C A M E I ANN S E H C R CHV CT E J O R HER P
Exclusive: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Chuck Palahniuk Giggle Aid Christmas Markets The Gin Files
December, the best of all the months. There is truly nothing I love more than cuddling up with some mulled wine and drinking myself into absolute stupidity around my loving and adoring family. Yes, magic is once again in the air and I could not be happier. With any luck it will snow soon and I will have a legitimate reason to work from home thanks to the hilly goodness that is Sheffield. For this very festive issue we have some stocking filler treats for you! We caught up with Annie Mac about motherhood, amongst other things and Chvrches about their sudden rise to fame. We will also be taking a look at the best Christmas markets in the UK, visiting the Archer Project and reviewing some right good shows from Sheffield Theatres. But my personal favourite gift to you this month is the Chuck Palahniuk review. He is a lovely man, a great writer and my hero. Enjoy!
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pyschology Texting Kills the Romance
The Psychology of Gift Giving
Do you love texting your boyfriend and / or girlfriend? Do you text them what you’ve had for breakfast? And then, what you are thinking? Do you text them to tell them how long you spent on the loo? And then, whether you washed your hands or not? Are you literally one of those people who cannot keep your phone from your fingertips, save for that special someone missing out on one of your witty texts? Well then I have some bad news for you, your relationship is doomed (probably). A recent article in the “Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy” suggested that men associate excessive texting with a low quality relationship and women in particular find that texting to apologise or make “couple decisions” is also indicative of a low quality relationship. This is a serious issue. Many couples use texting as a way to do important “relationship maintenance”, having a constant ongoing conversation with their loved one to make sure that they’re on the same page. In theory this may seem like a good idea, but in actuality it could damage the relationship. When you text someone something vital missing, the unspoken aspect of communication, such as body language and facial reactions cannot properly be conveyed via text, no matter how many emojis you use. This means that conversations are shallow and lack a certain authenticity. “There is a narrowness with texting and you don’t get to see the breadth of a person that you need to see.” says Jonathan Sandberg, a researcher who helped to conduct the study at the Bringham Young University. This may mean that instead of helping to secure your relationship, constant texting may actually create a distance between couples due to a lack of real communication. There is some good news for text addicts, though, “expressing affection” via text (i.e. sending ridiculous “I lurve you so much!” and “Miss you honeypie” texts all day long) was actually shown to enhance the relationship. The lesson to be learnt here? If you’re going to send a text make sure it’s soppy, otherwise don’t bother.
The often altruistic action of gift giving is widely regarded as one of the best ways to bond with friends and family; it shows an emotional connection, understanding and appreciation between the giver and the receiver. It’s stressful at times, but the look of pure glee on their face when they un-wrap your gift diminishes all concerns and negative feelings you had. Hopefully, anyway. Studies have shown that gift giving actually has various psychological benefits. Researchers at South University found that the whole process of it - taking notice of everything your friend or family member says or does in the run up to Christmas and making mental notes, spending hours scouring shops and/or the internet trying to hunt down that one perfect thing that suits their tastes to the ground – actually increases intrinsic positivity, leading to extrinsic effects. The contentment and lift in mood when your gift has been well received is evident to other people via your composure and behaviour, and a healthy personality attracts good company. On the other hand, if the gift you give is more or less than what the receiver expects, the post-unwrapping celebration can go very sour. Friendships can be ruined by poorly picked presents. However, further studies at the University of Southampton reveal that gift giving can be a bit of a mixed bag. Their research showed that naturally selfish people use gift giving as an ostentatious excuse to flaunt their wealth or distinctive personality. Egotistical people purposely buy presents that have a certain symbolic value for themselves rather than for personal reasons relating to the gift receiver. To these people, the significance of gifts is not whether the gift is practical or has any sentimental worth to the receiver, but presenting themselves as unique and superior.
Christmas Gourmet Evening
Manor Operatic Society presents Snow White
Where? Chatsworth House When? 7Th, 14th and 21st December How much? £95 per person
Where? Sheffield City Hall When? 27st December - 5th January How much? £10
Nothing says Christmas like a delicious seven course meal at a stately home. This elegant dinner, served in the Carriage House Restaurant, consists of more food than you can possibly eat making it ideal for everyone. With courses such as seared scallops, crab tortellini, carrot and squash puree, crisp bacon, sparkling champagne sorbet and Chatsworth estate fillet of beef, celeriac and potato gratin, truffle and shallot cabbage, red wine jus, you will truly feel like royalty in the gorgeous setting of Chatsworth. The stately home will this year be decorated in the theme of “The lion, the witch and the wardrobe”, making this an ideal evening out for couples. On arrival you will be greeted by a champagne reception and taken through a tour of the lovely lower floor of Chatsworth House itself which will be festively decorated with trees, snow and sleighs. You will have to see the magic to believe it. w w w. c h a t swo r t h .o r g /w h a t s- o n / ev e n t s / christmas-gourmet-evening
The renowned Manor Operatic Society will this year be performing the classic fairytale Snow White. Watch the well-known story play out in front of your very eyes in this illuminating performance of a modern classic. If you don’t go to see the wicked queen or the beauty that will be Snow White herself, then go to see the adorable dwarfs. The society have been entertaining families for generations and this year you can see one of the nation’s best loved stories with your family. This will make an excellent day out for your and your family.... it’s Christmas so you have to! www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk/events/snow-white
New Years Eve at Magna
Jan Svankmajer: Gothic Shorts and Faust
Where? Magna Science Adventure Centre When? 31st December How much? £99.95 What time? 7pm-1.30am
Where? The Showroom When? 14th December How much? £5 - £7 What time? 3pm
Sorting out New Year’s Eve is a difficult feat. This year why not go for something a little different and have your NYE at Magna Science Adventure Centre. That’s right, this year Magna will be hosting their first ever New Year event at the museum itself! We can think of nothing better than welcoming in 2014 in the setting of the exsteekworks. The price includes an open bar on arrival meaning you can pretty much make your money back during the course of the night, so long as you’re willing to put your kidneys under a lot of stress. This also takes out any unexpected expenses, which always seem to crop up on this fateful night once you’ve had more than a rum and coke. It also includes a three course meal of cream of white onion soup served with a cheddar scone, duo of beef, pan fried fillet, slow braised beef feather blade served with horseradish mash and honey glazed roasted root vegetables. The doors open from seven and from then on in there will be top class entertainment from the likes of Big J and the Piccolo Chickens followed by a night long DJ set and disco. When the clock strikes twelve, though, you will be presented with a glass of bubbly to toast in the new year in style. www.sheffield.towntalk.co.uk/events/d/82134/ celebrate-the-new-year-in-style/
What is more Christmassy than watching some Gothic shorts? That’s right, everything. However if you do fancy a bit of a scare this festive season then The Showroom is the place to be! This double bill of Gothic cinematic pleasure will be on for one night only. Starting with some shorts including The Castle of Otranto, The Fall Of The House Of Ushers, The Pendulum, The Pit and Hope, Punch & Judy, the double bill will then show the main picture. Faust is a 1994 modern classic retelling of the Faust fable in which black magic and black humour are rife. The pictures will be followed by a talk from Michael Brooke, the producer of BFI’s Svankmajer box-set and the author of a chapter on Eastern European Gothic in the next BFI Gothic Publication. www.sheffield.towntalk.co.uk/events/d/81670/ jan-svankmajer-gothic-shorts-faust/
Rob Auton: The Sky Show
Greentop Circus Christmas Cabaret
Where? Sharrow Community Forum When? 13th December How much? £5 What time? 7pm
Where? Greentop Circus Centre When? 14th December How much? £8 What time? 7.30pm
How many things can you count in the sky? There are clouds, air, birds, planes, balloons, weather, and (occasionally) balls. Indeed, the sky is home to many a thing and that is exactly what this show is about. Let Rob Auton, winner of the Edinburgh Fringe 2013 Funniest Joke Award, take you on a wonderful journey through the skies as he regales you with tales and poems from his personal collection. This is sure to be the surreal show to end all surreal shows. www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Sheffield/SharrowCommunity-Forum/Rob-Auton---The-SkyShow/12019716/
A great night out for families, Greentop Circus combines entertainment, comedy and, of course, circus acts. What is the best thing about this event? Well.... Kids go free! This is not merely your traditional circus. This is a modern take on the classic fusing a variety of entertainment styles in the unique and exciting space that is the Greentop Circus Centre. Enjoy a night filled to bursting with acts ranging from hilarious to damn right brilliant. Don’t forget to dress up (and dress up the little ones) for your chance to win one of the top prizes available on the night. What will you be? w w w. s k i d d l e . co m /w h a t s - o n /S h e f f i e l d / Greentop-Circus-Centre/Greentop-CircusChristmas-Cabaret/11837124/
Santa, Elves and Sleigh Bells
Mi Casa with Flashmob
Where? Tropical Butterfly House Wildlife and Falconry Centre When? 21st December How much? £8.95 (adult) and £7.95 (child) What time? 10am - 5pm
Where? Plug When? 14th December How Much? £8.00 Flashmob are one of the most acclaimed production groups in house music since way back in 2012. Bringing “unpretentious house music” to the Steel city Flashmob are completely original with their style of music. Since their massive singles “Ninety Five”, “Brick House” and “Need in Me”. Resting firmly in a niche of their own Flashmob is like nothing you’ve ever seen or heard before. Flashmob will be followed by one of the freshest sounds in house, Mike Mago, and the man who brought all the energy to West One Rox, Scott Diaz himself. This is an unmissable night.
Do you want to meet Santa? Do you want to ride aboard his sleigh? Of course you do. Who wouldn’t want that? With this classic Christmas activity you and your family can enjoy the true magic of Christmas and meet the man with the beard himself. Take a trip on the magical sleigh and go off an a journey to Santa’s Grotto where you can sit n the man’s knee and ask him for world peace and a whole host of presents. In the Enchanted Grotto you can meet Santa and let your children see proof that he exists. After this pop on down to the Nativity Scene in our stable and meet our friendly animals including lemurs, meerkats, owls and snakes. This will be followed by the pantomime style bird show. There will be a range of festive niceties, hot chocolate and even some mulled wine (for the adults) to keep your warm. End your experience by browsing the Christmas gift shop where you will find some festive treats. www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Sheffield/TropicalButterfly-House-Wildlife-And-Falconry-Centre/ Santa-Elves-and-Sleigh-Bells/12020018/
ANNIE MAC For any woman balancing a career, relationship and being a mother to a beautiful newborn is a difficult feat. The ideal is to be successful at all of the above, but all too often, given the constraints of modern living mean that something’s got to give. Yes, it would seem that you have to be something of a superwoman to manage a career and have a personal life, but that is exactly what DJ Annie Mac does. What’s more this girl does it all in the public eye, we caught up with Miss Mac herself to find out how she does it. It’s really no wonder at all that Annie Mac has taken to family life quite so easily. She started life as proud Dubliner, Annie MacManus, where she grew up in a large and musical Irish family. Both her sister Rachel and her brother Davey would later go on to sing in the indie band The Crimea, whilst her other brother, Rod, would go on to be a folk musician. In some ways it was inevitable that Annie too would work in the music industry. Annie got her first taste of clubbing and the club music scene when as a teenager she attended Queen’s University in Belfast studying English Literature. One of her lecturers introduced her to the techno scene in Northern Ireland. Belfast being renowned for its lively night life, Annie found herself with no end of options and this is where she ultimately found her love for this style of music and became enamoured with the notion of becoming a DJ. “I hung out with a group of guys when I was in uni and they were all DJs! I also worked in a club and watched amazing DJs week in and week out.” says Annie. Being a sensible girl, though, Annie put her studies first for the time being, completing not only an undergraduate degree but also a masters. It was then that Annie decided to move to London and live with her brother, Davey, and other band members from The Crimea. After some work experience (hey, we all have to do it) with The Crimea’s label V2, Annie managed to land herself a job as a radio plugger, which soon lead to her first job at the BBC as Steve Lamacq’s broadcast assistant. Annie Mac was not destined to be a mere broadcast assistant, though, and her stint as such was short lived. It wasn’t long before she was discovered (she had been working on the side as a student broadcast presenter) and was swiftly given her own show. From thereon in 06/Interview
Annie’s career went from strength to strength. At just 26 years old she was given the Annie Mac Show. Annie’s whole life revolves around music with her long-term boyfriend, Sheffield’s own Toddla T, also being a DJ. This has meant that she has spent a lot of time in the Steel City over the past few years, regularly gigging herself and appearing frequently at Sheffield University’s Tuesday Club. “I have come to love it there. It reminds me of Dublin a lot in terms of the warmth of the people. I spend a lot of time there - it’s especially beautiful at Christmas.” says Annie. This year the musical couple solidified their status as DJ royalty by having a little prince. (Notably when Annie Mac was pregnant she took four months off from presenting but only six weeks off from Djing – that’s dedication.) Whilst Annie Mac’s pregnancy Toddla T lovingly Tweeted, “I swear @AnnieMac has been the most amazing pregnant person. Hero x”. Balancing not one but two successful music careers between them whilst being parents can’t be easy but Annie says she is doing alright at it so far. “[It’s been going] Pretty successfully so far we are lucky because we’re both pretty flexible with our time.” says Annie, and then she continues, advising parents balancing careers, “ I would say each to their own. But I have loved getting back to my career after having a baby - it makes me feel like my own person again and that is important for me.” And being a mother has not stopped Annie Mac so far this year. Her latest album release “AMP 2013” is available now and she has just finished a UK tour.
