombie Wars’ by Aleksander Hemon should cheer you up. The comic book follows an aspiring writer of a script titled Zombie Wars as he engages in an affair and feels the consequences which seem to follow his own script. Released this Friday, ‘Kill Your Friends’ is a similar mix of comedy and outright killing. Set in the music industry of London 1997, the film follows Steven Stelfox (Nicholas Hoult) as he sacrifices his friends for his career with a great soundtrack and cast the films set to be a cult classic. Following a similar theme this weeks student-written play, ‘An Impromptu Performance’, follows a group of naive criminals who try and rob a drug baron. Whereas if ‘Ghost’ with Patrick Swayze is more your thing, check out The Great Pottery Throw Down on BBC2 this week. While it is yet another spin-off of the Great British franchise, the show promises some great art that reduces the judges to tears.
It’s week seven and time to dust off your dust sheets with Halloween on the horizon. Bond is back this week as Craig graces our screens once more in ‘Spectre’. While Sam Smith’s theme might leave a lot to be desired, the new 007 film is set to meet the high standards of its predecessor ‘Skyfall’. Also, returning to the screen is British favourites Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins in the BBC TV adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play ‘The Dresser’. ‘The Dresser’ centres on the head of a Shakespearean theatre company (Hopkins) and his stage hand (McKellen) as they struggle to perform King Lear during the worst days of the Blitz in WW2. Back for another instalment is the Live Lounge hosted by Music is Love and STAR with a line-up of student musicians to enjoy with a coffee in Rectors this Thursday. New to the Barron is student-written play ‘Miracle Material’ which tells the story of Nat caught in a media storm and storm of different opinions after a freak accident. Also new this week is Colum McCann’s collection of short stories ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking’. Each of the three stories focuses on time in the present, memory and in anticipation through a missing child, a struggling writer and a nun suffering from dementia.
With post-raisin blues taking hold here’s a few suggestions to brighten up your week. Roleplay by Alan Ayckbourn hits The Barron stage this week, a light-hearted comedy that promises to deliver the laughs. ‘Fargo’ is back on our TV screens with a second series and new “true story” that will rewind back to 1979 with Kirsten Dunst, diner killing, UFO sightings and Ronald Regan. Also, stepping back in time is Jamaican born Marlon James’ ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’ that won the Man Booker Prize last week. It focuses on the consequences of an unsuccessful plot to assassinate Bob Marley back in 1976 and is told from dozens of perspectives with technical brilliance as it breaks into free verse, streams of conscience and a nine page long sentence. This week’s film ‘Suffragette’ also made headlines via the protest at its premiere which goes to show the fight for women’s rights is not a distant issue. Also fighting for rights is Xavier Ball this week with its profits supporting refugees in East Africa. Xavier Ball is set to be a colourful end to your post-raisin week.
The fourth week is here along with the dark nights so here’s some recommendations to brighten up your week. The film, book and play of choice this week are all reworkings of Shakespeare. Jeanette Winterson’s book ‘The Gap of Time’ adapts The Winter’s Tale keeping the story the same while shifting the structure and adding a new modern setting. The new Macbeth film adaptation hits cinemas this week, Michael Fassbender takes title role in a modern post-traumantic stress meets warpaint and ‘Braveheart’ vibe. While the Barron theatre is about to become a psychiatric’s waiting room as Shakespeare characters are scrutinised in one-act comedy Antic Disposition. With the combination of coffee and acoustic covers, the second Star and Music is Love Live Lounge in Rector’s cafe is the event of choice this week. And it’s time for the last show stoppers and time we stopped wishing we were good at baking for a year as The Great British Bake Off Final is here.