Number Five on BBC’s Sound of 2013, Scottish Synthpop band Chvrches have been taking the electronic music scene by storm since they formed late in 2011. The Student Magazine caught up with band member, Martin Doherty ahead of their UK and European tour. So how did the band come together? I’ve been friends with Ian for a long time and I met Lauren through Ian about two years ago, I listened to demos he’d been working on with her and they were really exciting vocally. Me and Ian sat down to work on a project after talking about it for ages and invited Lauren as well, we wrote a bunch of songs together, I guess that was the end of 2011, it seems like such a long time ago now and yeah, things started moving really fast from there! How did the name Chvrches and its unique spelling come about? We chose the name purely because we thought it was bold and striking and ambiguous in some ways. We chose the spelling because we realised that you couldn’t find us on the internet, so we stuck the V in there so you can find us immediately on Google now which is cool! I read that someone described your sound as a ‘Godless hurricane of kinetic energy’, how would you describe it? I don’t know but that’s pretty good! I suppose it’s just like pop, with poppy melodies even though we’re not a pop band. We’re an electronic band who aren’t afraid to foreground melody in an age where quite a lot of people are afraid to do that. Who are your musical inspirations? Mine change week to week really, I listen to a lot of different music but all time, it’s probably Radiohead, The Cure, Pet Shop
Boys but I listen to a lot of rap music as well as a lot of electronic music. I think I’ve changed the way I listen to music as a lot of people have, like I listen to bands on a song to song basis, but right now I think that the new Drake record is amazing, I think it’s the best thing he’s done by a mile. Right now I think the Danny Brown album is my album of the year, there’s a few tunes on there with a Scottish producer, Rustie which are incredible. You’ve performed a lot of festivals this year, what’s been your standout moment? I mean we have so many, there’s been a lot of special things this summer. I’d say the standout moment for me was the last festival we played, it was called ‘FreeFest’ at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland, America and we were on at about 2pm so we weren’t expecting much but it was the biggest crowd we’ve ever played to. The album had been streaming for a week and we really noticed how 08/Interview
much people had already been listening to it and that kind of blew us all away. What’s next for Chvrches? Obviously you’ve got your UK tour... Well we’ve had a few days off just now which was something of a luxury but I was already getting bored, you know it’s like you can’t wait to have some time off and then you’re home for a few days and you’re like, ‘I’m done with this’. So we start our UK and European Tour on 10th October in Glasgow and then we head to Sheffield, Bristol, London and then we head off to Europe for a while then back to America. We don’t stop til the end of the year pretty much, but I wouldn’t like it any other way.
Chvrches do words
Snoop Dogg (Snoopzilla) & Dam Funk – ‘7 Days of Funk’
Another day. Another Snoop Dogg reincarnation. His recent involvement and subsequent transition into the Rastafari movement has been well documented, not least by the Californian rapper controversially adopting the name ‘Snoop Lion’ and his reggae-influenced latest solo album ‘Reincarnated’, released earlier this year. The album held up well, but in its honeymoon period it was announced that Snoop would be teaming up with modern-funk artist Dam Funk in a collaborative effort to be released the same year, this December to be precise. (And that Snoop was adopting another persona – Snoopzilla).
The funk influence is clear from the word go, as ‘Snoopzilla’ is a tribute to the funk master Bootsy Collins (or regularly, Bootzilla), who both artists here cite as a huge inspiration. ‘7 Days of Funk’ is the name of the record, and it appears to be a simple but beautifully crafted R&B/Funk album that is full of songs that aren’t written about the typically crass rap themes, but a mere celebration of proper feel good, free love music which is something we can surely all appreciate! I have to say this is the first album from Snoop in ages that I can say I’m genuinely excited about. If the single ‘Faden Away’ is an accurate measure of the rest of the record then I think it deserves your attention!
For diehard fans of Britney, this is set to be a great record to add to the collection and sees her back being played on the radio where a lot would argue she belongs. I won’t pretend I’m a fan of hers, but the singles from ‘Britney Jean’ (however close to or far-flung from her last efforts) are as good and harmless as you’d expect from today’s pop charts but I guess the proof of her success is, as every one of her albums has been, in it’s sales. The record is the first since ‘Femme Fatale’ released in 2011, and according to Britney it takes another step in pushing her sound into other genres, and lyrics into further, more personal areas than her previous efforts. She collaborates with songwriters Sia Furler and Will.i.am (who is also producing the album) to achieve her desired sound, which if lead singles ‘Work Bitch’ and ‘Perfume’ are anything to go by, will be big, anthemic pop and club tracks (not too dissimilar from tracks we are hearing in the charts today). Love it or hate it, Britney Spears has been the household name of sweetheart American pop music for at least the last decade or so, and you can’t argue that she hasn’t held her own with it. Despite her fairly recent troubles away from the stage, she has continued to produce material that has progressed and evolved from the Baby One More Time ‘schoolgirl pop’ that took the world by storm all those years ago. Her new release this December titled ‘Britney Jean’, will be her eighth studio album to date. Britney Spears – ‘Britney Jean’
Chris Brown – ‘X’ It seems there is barely a month or week that goes by that we don’t hear of some sort of trouble that American rapper Chris Brown has got himself into (usually involving Rihanna and her love interests), almost to the point where for me anyway, I’ve forgotten about his musical conquests! Putting that all to one side though and actually seeing what he has produced, for a 24 year old, six studio albums to date isn’t bad going really. The latest being ‘X’, which is set for release in the UK on December 3rd this year. The title is an amalgamation of his numeric birth date, the Roman numeral for ten (years he’s been in the industry) and also a reference to ‘ex-girlfriends’, unsurprisingly. For ‘X’, Brown has made clear his intention of staying away from the Euro beat, pop heavy rap songs that he’s probably most known for, and to steer his style more towards a softer, soulful sound that lays off the auto-tuned vocals and gives a him ‘live band vibe’. In his words, this album will pay homage to some of his greatest influences including Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones. Only time will tell if ‘X’ really lives up to this, but for now we can hope that Chris Brown can deliver an album, which showcases his full musical talent and puts him in the headlines for the right reasons for a change.
Paul Haddock Spike Lee directs this remake of Park-Chan Wook’s Oldboy, which was both critically acclaimed and scrutinised for its controversial content, yet the remake seems to be more subdued to reclaim its $30 million budget. Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men, American Gangster) plays the main role of Joe Duccett, whilst other stars such as Samuel L. Jackson and Sharlto Copley play supporting roles. With Spike Lee at the helm this could prove to be one of the most visceral, moving and rapturous films this year. Being one of the most expressive filmmakers throughout American Independent Cinema, Spike has been part of some groundbreaking projects such as She’s Gotta Have It, Malcolm X and 25th Hour. Making such great cinema over the years, In a world of massive budget productions filtering content I’m intrigued to see what Spike Lee has in store for us. Oldboy (6th December)
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (20th December)
Rhiannon Chown Gavin Hood’s latest addition to the year’s list of ‘out of this world’ science fiction films, Ender’s Game based on Orson Scott Card’s book of the same name, may appear to have all the right pieces for a promising Blockbuster: state of the art CGI, Harrison Ford doing his best slightlycorrupt-good guy act, looming possibility of an alien invasion on Earth in the near future. But in actuality, the film sets you up to believe it’s innovative and unique only to kick you in the teeth half way through. In a nutshell, it’s about an exceptionally smart kid that gets hand picked by the leaders of a military training school to front an army of fellow child geniuses in order to defeat the alien enemy that threatens human civilisation. Asa Butterfield plays said smart kid, Ender, and Harrison Ford plays the colonel at the military school. Don’t let the past credentials of these leading actors fool you, because both project rather unconvincing and occasionally awkward performances. Visually, it’s stunning. The exterior shots of the military school floating in space above Earth are incredibly realistic, as are the panning shots of the enemy planet. The teenage target audience will probably see the gadgets the young actors use and think ‘woah! I want one of those for Christmas!’ To some this may be a good distraction. Set the visuals aside and it’s a slow burning, badly constructed cliché fest that attempts to display metaphorical undertones through overly poetic prose that, quite frankly, made me cringe in my seat on far too many occasions for a two hour film.
Paul Haddock Ron Burgundy returns for another comedy classic, supported by his entourage of nimwitted, socially inept, and hilarious colleagues (Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner). Produced once again by Judd Apatow (Superbad, This Is 40), Anchorman 2 seems to be the most anticipated movie of December. Following Ron Burgundy’s (Will Ferrell) quest to resurrect his career as he tries starting up a 24 hour news channel, that audience once again gets the chance to learn more about the legend that is Ron Burgundy. Including a variety of cameos from A-List stars such as, Jim Carrey, John C. Reilly, and Liam Neeson. If you’re looking for an easy to watch comedy movie then I recommend going to see Anchorman 2, with people as entertainly funny and awkward as Steve Carell I’m sure it has
The Best Christmas Markets in the UK There is nothing more likely to get you in the festive spirit than wandering round a Christmas market with a cup of mulled wine in one hand, a mince pie in the other and someone walking round behind you carrying all the lovely things you’ve bought. Yorkshire has some of the best Christmas markets in the UK, here’s a rundown of our favourites.
Victorian Christmas Market, Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield – 30/11 – 01/12 This is a truly unique Christmas event where you can celebrate the magic of a Dickensian Christmas in the heart of Sheffield. With over 120 market stalls enclosed in the great space that is the Kelham Island museum, you’ll be able to line your pockets with beautiful Sheffield made gifts, including delicious food and drink. This promises to be a lovely family day out, with the opportunity to get lots of Christmas shopping done!
Christkindelmarkt, Leeds 09/11 – 16/12 One of the most famous German Christmas Markets in the UK, people flock to Leeds to visit Christkindelmarkt every year. Millennium Square transforms into a winter wonderland with over 40 traditional stalls with beautiful gifts and delicious food and drink. This is a great way to get into the festive spirit!
Harrogate Christmas Market 28/11 – 01/12 Held in The Stray in the historic Montpellier quarter of Harrogate, this market promises over 140 homemade stalls and chalets selling the best of Yorkshire and Harrogate Festive produce. Harrogate is a beautiful place to visit at anytime of the year, but at Christmas time it’s just that little bit more special.
Sheffield Christmas Market 16/11 – 24/12 This is a wonderful Christmas Market in the centre of Sheffield complete with lots of delicious food and drink stalls selling sweets, hot chocolate and mulled wine, as well as a visit from Father Christmas himself, who’ll be meeting children in his grotto. Don’t forget to bring your Christmas list!
St. Nicholas Fayre, York 28/11 – 01/12 Outside markets move into Parliament Street, St Sampsons Square and Coppergate specialising in gifts, crafts and locally made produce. York is especially beautiful at Christmas time and is packed with boutique cafes and traditional pubs to enjoy when you get tired of Christmas shopping!
Love Your Soldiers – The Crucible Laura Kay The Studio at The Crucible Theatre is the perfect setting for a play this intimate, up front and confrontational. It does not allow you to look away from the stage when it gets uncomfortable and instead the audience are immersed in what the characters are going through, whether that be in a war zone, in a hospital or sat at home in their front room. Love Your Soldiers by Robin Hooper tells a heartbreaking story of love, loss and betrayal. Gemma, played by Charlotte Beaumont and Ken played by Chris Leask are in love but Ken is going to Afghanistan and it soon becomes clear that Gemma has been having an affair with one of Ken’s army friends, Roly played by former sportsman Jordan Bright. When Roly is involved in a horrific incident which results in him losing both his legs, the secrets start to unravel. This story is juxtaposed with Ken’s own very different story of love and loss in Afghanistan. His friend Babur, a slave, is murdered by his master after falling out with Ken. This incident continues to haunts him and the idea of his unusual friendship with Babur and the practise of Bacha Bazi, older men keeping young boys to ‘dance for them’, is a theme which keeps returning throughout the play. The notion of ownership, control and ultimately loss runs deep within every element of the plot. Although it would be hard to say that this play was enjoyable to watch, it was certainly impressive, affecting and there was some much needed comic relief in parts. The subject matter, due to its contemporary nature is not something which is often explored and the fact that much of the play is set in 2013 brings it much closer to home. Love Your Soldiers is an intelligent play, well executed but is not for the faint hearted.
The Northern Ballet Company Presents... A Christmas Carol Charlotte Grainger A dancing Scrooge, scary ghosts and glitter - it could only be A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens’ beloved Christmas tale retold through the magic of dance. On a winter’s night we stumbled down to the Crucible to get our Christmas on. The tale, as we all well know, is of Scrooge, a moody mean old man who has lost his lust for life (and, indeed, his lust for others). The Christmas spirit is not within this one and he spends his nights alone. On Christmas Eve, though, he is visited by three ghosts, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Future, who show him the error of his ways. It’s a pretty decent story if ever there was one and it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling in my tummy.... or was that the wine? The Northern Ballet Company’s production of the tale was just stunning aesthetically. The Dickensian costumes we’re enough alone to entertain me for the first half an hour, whilst I fantasised that I, myself, was a rich lady of the time dressed in a rich green gown. Much of the dancing, expertly executed, consisted of one particular dance move. The dance move in question meant bending your knees and flailing your arms wildly in their air whilst shimmying as much as is humanly possible; this signified that you were either a ghost or magic or both, and was unintentionally hilarious to watch. Somehow in between this suave dance move the ghosts managed to be spooky as hell; something which was surprising to me, since the only other thing that has scared me on stage was the infamous “Woman in Black.” The star of the show, by which I mean the most fascinating dancer I’ve ever seen, was Hironao Takahashi, who took the part of Scrooge’s ill-treated employee. His solo dance was captivating and a pleasure to watch. 13/Show
Photography: Julian Ward
You’re known for your quirky comedy style. What inspires your sets? The most recent thing I was inspired by was a group of builders working on the street outside my house. A fire engine went passed and they all started mimicking the sirens going “NEE NOR NEE NOR.” They were doing it for ages after it had passed. They were a group of grown men who loved fire engines. That didn’t really inspire a set but it gave me an idea that I wrote down. Also when I was on the bus recently a guy was playing his music on his phone really loud and I was annoyed at first but then I imagined that he was a DJ and it was his first ever gig so I wanted to support him and be a good audience member. I am inspired by wanting to try and make the mundane more interesting for myself I guess. How did it feel to win the funniest joke award this year? It felt like I was a golfer who had won a snooker competition that he hadn’t entered. All of a sudden everybody including Vanessa Feltz on Radio 2 was asking me how to play snooker and I didn’t have the answer because I don’t really play snooker/write one liners that often. I did get to go on Look North though so my parents saw me talking to Harry Gration on tv which was great. You’re also a poet... Who is your favourite poet? I like Spike Milligan, Charles Simic and Ivor Cutler but Bob Dylan is the one who really got me writing. He
opened up a cupboard full of words that was closed to me before I heard ‘Bringing it all back home’. It was a real moment for me, hearing someone use language in such a creative way. I love imagery in words and trying to put things in people’s heads that are not already there. What can we expect from your Sheffield gig this December? A man from a village near York talking about the sky for an hour. You can also expect a joke in the show. It is near the end but it isn’t the one about Chinese Wispas. What’s your favourite joke? Probably the bit in the ‘Life of Brian’ when Michael Palin can’t pronounce his r’s. “Welease Woger” Is that a joke? I don’t really have a favourite one liner. Do I? Errrm oh yeah John Cooper Clarke has got some brilliant ones. “I’ll tell you one thing about the hotel I’m staying at. They stole my towel.” “What’s the difference between a Lada and a sheep? It’s marginally less embarrassing being caught getting out the back of a sheep.” What makes you funny? I’m quite thin. How do you feel about panel shows? I used to love a Question of Sport when I was little. Especially the pictures round and mystery guest. I stopped watching it when Ian Botham left though. He was a good captain and I don’t think they have ever recovered from him leaving.
Who do you look up to? Anybody who is trying to do something positive and new that makes them and others feel alive. Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips is a big hero of mine. My favourite quote of his is “With optimism and imagination, we know that regardless of our plight we always have the power to create our own happiness.” I love people that are just going for it, like Picasso did, just banged out painting after painting and then died. Loads of people are just frantically just trying to live and create. Billy Childish is another person I look at and am inspired by his work ethic. Neil Young is another, never standing still, just moving onto the next thing and not worrying if people are going crazy for it or not. The guts, determination and hope of Bruce Springsteen. Artists who are true to themselves I guess. Comedy wise, Larry David. What’s next for you now? I am putting together my second book of poetry and working on next year’s Edinburgh show. I did a show about the colour Yellow last year, then this year I did the sky and faces is my next subject. I like writing about things that I like feel passionate about and I really like faces and what people do with them. What’s your favourite type of paint brush? Big Hog ones that you can really load up with paint.
Shakespeares: The Gin Files We’re back down at Shakespeares to learn all about the joys of alcohol, but this time the famous and freshly shaven Chris Bamford will not be teaching us about whisky, but gin instead. First a bit of history. Gin was first made in Holland and Belgium and came over to England in the 1700’s, it was then that London Dry Gin took off as a style and many people drank straight gin in the same quantities because beer was taxed highly. A famous picture produced in this period called “Gin Lane” by Hogarth depicts the troubles and misery that excessive gin drinking can bring, as opposed to his other piece “Beer Street”, which shows in contrast the joys of drinking beer. The way we drink gin now (in the form of a G&T) was a later trend, which came into fashion in the Victorian era. In the last ten years gin has undergone quite a big revival and microdistilleries have recently been popping up, such as two of the gin distilleries which we will be looking at here. We will start with Jensens, who produce two gins; a traditional London Dry Gin, and also Old Tom, which is the one we will be looking at. This is a more historic, sweeter type of gin. There’s a few mainstream brands of Old Tom which you can buy in the supermarket etc., but they tend to be sweetened by sugar. Jensen’s Old Tom, on the other hand, is sweetened by using more sweet natural botanicals (herbs and spices and berries) and uses a recreation of an 1840’s recipe. There is actually a cocktail called a Tom Collins, which would be traditionally made using this style of gin. Next we take a look at a rather familiar bottle, which most of you will have seen before, Hendricks. This is a brand released by William Grant and Sons, which is actually mainly famous for whisky distilling and you should recognise the name from Grant’s Whisky, which they produce. Hendricks is made in Girvan, which is the companies large distillery in Scotland. It is a blended double distilled gin, using a carterhead still and a small pot still, which is steeped in cucumber and rose petals prior to distilling. Hendricks can be up to 90% ABV when first distilled, but is obviously brought down to a rather more drinkable 41.1% before being bottled. The last one is something different yet again. It’s from a London micro-distillery, founded in 2008 and is basically made “in the shed of someone’s garden” according to Chris, “it’s a tiny little operation.” This is a London Dry Gin style tipple, which is vacuum distilled and comes in at a mere 40% ABV. For more information about gin, whisky and other alcoholic drinks don’t be afraid to get yourself down to Shakespeares and pick Chris’ brain about everything and anything you like... I’m pretty sure he won’t mind at all!
Browns review Seated in the window of Browns, next to the winter gardens, overlooking lit-up trees I started to feel very festive. Christmas is nothing without great food and great company. And Browns I had both. The waiter, eager to please, passed me the menu; the new winter list, filled with goodies to keep us warm through the cold months. Being a rather classy lady and since pork is my favourite of all the meats I opted for the wild boar and chorizo burger with manchego, pico de gallo salsa and apple & celeriac slaw, which I reckoned would taste pretty porky and pretty delish. My boyfriend, on the other hand, opted for the worst of all meats, a shoulder of lamb
with bubble & squeak, spinach and honey roast carrots & parsnips, mint jelly and redcurrant jus. As we all well know there is nothing more sophisticated than a burger and a large glass of wine, so with my meal I ordered a large red, whilst the love of my life opted for a nice cold lager. The meals came pretty swiftly, which I appreciated as I’d heard just about as many Arsenal facts as one girl can take and this presented me with an opportunity to change the subject. My burger had come with extremely thin cut fries and a whole load of home made garnish, whilst the lamb had come in a bowl of
sauce and vegetables. I’m not a fan of lamb, but my boyfriend forced me to taste it for the sake of this review. All I can say is the meat was cooked to a soft and succulent standard, but still tasted like lamb. The mint jelly, on the other hand, was absolutely stunning. It felt as though it literally fizzed in my mouth and was fresh and delicious. My own meal was very tasty, though, as with the lamb, the highlight for me was in the array of sauces. Overall I found Browns an enjoyable place to eat. I would recommend It to friends not for every day dining, due to the high prices, but for occasional celebratory meals.
Trendsetting: Christmas Fashion ‘13 Rhiannon Chown Festive fashion is the veritable juxtaposition of the mindset of British people; half the nation cocoon themselves in thick itchy wooly jumpers, beanie hats and scarves, the other half seem to outright reject the impending sub-zero temperatures, and instead opt for summer’s left overs. The fact that Topshop still sell shorts that unveil half a woman’s buttocks in winter months is totally illegitimate, and in a somewhat stubborn and superfluous way my most hated trend the year, flatforms and creepers, look set to stay to the bitter end of the fashion year. Ugg boots have always been a winter staple, for some mind-boggling reason. They come second only to Crocs in the ugly-as-sin shoe stakes, and yet for the past couple of years the high street shops have embraced their popularity
and the shelves have been adorned with a whole array of styles – glittery, mulitcoloured, cropped, metallic. The main question is: what possesses a person to buy furry space boots year after year that erode beneath your feet within two wears, and are incompetent for almost every weather condition winter can throw at us? Trends I have noticed this year generally adhere to the seasonal norm; ranging from over the top abundences of sequins to the good old black and gold combo, the go-to colour palette for festive parties. The obligatory fairisle and reindeer prints have arrived into the shops once more via slippers, pyjamas, jumpers and socks, and so have fur gilets and jackets. In an attempt to incorporate some Christmas spirit into the most prominent looks of the year, high street leaders like River Island have adventurously mashed some trends together; fur covered snapbacks, fluorescent leather jackets and wet-look leopard print leggings.
1. Bulky Knitted Grey Winter Scarf 2. Oversized Woolen Sweater 3. Festive Winter Long-Socks 4. Grey Beanie Hat 5. Effortless Layered Style 6. Shabby Chic Wool Jumper 7. Stripy Knitted Sweater 8. Oversized Jacket and Hobo Bag 9. Layered Men’s Fashion 10. Oversized Winter Coat 11. Eccentric Oversized Jumper
fashion Winter Fashion Faux Pas Keziah Graprix
Why is it that as soon as the cool breeze of winter is in the air people lose their ability to dress themselves in a way that is at all fashionable and instead opt for clothing that we can all see is drab and boring, but it’s alright if it goes with that staple wardrobe piece of a Helly Hansen waterproof right? Definitely not. Winter is such a great time to play around with high street offerings because the always on trend style of layering allows you to wear multiple items at once, which not only means there is no reason not to be inventive with your outfits, but it also means that the cost-per-wear price of anything you buy is lowered – always a bonus (and a reason to purchase even more obviously). It’s also important to remember
in winter that black is not the only shade available. Although it’s tempting to dress all dark and mysterious on a cold winter morning, seeing someone wearing a nice crimson or emerald shade brightens up the day even on the rainiest of afternoons. In addition to a little colour pop during the winter months, I also love to jazz up fabric textures. You can’t go wrong with a little leather, obviously most people can’t pull off a full leather trouser, but throw it in there with a skirt or a on a shirt collar and you have a timeless winter fashion piece that can be worn year after year. So when you next open your wardrobe go for red over black, don’t immediately just throw on the Helly Hansen rain coat, and please save all of our eyes and stay away from the novelty hats.
beauty gift ideas Finding the right presents for the right people can be a chore, especially with so many gift ideas on the market. That’s why we’ve selected our favourite beauty buys we’d love to unwrap whether for a daughter, mum or friend these beauty gift ideas are sure to be a hit.
Benefit World Famous Neutrals Kit £23.50 This nifty little eye kit contains two creaseless cream shadows and four long wear powder shadows in a selection of colours designed to compliment each other. Complete with a little booklet explaining how to work the eye shadows, this is a great gift for a make-up newbie looking to be a little more daring. And as always with Benefit, the packaging will look great on a dressing table. www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk
Origins Facial Greats Set £28
Benefit Finding Mr. Bright £28. 50
Perfect for any skincare junkie, this Origins kit gives the chance to try two of their best selling products and enjoy a mini facial from home. The kit concludes Modern Friction, a gentle dermabrasion product and Drink Up, an overnight rehydrating mask, as well as a facial sponge. Everything you need for a pamper session. www.origins.co.uk
Beautifully packaged, this little kit contains everything you would need for a glowing complexion. Stocked with some of the brand’s bestsellers, this is a perfect gift for a friend who loves her make-up! Girl Meets Pearl primer, HighBeam highlighter, PosieTint liquid blush and Erase Paste concealer compose the essential gift set. www.boots.com
Burt’s Bees Tips and Toes Kit £12.99 A perfect gift for a hardworking mum, give her hands and feet a treat with this Burt’s Bees gift set. Containing hand cream and balm, cuticle cream, foot cream and lip balm these products will work to keep your hands and feet looking naturally beautiful. Plus at under £15 it won’t break the bank. www.feelunique.com
Perspiration Problem? No Sweat. A new treatment, called Alma SweatX, combines multiple radiofrequency technologies into a safe, immediate solution for excessive sweating with lasting results. Developed by Alma Lasers the new non-invasive technology puts an end to hyperhidrosis ( excessive sweating) and body odour. “As the only aesthetic RF technology available which operates on the principles of dielectric heating, Alma SweatX targets the water molecules in the sweat glands, causing them to oscillate millions of times per second and generate powerful heat which effectively shuts down the sweat glands for an extended period of time. Combined with Unipolar Pro^(TM) technology it delivers focused RF energy to the sweat glands, addressing their different anatomical structures and varying locations within the skin”, explained Dr. Joseph Lepsletter, Alma Laser’s VP of Clinical Affairs. Believed to affect as much as 3% of the global population, which translates to 211 million people, hyperhidrosis is defined as excessive and uncontrolled sweating beyond that which is required for the body’s thermal regulation. With currently available treatments consisting of botulinum toxin or surgery, Alma SweatX is the only proven treatment method that offers patients a non-toxin and pain free solution. For further information, please call Medispa S10 on 01142 630124 or go to the website - www.sheffieldmedispa.co.uk
SEat Leon FR 2.0 TDI 150 PS SEAT enjoyed a record-breaking year for sales in the UK in 2012 – its best since the brand was introduced into the country in 1985. And the Spanish auto-maker’s popularity is likely to continue, if the all-new Leon is anything to go by. Indeed, the hatchback which was first launched in 1999, is unquestionably one of SEAT’s most significant cars ever.
SEat Toledo Viva España.... Motoring Journalist Tim Barnes-Clay gets up close and personal with two fresh Spanish models. Tweet Tim @ carwriteups www.carwriteups.co.uk
I drove SEAT’s athletic version of the Leon - the FR. Those letters stand for Formula Racing, so, predictably, the car comes with ‘sporty’ features. These include 17-inch alloy wheels, dark tinted rear windows, and front sports seats.
On the road, the new Toledo is no speed-demon, but it always has enough ‘get up and go’ to prevent accusations of sluggishness. Its 1598cc, 16 valve, four cylinder turbo diesel engine produces 103bhp – and that’s enough to get you from 0-62mph in 10.4 seconds. Top speed is a more-than-respectable118mph and CO2 emissions are low at only 106g/km. That means the Toledo is not only eco-friendly, the small amount of carbon dioxide it releases into the atmosphere also brings it into cheap annual road tax territory. The SEAT embraces corners and soaks up lumps and bumps without difficulty. The switchgear is nicely damped and the steering is direct. The well-weighted wheel also gives you good feedback – thoroughly communicating what the road surface is like beneath the four rubber corners.
The driver’s seat is set lower than that of the previous Leon, but has a broad range of movement, as does the steering wheel. This provides a confident driver set-up – and a fun one, especially when you hit the road after selecting ‘Sport’ from the SEAT Drive Profile. This is a menu of driving modes which allows you to change the character of the Leon. On the list of options you can also choose Normal, Eco or Individual set-up. It’s a cool bit of gadgetry and is accessed at the touch of a button.
Looks-wise, the latest Toledo is peculiar. It has the appearance of a saloon but actually it’s a hatchback. The front looks modern, with aggressively shaped headlights, but the further back you go, SEAT’s designers have lost their way. The rear-end is the visual equivalent of a song that’s been ‘faded-out’ because the guys in the recording studio didn’t have a clear-cut way to finish the track.
The Leon FR 2.0 TDI 150 will sprint from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds and on to 134mph. The SEAT hugs the corners as though super-glued to the road. In fact body roll is virtually non-existent – it feels a million miles away from a standard, efficient, family hatch. But it’s not that far from one as far as fuel savings go. In fact, fuel economy is startlingly efficient with the oil-burner averaging 68.9 mpg.
My test car, in SE 1.6 TDI Ecomotive 105 PS guise, produced 70.6mpg. That’s pretty staggering. The tank is big too – with a potential range of around 600 miles. The standard safety package for all SEAT Toledos includes driver and passenger airbags, front side, head and thorax airbags. The car is available from as little as £12,500 on the road, but the flagship form I test drove comes with a price-tag of over five grand more at £17,840.
But, most importantly, the Leon has been awarded the maximum five-star rating by Euro NCAP in its safety tests. It scored 94 percent and 92 percent for the adult occupant and child occupant elements respectively. What more could you ask for? Not a lot. And if I had £21,385, I’d be buying a Leon FR now. Max speed: 134 mph 0-62 mph: 8.4 secs Combined mpg: 68.9 Engine: 1968 cc 4 cylinder 16 valve turbo diesel Max. power (bhp): 148 at 3500 - 4000 rpm Max. torque (lb/ft): 236 at 1750 - 3000 rpm CO2: 106 g/km Price: £21,385 on the road
Max speed: 118 mph 0-62 mph: 10.4 secs Combined mpg: 70.6 Engine: 1598 cc 4 cylinder 16 valve turbo diesel Max. power (bhp): 103 at 4400 rpm Max. torque (lb/ft): 184 at 1500 rpm CO2: 106 g/km Price: £17,840
theatre Chuck Palahniuk – The Doomed Tour Charlotte Grainger Let’s start with a disclaimer: I’ve never met Chuck Palahniuk. I do not know him, unfortunately. But, like so many other fans, I feel as though I do. He has been my most long standing companions, save for a handful of childhood friends. His work has seen me through my school years, university and the bleak world beyond that. I have pushed his books on so many of my friends that I now have few copies left myself. In short he is my favourite authors and one of my heroes. So to see him talk live was always going to run the risk of shattering all of my well crafted illusions about him. Chuck started his talk with a short story, the gruesome and heart-breaking “Knock Knock.” The story was laden with filthy darkly humorous
jokes, which got big laughs, but then went on to detail the slow death of a man with cancer with the climax being his son smashing a custard pie in his face on his death bed. Tragic-comedy at its best really. Then came the bit we’d all been waiting for, the Q&A with the audience. This is where die-hard fans got to ask the man himself about everything and anything on their mind and Chuck got to talk about the “mysterious magical nonsense” that is porn. There was the obvious “How do you pronounce your last name?” (Pa-la-nik, if you were wondering) and the “When will there be a Fight Club Two?” (Soon, in form of a graphic novel series with Marvel). There were questions about writing and authors and inspirations. What kept this from being a bland was Chuck’s constant anecdotes. For every inane question there was an interesting anecdote to counter it, like the one about the cat who kept doing his business in the fireplace, so every winter, long after the cat had gone, the
Children’s Hospital Charity Winter Ball £107k was raised when Jess Ennis and over 600 celebrities, guests and charity supporters came together last night for The Children’s Hospital Charity’s fifth annual Winter Ball. On 16th November at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre some of the UK’s hottest acts performed, including Brit award nominees Scouting for Girls and Britain’s Got Talent finalist Jack Carroll. The money raised will go towards the Make it Better Appeal, helping to transform The Children’s Hospital, Sheffield, by making it a brighter more accessible environment for patients and their families. The impressive £21k will buy a new portable ultrasound machine, which will be available for use in all the paediatric rheumatology outpatient clinics in the hospital. This is a vital piece of equipment and one which will benefit a lot of sick children. “We are really delighted to have hosted an event with some of the country’s leading sports personalities, comedians and performers, raising £107k for such a fantastic cause.” said David Vernon-Edwards, the charity’s director.
place would smell of cat poo. It would appear the man is an authentic story-teller; with a stock pile lodged in his brain ready for just the right occasion. The talk closed with one of Chuck’s latest short stories, “Zombies”. This was my favourite because if there’s one thing I love more than Chuck Palaniuk, it’s the Kardashians. Sure, there is only brief mention of the K-girls in “Zombies” and sure, it’s a negative reference, but still it made me smile. The story itself was touching and, in true Palahniuk style, really really gross. Luckily, the experience of seeing Chuck live only served to cement my beliefs about him. He is an extraordinary man and I am a fan-girl on this one. The highlight of the talk and in my opinion the best quote of the night, reminiscent of the Orwell essay, was this, “I write because when people tell me things that are so inspiring, so moving and so true I want to preserve them. My first impulse is to honour and preserve things I find fantastical.” And on that note I’m done.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Charlotte Grainger I never thought I would be attracted to a Biblical character. I was wrong. After seeing the delicious piece of manhood that is Rob Wilshaw in the title role of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, I could never quite read the Bible in the same way again. Joseph (or Rob as I would like to call him) spent much of the performance being a slave dressed in just a loin-cloth. This was exciting on many levels. He was also a very good singer and a charismatic actor, but mainly he was gorgeous and every adult woman in the audience agreed with me on this one. I know this because after the show I did a survey outside and every woman I asked agreed that they would like to touch Rob’s face. Yes, this was Andrew Lloyd Webber’s brainchild live on the stages of Sheffield Crucible. Jennifer Potts took the role of the narrator and her voice filled up the whole theatre beautifully, as she took us through the classic tale of Joseph and his eleven jealous brothers, who sold him into slavery but later had to beg his forgiveness. I was under the impression that I did not know this musical all too well, but after the first song I realised that each and every note was somehow
ingrained deep inside my brain. Perhaps I was subjected to it as a child. Or I am psychic. Either way, it was enjoyable to be able to sing along and get most of the words right. The highlight of the show (aside from Rob, who I promise never ever to mention again) was Elvis or Pharaoh (Luke Jasztal), who sang in the style of the King himself and really got the audience going. His song was accompanied by a whole lot of flash lighting and special effects. I can’t say much more about the show without ruining it for you. Just know that it was a wonderful show, with stunning performances given by all, which I recommend you all go out of your way to see.
Lonely This Christmas?
Things to do alone If you happen to spend the Christmas period alone then there is certainly no need to be blue. There is a whole host of fun activities and things that you can do. If the winter blues have got you down and your heart’s not in the mood. You can always enjoy the days filled with fun activities, games and food. If you are alone this year, then don’t you shed a tear. Follow our list of things to do and bring on the Christmas cheer.
Let’s first start this by saying that the word “single” is by no means synonymous with “lonely”. It doesn’t have to be anyway. Having said that there is nothing worse than being asked that killer question around the festive season: “Are you seeing anyone?” It’s shades of Bridget Jones every single time and if you do happen to be sailing solo then answering can be excruciating. Seeing family, all of your family, is a difficult time for any sane minded person. Explaining to friends and family why you haven’t found your soulmate yet is a somewhat ridiculous notuon. Why should you have to explain any of your life choices? And why is it always at this time of year that you’re forced to? On the other hand if you do want someone to cuddle up with when the nights get cold, because you want it not because others want it for you then there are many such events to help.
Volunteer So you might spending this season alone, but at least you have a roof over your head. There are people out there, in the cold, who just aren’t as lucky. Instead of staying in why not get yourself out there and volunteer? There are many places you can volunteer over the festive season. Why not try the Archer Project, St Wilfreds or the Samaritans?
Make a Call Whilst you might be away from your loved ones, you can bring them near by simply dialling the phone and having a chat. Call your friends and family on Christmas day to wish them a merry Christmas and you’ll be feeling perkier before you know it.
Enjoy Festive TV Is there anything better than Christmas TV? That’s right, there really isn’t. Enjoy old reruns of Only Fools and Horses, Mr Bean, Dad’s Army and Home Alone, whilst you warm yourself by a closed (safety first, guys) fire. If this doesn’t get you in the Christmas mood we simply don’t know what will.
Eat and Drink Eat and drink lots. This is imperative as it will make you happy and give you a warm glow. Just because you are alone, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the niceties of Christmas. Get yourself some turkey and cranberry sauce and you tell me you’re not having the time of your life.
Xmas Quiz South Yorks
Looking for love online?
Singled Out 30+ Singles Disco
Date: 11th December Time: 8pm Venue: Cavells Café Bar, 31 High Street, Sheffield Price: £5 (Member) £6 (Guest) Website: www.spiceyorks.com
We are now living in what is called the ‘modern world’ and in this modern world people use their computers to find love. Sounds crazy, no? But they do and maybe you should too. Here are some of the best Sheffield dating sites.
Dates: 13th and 27th December Ages: 30-65 Venue: Bondhay Golf Club, Sheffield Price: £4.00
Do you think your general knowledge is top notch? Are you a whiz on University Challenge? Faster than the chaser on the Chase? Do you score the lowest on pointless? The Xmas Quiz South Yorks is a great chance to flex your knowledge muscles and perhaps even meet someone new. This is a great way to spend an evening – all you need is a pen and a brain. You do have those things, right?
South Yorkshire Spice: www.spiceyorks.com Dating Sheffield: www.sheffield-dating.co.uk Just Yorkshire Dating: www.justyorkshiredating.co.uk
A fun and easy way to meet people around the festive season. Get yourself dressed up and get yourself down to Bondhay Golf Club to meet a group of like-minded singles over 30. This is usually a fortnightly event, but newcomers are always welcome. The dress code is smart casual and smart jeans are allowed if you don’t want to step out of your comfort zone… but come on, it’s Christmas, make an effort.
Giggle Aid: Sheffields Charity Comedy Show The show that combines comedy with charity is back for its fifth annual show. The brilliantly named Giggle Aid show is the first of its kind in the UK and started right here in Sheffield. The show raises money for the Red Cross and takes place annually in the festive season! Since its beginnings in 2009 in Sheffield, Giggle Aid has expanded and there are now other versions of the show, following the same winning template, in both Stockport and Blackpool. The premise of the show is simple: one night, one show, lots of great comedians. The money
raised from the show’s tickets goes to the Red Cross, meaning you can feel good about where your pennies have gone whilst laughing your head off in the Platinum Suite at Bramall Lane. Previous shows have seen acts such as Stewart Francis, Barbara Nice, Arthur Smith and Dave Spikey. This year the top-class comedy includes TV’s Chris Ramsey, Gary Delaney, Christian Reilly, Sully O’Sullivan, who has a “a wicked sense of humour” according to the BBC and many more. “We love this event - it has a lovely Christmas and yet a bit of a Vegas-style vibe somehow,
what with everyone sat at tables in the Platinum Suite at Bramall Lane.” says Max Newton, Giggle Aid Organiser. “It’s basically 100% my baby - I book the room, the acts, design the posters, progranmme the music for the night etc. It’s become something of a tradition that I do ‘a joke’ to start off proceedings...and then leave it to the professionals.” With cabaret-style table seating, a bar open throughout and food available to buy on the night, it’s the ideal event for Christmas parties. An evening of side-splitting comedy is guaranteed so buy your tickets now.
interview Chris Reilly: Musical Comedian
A Chat with Steve Goodall
According to the Guardian “If you’re a fan of Bill Bailey or Rich Hall, you’re probably a Christian Reilly fan already.” Well, we do like both Bill Bailey and Rich Hall, so we figured we had to grab a quickie with Chris!
What made you want to be a comedian? My dad asked me to be his best man when he remarried and I really enjoyed the writing and performing of the best man’s speech. And then after a relationship broke down, I started to go to comedy clubs in Sheffield, liked the look of it, talked to a few of the acts who were on and then just went for it!
Describe your style of music comedy? Super Meta Allegoric Comic Music Dopeness! I would also describe my style of music comedy as very Sheffield-friendly!
Tell us a joke? “Last week, I bought a labrador retriever, and now, I’m stuck with 27 labradors.”
Tell us a joke? How can you tell when a drummer is knocking at your door? The knocking speeds up and slows down
How did you get involved in Giggle Aid? I’d love to say that I was hand picked for my comedic genius, but truth is someone had dropped out and they kindly put my name forward as a replacement, showbiz baby!
What made you get involved with Giggle Aid? It’s always nice being asked to do something positive with what I have to offer - it’s a privilege!
Who are you inspired by? I used to love Billy Connolly, but I’ve got to say that I looked up to Dave Allen the most. I loved his sit down/ stand up story telling style. And his one liners were great ‘Im an athiest, thank God!’ Genius!
How long have you been performing? About 12 years Who are you inspired by? Kurt Vonnegut, Tommy Cooper, Naomi Klein , Andrew Lawrence, Noam Chomsky, LMFAO
What makes you giggle?
Those autotune news story things on YouTube.
I like looking at things from a silly slant. I’ve been writing sketches hopefully for use on TV, daft, visual stuff. My favourite sketch show was Man stroke Woman, brilliant stuff!
What can we expect for the giggle gig?
What can we expect for the giggle gig?
Definitely something to keep Arctic Monkeys fans happy while Alex Turner’s voice recovers! Also massive savings on tickets to see Bon Jovi, Mumford and Sons, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Ferry and possibly the Pope, depending on how the gig’s going!
Giggle Aid is on its fifth annual outing and brings together some of the UK’s strongest acts on the circuit (...and me) and will prove to be a fantastic evening of entertaining comedy!
What makes you giggle?
self improvement do you even bother to weigh yourself during December? And, if you are trying to save money do you manage to check your bank balance in between your Christmas shopping?
The Ostrich Problem Charlotte Grainger Throughout the festive season we are encouraged through media and particularly advertising to spend, eat and even drink to absolute excess. Normal restraints are cast aside as we, for one whole month, allow ourselves to indulge in a festive feast of gluttony and greed. I wonder, though, how much attention you pay to your goals during this season. If you are hoping to lose weight
Ignorance is bliss, as they say, and so if you are one of the many people avoiding checking up on yourself it is completely understandable. New research from The University of Sheffield, which has been funded by the European Research Council, suggests that this phenomenon may be related to something called “motivated inattention”, the idea that we choose not to
know how we’re doing because we might not like the answer, i.e. we “bury our heads in the sand”. “The Ostrich Problem, is the idea that there are times when people would rather not know how they’re doing.” says Dr Thomas Webb, the lead researcher on the recent publication The Ostrich Problem (published in Social and Personality Psychology Compass – you can get a copy free from the link below). “A lot of studies suggest that people would rather not track their progress, we call that motivated inattention; the idea that they are motivated not to think about your goal progress.”
The Perfect Christmas Dinner Catherine Taylor Flashing lights, extravagant food spreads and piles upon piles of glitter covered gifts; it must be the festive season. But is this the recipe for the perfect Christmas or is it just premeditated practice? And it all begins weeks before the 25th of December. Everyone’s favourite Christmas pastime is food. Lots and lots of food. And then maybe even more food. But what makes the perfect Christmas dinner? Not the food apparently. People’s opinions can be influenced by saying the right things and presenting the food the right way. By leaving parsley stalks and fresh cranberries around the food and occasionally mentioning to your guests the organic farm in which you got the turkey they are more likely to have a positive opinion on the food they have eaten. This is known as the halo effect; one evaluation of the subject bleeds over into other traits of the subject without knowledge of such trait. So even if it is just talk, the right perceptions of your Christmas dinner could turn you into a culinary master at Christmas.
With that feeling of the inevitable post-summer blues, comes the reassuring comforts of the holiday season on the horizon. Warm and festive colours it seems is the order of the day as we went out into the city earlier to find what we think is this season’s essentials. So Chic Lifestyle Magazine bring you the pick of Sheffield’s home December ranges from your High Street favourites, to make your winter warm, festive and a whole lot more beautiful. Jack Greenwell ‘STAR’ Collection by Julien MacDonald – Debenhams Entertainment during the holidays can be difficult at the best of times, and Julien MacDonald brings us a set of glamourous, colourful and crystal cut glasses and elegant wall mirrors ideal for the grandeur of a sophisticated wintertime dinner party. Rich with purples, golds and silvers, the emphasis on showmanship in these pieces is evident but certainly not overpowering, perfectly suited to the equally fantastical nature of the Christmas period. Tall tinted glass: £14 each Large circular crystal mirror: £150
Kylie Minogue’s ‘Kylie at Home’ Range - BHS
‘Betty Jackson Black’ Collection - Debenhams
This collection of regal silver, purple and ivory bed sheets, duvets and cushions are every bit the grand statement that Kylie would bring to one of her live shows. The ‘Kylie’ range offers a November onwards luxury of colours, warmth and cosiness embellished truly like the queen of pop herself.
Focus on simple floral patterns with a distinct black and white colour scheme, Betty Jackson brings us a collection of hand-made winter plates, cutlery that lends itself to the cold winter months and the indulgent food and drink that comes with it. Not looking out of place upon her lavish but cleanly crafted dining table, this is a really stylish set of pieces typical of the designer herself.
Single duvet cover (Truffle): £50 King double cover (Mauve): £70
Black and white floral plate: £18 each Tall tinted champagne glass: £11 each PALMA extending wooden table and four charcoal upholstered chairs: £700
JUDGE Induction Stock Pot – BHS
‘Vermont’ Corner Sofa Piece - NEXT
Dyson Hot + Cold Heater – Debenhams
A perfect addition to the kitchen this Christmas season. Ideal for those warm winter favourites, stews, casseroles and other such dishes, November offers you a selection of colours in this JUDGE Stock Pot from BHS truly geared up for the Christmas time. Reds, whites and purples are a popular choice, and at twenty pounds each, they really are a steal.
An understated, but warm and comforting piece upholstered in a natural warm beige, available in both a single seater and three-piece corner suite, this set is perfect for those cold winter nights sat in front of the fire with the family. Made all the more inviting by the plum and rich red silk cushions sat upon it, this appears to be a perfect pre-Christmas purchase that would accommodate itself in any living room and any family.
From the maker’s of the revolutionary vacuum cleaner, Dyson have excelled themselves in a new, exciting product for the household just in time for this winter. The near space age device sucks air through one side of it’s loop and flows it through the other, offering the room its in a constant stream of warm air, instantly heating the room. If not for Christmas then buying this for somebody would make a beautiful and extremely functional gift!
Vermont corner group: £1299 Single seater: £599 Silk cushion: £28 each
Lapland Laura Kay Lapland to be found at the northernmost parts of Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia, is for most people synonymous with Christmas time. Once home to the indigenous Sami people, it is now home to Santa and Santa is big business. However, this being one of the most beautiful places in the world, there is something for everyone in Lapland. Remember to wrap up warm, temperatures can drop below -40°C! The Ice Hotel in Swedish Lapland provides a truly unique experience for your winter break. Quite literally carved out of ice, each room has an ice bed on top of which lies a thick mattress, a layer of reindeer skins and a polar sleeping bag to keep you cosy. Usually stays are around 3 nights and most people manage one night in the icy room and spend the other two in a heated chalet or cabin, which will require slightly fewer thermals. The hotel have introduced a scheme where provide a wake up call if the Northern Lights appear, which is a fantastic idea for Northern Lights tourists. Chances are, you will never get the opportunity to stay anywhere like this again, so the Ice Hotel should be your first port of call when looking for somewhere to stay in Lapland.
Although there are several restaurants in Lapland, many tourists choose to eat in their hotels for convenience, so the question is not really where to eat, but what to eat. While there are many places which serve more familiar European fare to provide for the fussiest of eaters, to get the true Lapland experience you need to try some traditional Lappish food. For those who can stomach it without picturing Dasher, Dancer and Dixon, then Reindeer is a commonly served dish in Lapland and is tasty and versatile being eaten in soups, boiled or cured. Another popular dish is fish, especially salmon which is often smoked or cured as well as white-fish roe from morels. Traditional Lappish fare is not particularly vegetarian friendly, especially since they eat things such as brown bear which many may have an aversion to. Just make sure you know what you’re eating and you’ll be fine. There’s always berries or locally made chocolate to keep you going. This is the fun bit. Lapland has endless activities for everyone from those who want an adrenaline rush to those who’d rather enjoy a hot chocolate by an open fire. Of course, as we all know, Lapland is where Father Christmas lives and going to visit him in the most magical Santa’s grotto you could ever imagine (because it’s the real one) is a truly wonderful experience for all the family. Arguably the most magical thing you could witness in Lapland though, is the Northern Lights, local experts will be able to advise you of where best to catch the elusive light show but those who do are in for a real treat. People after adventure will not find themselves short of activities, with options including Husky Safaris, Reindeer Safaris, Snowmobile Safaris and Cross Country Skiing to name a few. The list of things to do in Lapland is endless, fitting it all in is the problem. 26/Travel
liverpool British City Break: Liverpool
Culture: Tate Liverpool
Bar: Alma De Cuba
Ah, Liverpool! Home of The Beatles, Brookside and the original WAGs. According to CNN Liverpool is “one of Europe’s 10 hottest destinations for 2013”. Is there better place for a city break than the cultural hub of Liverpool? If there is then I simply don’t want to know about it. In this season of festivity and good will we take a look at Merseyside’s gem, Liverpool.
You simply cannot visit Liverpool without taking in some of its culture! Get yourself down to the Tate Liverpool and get yourself a fist full of culture. This makes a great day out and you can feel smug about having gone to an actual gallery. We suggest dropping by to see the Office of Useful Art, which runs until February 2014, and explores the idea of art being useful. The exhibition allows the public to engage with the art on a new and more intimate than ever level, meaning the art is interactive and.... you guessed it... useful.
In the former St Peter’s Catholic Church building, exposed brick walls, chandeliers and even showgirls lie. Alma De Cuba is the place to be on a night in Liverpool. Serving a wide and diverse range of cocktails, from sticky fig daiquiri to rudelicious, this bar brings a taste of Latin America to the UK. With everything from gigs to fine dining this bar has everything you need to have the time of your life. We recommend it if only for the showgirls, who will entertain you all night long.
Entertainment: Panoramic 34
Restaurant: Almost Famous
Hotel: Posh Pads
If there’s one thing we all want to do it’s to dine and drink whilst being able to see a view of the city from the 34th floor of a building. As one of the UK’s highest restaurants, Panoramic 34, is renowned within Liverpool and Britain for being more than a mere eatery, for being an experience. Not only does the restaurant sit comfortably above Liverpool, it also boasts an extensive and rather delicious sounding menu which includes sumptuous “fine dining” options, such as pork belly and foie gras terrine, and pigeon breast. Fine dining on the 34th floor? Don’t mind if we do.
If you like your celebrities dead and your wings hot then Almost Famous is the restaurant for you. For an authentic all-American diner, albeit in the heart of the Mersey, Almost Famous is the pace to fulfil all of your deep fried needs. Serving such American delights as burgers, fries, wings and chilli dogs; this is the place to fuel up before a night on the town. The restaurant is decorated tastefully with celebrities that have since passed away, such as Brittany Murphy and Kurt Cobain, which is just what you want to look at whilst stuffing your face.
When you’re staying away from home you really deserve something a little bit special. Why slum it like a backpacker when you can live it up like royalty? Posh Pads is a luxury five star hotel with apartments, family suites and, even, penthouses. Each room is decorated in a beautiful boutique style; you can even have a Beatles style room if you so wish! Rooms start from just £65.00, which is pretty average for UK accommodation, really.
Christmas Nosh Rhiannon Chown
We all know that Christmas is the most infamous time of year when it comes to unhealthy eating. The diets go completely out of the window as the shops start to tempt us into obesity by discounting the price of large boxes of Quality Street, and we all enter the New Year feeling sluggish, wobbly and more than a little bit regretful. But it’s easier – and cheaper – than you may think to eat well over the Christmas period. Firstly, take full advantage of the seasonal vegetables: parsnips, sprouts, cabbages, squash, as well as sweet potatoes, pulses and
beans. Anyone doing Christmas on a budget this year should consider veggie options such as green bean casserole, because as well as having a bountiful of health benefits (lowers cholesterol, good source of fibre, high in vitamins…) vegetables are extremely cheap. Pulses and beans are ideal wholesome comfort food on the cold winter nights; they can be incoporated into a variety of meals, soak up lots of flavour and are high in protein. However, if you’re not sold by the idea of swapping meat for veg but still want to be healthy, stick to lean
meat such as ham shank topped with pineapples or a cranberry glaze. For those with a sweet tooth who want to enjoy healthier alternatives, try a lighter version of a yule log by using low fat cream cheese for the filling and fat free whipped cream on top. If you’re hosting a party this festive season, impress your friends and make low calorie chocolate meringues: a mixture of egg whites, ground almonds, sugar and a sprinkle cocoa, and you’ve got the perfect light bite for you and your guests.
Coffee Before Bedtime Coffee Before Bedtime Stops You Sleeping, Silly! The results are in and it turns out they were right all along, coffee before beddy-byes is bad for your sleep. Apparently, if you drink coffee up to six hours before you hit the sack your sleep will most likely be disrupted if you even manage to get any sleep. “Sleep specialists have always suspected that caffeine can disrupt sleep long after it is consumed. This study provides objective evidence supporting the general recommendation that avoiding caffeine in the late afternoon and at night is beneficial for sleep.” said American Academy of Sleep Medicine President M. Safwan Badr, MD., of the study that confirmed all our worst nightmares, published in Journal of Clini-
cal Sleep Medicine. The results of the study show that 400g coffee (that’s like two or three cups, you know, a normal amount) consumed up to six hours before sleeping can significantly disrupt sleep. This is bad news for caffeine addicts and after meal coffee drinkers alike, though when you would have three coffees after dinner is beyond me. There is some good news, though, afternoon drinking isn’t as bad as evening drinking, obviously. “People tend to be less likely to detect the disruptive effects of caffeine on sleep when taken in the afternoon,” notes Drake, who is on the board of directors of the Sleep Research Society. So drink as much as you can after work!
Three Cheers for Chia Seeds
After all your gluten and greed over the festive season, it will soon be time to get yourself back fighting fit with a huge health kick. There’s more to getting healthy than simply cutting down on the bad stuff, you need to also ensure that your body gets a good portion of the good stuff too! One of the best superfoods you can lay your hands on these days is something a little smaller than you might expect. “Chia seeds are a superfood!” says Hussain Shafique, avid health fad geek. The chia seed is a great source of Omega 3, fibre and protein. You can buy the small wonder seeds at most health stores, making them thoroughly accessible, so no excuses. The seeds originally comes from Mexico and Guatamala, where it is likely that the Aztec people used them as a staple of their daily diets. History lesson over, and back to 2013, these seeds are growing ever more popular amongst health geeks, since they are so simple and can be added easily to meals. In every 28 grams of chia seeds, you will find 11 grams of fibre, which is about a third of an adult’s daily recommended portion. It also has 18% of an adults daily intake of calcium, meaning you end up with healthy teeth and bones, and nearly 10% of an adult’s daily intake of protein. In short chia seeds have more good stuff inside them than you’d expect from a tiny seed.
Fancy a Festive Tipple? Be Careful
So it’s pretty normal to drink more alcohol during December. You’re having to cope with being around your family and extended family for more than the usual five minutes, that in itself makes you deserving of a drink or three. Then there is Christmas day itself, the second drunken of all the holidays and New Year’s Eve, the actual drunken of all the holidays.
Obviously drink driving is illegal, I will credit you with some common sense there, but did you know that driving first thing in the morning after drinking the night before may actually be considered drink driving too?
So, needless to say, December is going to be an alcohol fuelled month, which is why you need someone to nag you into good health. Like the saviour we truly are, here is your guide to everything that is wrong with alcohol.
The amount of alcohol in your bloodstream the morning after a drinking session depends on how much you’ve drank and how quickly your body is able to get rid of it. Chances are if you have had six or seven units the night before then you will have some remnants of alcohol in you. That means you are not safe to drive and if you do drive then you are breaking the law. So no matter how tempting it is to do the drive of shame the morning after, stick around for brunch and then take a bus instead!
You’ve probably heard about dodgy alcohol being sold all over the UK. Alcohol produced by unlicensed distilleries or, worse, in the back of someone’s shed, is fake and illegal. The problem with this? It hasn’t passed any of the regulations that alcohol has to adhere to, so we really don’t know what strength it is or whether it’s safe to consume.
So how much alcohol is officially too much? The government suggests that men should not have more than 3-4 units, about a beer (4%) and a half, per day on a regular basis, whilst women should not have more than 1-2 units, 175ml wine. Many people don’t know how many units are in their drinks, but ensuring that you stay aware of how many units you are consuming in a session is essential in order to protect your health. Overdoing it can lead to a multitude of issues, not even worth thinking about, such as liver disease and heart failure. Be safe.
Drinking fake alcohol can cause dizziness, abdominal pain, vomiting and, in extreme circumstances, death. Recognising fake alcohol is not easy, but you should ensure that you buy your alcohol from a reputable place, that it doesn’t seem too cheap (if it seems too good to be true, it probably is) and that the packaging looks legit. Remember if something doesn’t seem right, it’s not worth taking the risk.
www.drinkaware.co.uk for more information.
Bollywood new releases Kaanchi (release date 6th December 2013) Subhash Ghai has teamed up with Rishi Kapoor after 33 years to play a vital role in this musical thriller accompanied with a love story. Although other cast and credits are in the process of being finalized, Rishi Kapoor has the role of a villain throughout. The addition of songs recorded by Ismail Darbar and Salim Suleman will take centre stage within this romantic thriller. Overall this is a story of evolution, closely follwed by revolution. It unfolds the story of an innocent girl whos life is turned upside down after the event in which her father is shot. The film, as is the legacy of Ghai, would be a musical. Therefore it is expected that the film would be an out and out musical display, similar to that of Taal, Subhash Ghais last big success, with a female advocate holding centre stage.
R Rajkumar (release date 6th December 2013) In continuation of Director and Choreographer awards, Prabhu Deva continues his success with R Rajkumar, earlier known as Rambo Rajkumar in this action packed movie. Rajkumar (Shahid Kapoor) is a careless youth working for a drug baron called Shivraj (Sonu Sood) with the mission to kill a rival dealer, Manik Parmar (Ashish Vidyarthi). However, when Rajkumar lays eyes on the beautiful Chanda (Sonakshi Sinha), his life is set to change forever. Chanda eventually falls for Rajkumar’s charms after endless wooing. But, their love wil not embellish unless Rajkumar destroys the drug cartel in which Shivraj owes allegiance, along wih Manik Parmar, the uncle who raised Chanda when she was an orphan. Within this film you will find endless fun, thrill and intrigue, accompanied with dance numbers, adding emphasis to the romantic, action love story. Additionally, good and evil will be painted on an equal landscape to challenge and produce constant entertainment. Audiences will see the expensive canvas this real and raw film is successfully shot in, showing each visually strikng aspect that has been created.
Shaadi Ke Side Effects (release date 6th December 2013) Directed by Saket Chaudhary this romantic comedy is a sequel to “Pyaar Ke Sid Effects”, in which commitment phobia among men and the “boy meets girls parents” scenario is looked at in a hilarious manner. Chaudhary chooses to take those men-women cliches further in this sequel. We can see from the eye-opening trailer, that after the birth of their child, Sid (Farhan Akhtar) can’t understand what it is the child wants when it cries, compared to Trisha (Vidya Balan) who can understand when the child needs milk or feels cold, signifying a problem between males and females. The advice of Ram Kapoor suggests telling a little white lie is not harmful in a relationship, however, the dreaded “Do I look fat in this outfit”, tests the boundaries on male to female answers. The casting of Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan is said to shift the genre from its usual gloom, with cliches being kept to a minimum with the shaadi twist, connecting to the “Men are from Mars, Woman are from Venus” outlook. It can be said, the scenic and beautiful way in which the film is shot will grip the audience into this exciting sequel.
christmas films Mathilde mouchonnat La bûche (Season’s beatings) by Danièle Thompson This could be one Christmas film among so many others. It begins just the same as always: presents, joyful children, lights in the streets, Christmas trees and songs… But, oh wait, is that a funeral scene taking place only two minutes after the opening credits? After her second husband’s funeral, Yvette (Françoise Fabian) plans on spending Christmas with her three daughters from a first wedding. During the preparations, questioning and revelations will be on the menu. This movie is actually slightly different from the other indigestible Christmassy films. It could actually interests you. Yes, you. Holliday Grinch who is sick of all the sentimentality around the festive season that you have to face in every single Winter movie, every single year. It could also interests you. You who don’t really mind the good cheer of this period but who’s just bored of the all “girl who stopped believing in love and hates Christmas finds the man of her dreams on Christmas eve and enjoys the festivities all over again” miracle. For one simple reason: “La bûche” is a noncheesy film about relationships and how complex they are and not about how simple it is to love someone once you’ve met a red nose reindeer. Danielle Thompson subtly uses Christmas as a pretext to provide food for thoughts and the good news is you won’t have to detox afterwards.
Le Père Noël est une ordure (“Santa Claus is filth”) by Jean-Marie Poiré It’s Christmas eve in Paris and everybody is enjoying a nice family dinner in a room full of presents and joy. Well, maybe not everybody. Pierre and Therese, two volunteers at a telephone helpline for lonely people, are both working that night and everything seems to go wrong. Their boss is stuck in the elevator, their weird neighbor is obsessed with giving them odd cakes that includes armpits for the baking, Therese’s pregnant friend Josette and her armed Santa Claus fiancé decide to visit them and Katia, a depressed transvestite, is trying his/her best to get into Pierre’s pants. Not too christmassy, it goes without saying. “Le Père Noël est une ordure” is the type of film that the naughty child inside each of us was expecting for Christmas because it goes beyond the rules of propriety. It’s rude, it’s filthy, it’s absurd, it has absolutely no moral, but most of all, it’s genius. Because the kind of Christmas movie that dare involving shower sex, alcohol, murder, boy to boy action, track races, giraffes and monkeys, is inevitably the best kind.
Dans Paris (“Inside Paris”) by Christophe Honoré Paul is going through a deep depression since he broke up with Anna. He then decides to move back in his old flat for a while with his younger brother, Johnathan, and his divorced father. It will be Christmas soon and all Jonathan wishes for is to go see the Bon Marché’s windows with his older brother; but Paul wants to stay home. The all film is based on a dichotomy between the inside (of the flat) and the outside (the Parisian streets), the dark (Paul) and the light (Jonathan), the new (energy) and the past (reference to 60’s French New Wave), like a perpetual conversation between two opposite life visions. Dans Paris is a movie about family with its strengths and weaknesses and it is no coincidence it’s taking place around Christmas, the perfect time of the year to settle one’s differences. It’s a movie about human relationships and life in general. A movie that doesn’t need any sleigh to get what Christmas is really all about. Christophe Honoré invites us to take a journey through Paris, the French Cinema and the complexity of feelings at the same time, making us realise that the echo of the past is the future’s vibration.
Back Again: Broken Silence The show that breaks all the boundaries (and the silence, of course) is back again and we couldn’t be more excited! With everything from glamour models to rappers, this BritAsia TV show is not for the faint at heart. Onkar Sumal, previously Lightnin MC, is back to host the crazy wild talk show that never holds back. Guests include Notorious Jatt (Heartbreaker number one current single) Sanyya Gardez (Broken Silence Presenter) Raj Hundal, Shanti Dynamite (Adult Industry Star), Zee Ur-
India Tourism on the Up The Ministry of Tourism in India has just launched a brand new interactive website, which they hope will mean that they can attract more tourism to India in the coming year. The website was launched at the World Travel Market (WTM) and is predicted to be a huge hit. The site has a unique interactive walk through simulation of some of the best tourist spots in India, which means users can experience 360-degrees of each and every tourist attraction. The site will also allow users to book, rate and browse hotels and attractions, before actually going on holiday.
New Mobile App: Kaun Banega Crorepati Fancy yourself something of a quiz buff? Have you ever watched KBC and thought you could do better than the contestants on the show? Of course you have! Well now you can test your skills against the app and see whether you have what it takes to win KBC in the comfort of your very own home. The app is packed full with fresh original content and questions which should keep you guessing for hours and hours on end. “The idea is to bring the KBC experience up close and personal, for
banvibes. Sparks will fly when the conversation gets going. The controversial show has gained a large cult following which is likely to continue on in to this next series and will ensure that the ever popular Onkar stays in a job for at least another few months! You can catch Broken Silence on BritAsia TV on 9pm Tuesday nights now or watch the trailer on YouTube. Search “Pretty Short Films” or “Broken Silence” to see the trailer (if you think you can handle it) now!
“This new website is fully interactive and gives travellers all they need from planning a tour to making reservations,” said Mr Parvez Dewan, the Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Tourism. In 2014 the Ministry of Tourism hopes to gain a larger tourism percentage coming and returning to India. Over the next two years they also hope to have a “walking tour” of each and every Indian state, which will add to their already extensive collection of tours which are live right now. To browse around the sights of India whilst sitting in your very own home visit incredibleindia.org and plan your holiday now!
our global audience. Kaun Banega Crorepati is undoubtedly one of the most admired and loved game show on television today.” said Nitesh Kripalani, Executive Vice-President – New Media, Business Development and Digital/Syndication at Sony Entertainment Network. The app itself will be available worldwide and so wherever you are you can try your hand and even make your couch the Hot Seat for a night of fun filled quizzing and enjoyable entertainment! To download the app simply visit your app store or app world and search Kaun Banega Crorpati / KBC to find this great new gaming app.
DJ Suvinder Rattan Tackles the Indian Film Industry From the streets of Manchester comes the latest pioneer in UK Asian Music. Get ready for... DJ Surinder Rattan, the best new DJ you’re about to fall head over heels in love with. From his first track “The Lick” to the later “Tappe”, this DJ is more than just a face he’s the whole package. Having launched many other artists such as Roach Killa, Gary Sandhu, Trix, Joga, and RDB Metx, Surinder has made a name for himself as not only a DJ and a producer but also a industry entrepreneur.
Gippy Grewal Rejects Air India Want to hear something I heard through the BritAsia grapevine? Do you? Of course you do! Well I have some pretty good gossip to share with you this month. Word has it that Gippy Grewal, the Indian singer and actor is actually rejecting Air India recently in saying that he would not fly with them. That’s not very patriotic of him, is it? Gippy rose to fame with his debut hit single “Phulkari” broke a number of records in Punjab and has since starred in films such as “Mel Karade Rabba” and “Jihne Mera Dil Luteya”, for which he received the PTC Best Actor Award.
BritAsia TV to launch new show Ask Amy Have you ever had a question that you wanted to ask a certain celebrity, but didn’t know how? Or have you ever simply wanted to talk about said celebrity? Of course you have! Who hasn’t? Well now you have the chance to do exactly that with BritAsia’s brand spanking new show, “Ask Amy.” The show allows the public to have their say about their favourite British Asian Celebrities and even put questions to them through the very lovely Amy Kaur, one of BritAsia TV’s pre-
To date Surinder has received numerous accolades and awards such as winning the Best Bangra DJ and being nominated at the BritAsia TV Awards in the Best Producer category. His single “Has Has” was No1 on the BritAsia Chart for 2012. The recent release of “Love Ho Gaya” which will be on the soundtrack of Gippy Grewals forthcoming movie “Bhaji In Problem” set for worldwide release sees the talented UK music producer take the Indian film industry by storm with his fresh versatile and unique music production skills. There is just no stopping Surinder... watch this space!
Most recently Gippy starred in “Lucky Di Unlucky Story”, which was released back in April. He is in the upcoming film “Bhaji In Problem” with the likes of Smeep Khang and and Gurpreet Ghuggi. The recent news that Gippy has refused to fly with his home airline will not come as a huge shock to his fans, though it may serve to make him unpopular, something which he really cannot afford at this point in his career!
senters. Amy Kaur then puts the public’s questions to the celebrity in question. So far “Ask Amy” have filmed episodes for such celebrities as Roach Killer and Tru School, both of which are super popular. The show has plans to film a whole series, which will focus on some of the top celebrities known to the Asian community. Keep your eyes peeled for this one and keep checking http://www.britasia.tv for more information about their variety of brand news show. BritAsia TV – Sky Channel 833
Bollywood Duo: Son Aash Aashana Kaur, 18, and Sonalia Kaur, 17, are no ordinary sisters. Together they make up Bollywood dance duo, Son Aash, and have, off the back of that, travelled the globe gigging at corporate events, weddings and even in front of Bollywood stars. The girls’ parents, Sangeetha Singh and Kiishore Singh, have fully supported their dance career, which has taken them to India, Holland, Germany and Ireland amongst other places. Whilst fame may be on the cards for Son Aash, the girls stay grounded with Aashana aspiring to be a barrister and Sonalia wanting to go into medicine. Chic Asian Lifestyle Magazine spoke to Aashana about dance, culture and role models. How did you get into dancing? Is it something you always wanted to do? Well both of us, obviously, got into dancing about age three to four. It was just something my mum spotted. I think we always had a natural flair for the performing side of things. You know we used to put on little shows in our bedroom and act and sing and dance. We used to play Pop Idol. And from there my mum saw something in us. She saw that twinkle and she put us in classes and from there we just kind of excelled. It’s definitely a passion and it’s definitely something I’d want to continue. You’ve been dancing for nearly thirteen years now then. Have you seen a big difference in your dancing from when you first started out? Oh, definitely. We’ve definitely seen a big difference. We started doing traditional and classical dance from the temples of South India. That was not only to get a foundation in dance, but also to stay bound to our cultural roots within such a Western culture. Being away from India and being away from our roots, I think my mum definitely saw it as a way to keep us bound to our roots. So, is that something that’s really important to you then, staying in touch with your cultural roots? We definitely feel that we’d like to stay bound to our roots and we want to know where we originate from , where our mum originated from and how our roots. Each dance has a story about our ancestors and our gods. Each dance tells a story and that’s exactly how we stay in touch with our
culture. It’s how we know our gods and where we originate from. It’s been quite a big learning experience for you both then about your own culture and your family really. Yeah it is, indeed. For both of us it is. Who choreographs each dance? Do you learn specific traditional dances or are they choreographed for you? Well, our classical dance is choreographed by our teacher from India, Deepa Ganesh. She laid our foundation down for the first nine years of our dancing career. And then for the last four years we’ve been with Prajothi Madhusan, who has furthered us in our classical dance and given us variety and diversity in our dance. We definitely owe a lot to them. How often do you have to practice then? It must take up a lot of your free time. With the classical dance I find that we need to practice that every day, because it gives us our strength, our stamina, our posture. It gives us our sync. If we go a day without doing that we feel it. If the next day we were to go and perform Bollywood all of our technique would fail. We have to practise that as often as we can. Of course. Is that quite difficult though? I mean you must be incredibly fit to do that all the time. (Laughs) I’d like to think so. It takes a lot of self-determination, a lot of motivation from your self to keep going, because you’re in a lot of pain when you do it, it’s like a gym workout. It’s like toning up from dance, it’s quite difficult. Who do you aspire to dance wise? Is there anyone you look up to? If I’m going to be honest I have to say that I don’t look up to anyone in the industry. I get my inspiration from my teachers and obviously my mum, but otherwise I don’t really have a role model in the industry, just because I feel like I should be my own role model and set standards and set my goals for myself. It’s just something I’ve always kind of believed in.
So, do you plan to carry on dancing in the future? We absolutely adore the opportunities that we get, but education is a very important thing. Tomorrow I could break my leg and I wouldn’t be able to dance, but education is something that can never be taken away. I’ve always believed that education is important. Has your mum had a very big role in your dancing? Obviously, you mentioned, she was the one who spotted the talent in you girls. She has definitely played a huge role, because she saw potential and pushed us forward. We get the opportunities that we get because of her. Other dancers that we see in the industry might not have the support of their parents and particularly off their mums who might not be happy that they dance. You get to travel all over with this doing shows. Yeah and we find that each show gives us that little but extra that we didn’t have before. It’s always something you dream about. You know, so many people want to do this but the chances of actually doing it are one in a million. And what advice would you give to other people wanting to pursue dancing? I would say follow your own path. I would say don’t let anyone stop you, obviously within reason, because if you feel that you have something in yourself and you want to do something, nothing’s going to stop you. You’re going to be unhappy if you don’t do it, so definitely go for it and seek every opportunity you can get, because it will be rewarding and you will get something out of it, if it’s not fame, if it’s not travelling it’s going to be self-fulfilment.
the padlock party
MummyJi Presents – A Night of Entertainment and Comedy
16th December Drift Bar, London 8pm – 2am, Ticket Price: ranging from £5-£15
8th December 2013 Watford Palace Theatre, Watford 8pm onwards, Ticket Price: £8
Fancy joining 300 other professional singles, in a unique Padlock Party, in which a relaxed and fun atmosphere can be expected. This is your chance to step outside your comfort zone and meet new people, experience different levels of entertainment and banter and even have the chance to enter a prize draw. If you wonder how such a party works, it couldn’t be simpler. Ladies are presented with a padlock and men a key, which in turn fits a selected padlock. Throughout the night, interaction flows with a number of ice-breakers to ensure each guest has a relaxed and fun experience whilst getting to know one another. If a pair manages to unlock a padlock, they are then entered into an amazing prize draw. Throughout the night, the party’s DJ will provide Old School, R n B, Garage, Bollywood, House and Pop so each guest will be overwhelmed with hits to show off their best moves and flaunt their favourite outfit.
This evening is a chance to witness amazing performances and experience comedy that will have you laughing until you cry. Rifco and Watford Palace Theatre, the successful teams behind the prize-winning musical “Britains Got Bhangra” and the dance drama “Break the Floorboards”, bring you this enticing event in which they aim to promote and put spotlight on British Asian Talent. The exciting line up will feature the sweet voice of Hindi singer/songwriter Rekha Sawhney, the unforgettable talents of Shahid Khan who is renowned for his classical raga and ghazal singing, Amerah Saleh, the Midlands based spoken word artist will be performing her ability to weave words, the beatboxing talent of the young, future star Babar Khan will amaze you with his vocal art, Harrow based AK Bollywood Dance will add a sparkle of glamour and elegance and actress Sukh Ojla will have you laughing like you wouldn’t imagine with a comedy performance.
Cardamom Club – The inaugural Charity Dinner and Dance
Oye! Band Bajj Gaya 17th December Slough & Eton School, Slough 7pm – Late, Ticket Prices: £15-£20
15th December Cardamon Club, Derby 7.30pm – 2am, Ticket Price: £45
Director Krishan Tandon and Indo UK Theatre Arts presents this Hindi/Urdu family orientated comic play. The 10 performers will provide moments of unforgettable laughter throughout and a story you will want to tell all your friends about. The play follows the pride of a wife and self-respect of her husband. Lady Vasundhara compares everything in her life in business terms, including that of family members. Everything was going the way she wished until the day those family members chose to object to her. She puts plans into action to make things go to her like, but the family members take the path of negotiation and love, in an attempt to win her heart and avoid a devastating break-up in the family. The nature of this family drama play can be viewed by all ages of family members.
The Cardamon Club is honoured to present our inaugural Charity Dinner and Dance, supporting and in aid of the amazing, Diabetes UK. Guests will be part of a lively and sensational night, in which they can dance the night away with the live entertainment and disco provided. Tantalize your taste buds while you dine at Derby’s Exclusive Indian Fine Dining restaurant. The night will begin with a drinks reception being held at 7.30pm, the fun and entertainment is then endless. Whilst enjoying this spectacular night, know you are helping a great and fulfilling cause as £15 of your ticket price will go to Charity.
Moonlight and Mistletoe Christmas Party
Saverah Fashion Weekend 23rd December Excel, Royal Victoria Dock, London 12pm-8pm, Ticket Price: £18
21st December Studio and Roof Garden, Birmingham 10pm-3am, Ticket Prices: Ranges £15-£25
If you seek inspiration for your latest trends or want to see unique and spectacular designs, the Saverah Fashion Weekend is just for you. It will be held on 23rd and 24th November at the well known Global Peace & Unity Event, Excel, London. On each day of this impressive event, 3 runways will feature, showing pieces from trend setting designers. Expect exclusive insight into the latest fashion at the moment and endless amounts of inspiration to jazz up your wardrobe. Islamic Designers and Fashion houses from the UK and international will reveal pieces from their upcoming collection. You will also have the chance to witness interviews with beauticians, stylists and designers. In order not miss any part of this stunning event, book your seat now to avoid disapointment.
Birmingham’s most glamorous event for professionals presents this festively themed Christmas Party. Come and join us for complimentary mince pies, treats and a number of live sets from well-known DJ’s of today. The night will be full of surprises as you step into the Winter Wonderland, finding mistletoe and endless amount of Christmas treats everywhere you turn. The Studio and Roof Garden is perfectly located in the city centre, offering a chic, modern feel as well as elegance and sophistication for all guests. The Roof Garden will be equipped with a snow machine and outside heaters to keep you warm and comfortable during the cold season, so sitting back and relaxing with your favourite drink will never have felt better. This is a one-off special event, exclusive to Asiana, catering for Birminghams professional community in this perfect venue.
Tribute Concert in the Memory of Dalbir Khanpur Bhujhangy Group
Asiana Presents Christmas Party Weekend in Paris
30th December Tower Ball Room, Birmingham 7.30pm-Late, Ticket Prices: £11.50-22.50
30th November – 1st December Paris, France Ticket Price: £179 (£33.50 deposit)
Bhujhangy Group are the world’s longest running bhangra band, founded in Smethwick, Birminghan in 1967, Dalbir Khanpur Bhujhangy was the senior lead singer of the band. The name of the group came from the public, meaning “kids” as they were still teenagers. The impressive history of the group includes The Queens Silver Jubilee Asian Song Contest in 1977, appearing in the Guinness Book of World Records, receiving an award from the House of Commong and a Lifetime Achievement award. This perfect venue overlooks the reservoir, providing an enjoyable night with friends and family with an ambient atmosphere. You will be overwhelmed with dancing, food and drinks bar and a buffet to cater for whatever you desire. Here you will be able to choose from a selection of beers, wine, spirits and a cocktail of two if you wish. The show is being hosted by Noreen Khan from the BBC Asian Network.
For the 2nd time in 2013, enjoy an unforgettable trip to Paris, this time during the festive season. The ticket price of £179 includes travel on Eurostar, a night in the elegant Marriot Rive Gauche Hotel and entry to the famous and superb Paris Party. Whatever your reason for this trip, be it spending time with a loved one, friends or experiencing the “Fashion Capital of the World” like never before, you will not be disappointed as Paris will impress you with its lively atmosphere and fascinating views. During the day you can choose to relax with French cuisine or do some shopping before visiting the astonishing Eiffel Tower, not forgetting to visit some of Paris’ rare galleries. After you have finished exploring, make sure you have enough energy for the huge Asiana Christmas Party, in which you will be involved in endless moments of fun, appreciating the real magic Paris has to offer. There is a limited amount of availability for this trip and a deposit of £33.50 will be needed to reserve your place. Do not miss out on this magical experience.
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