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fashion Contributors>Melissa Rushworth, Camilla Sampson, Kat Jones, Hannah Brill

Arts Contributors> lmogen Steinberg, Carmina Masoliver-Marlow, Harriet Jones, Stephen Pester, Charlotte Letorgne

Creative Writing Contributors> Ello Chappell, James Sykes, Sula Deane, Carmina Masoliver, Rabert van Egghen

Television Contributors> Laura Stevens, Phil Turtle, Michoel Lovelock, Helen Eaton, No folie Stephenson, Kale Alien, Moll Tidby

Wired Contributors>Faye Fullalove, William Moron, Joson Parr·Morley, Voughn Highheld

Music Contributors>Hana Lockier, Sean Purdy, Beth Wyatl, Ellie Kumar, James Woodward, Kale Hinksman, Abigail Hooper, Peter Walker, Tom Mclnnes, Ant Firth-Ciark, Alex Throssell

Film Contributors> Grace Curruthers, George Gilbert, Anna Eastick, James Coli ins, Helen Jones, Emily Janes, Lorna Pontefract, Vimbai Mukwenha, Beth Davison, Emily Baler, Katy Quigley

Comedy (ontributors>Paloma J.acquin, Christian Pierre, Laurence Bourn, Natasho Smirnov

Listings Contributors> Ion Hobbs

Competitrons Contributors> Henry Croft

ree ncrete'~ Exquisite itoria Bea~~Jties© stn a uu::.t:l• mid scores of happy revellers at the first annual Media ball any thanks to Daniella Hadley and Perdita Fearon fo rganising such a fantastic evening, and for everyone fro oncrete, Livewire 1350 and Livewire TV o came!


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0 7 DEC1DI ISSUE 249

FASHION concrete.fashion@uea.ac.uk

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THE FASHIONABLY FESTIVE IssuE As we have finally hit December and everything is sprinkled w ith snow, this issue will definitely get you excited about the Christmas seaso n. Check out the fashion sense of the Concrete and Venue Ed itors as we snapped them at the Christmas Media Ball. Get inspiration for your Christmas shopp ing by Fashion Editor Kat Jones . Deputy Fashion Editor Hannah Britt says farewell to 2010 and our fashion writers look ahead to 2011. Don't forget to post your letter to Father Christmas! Merry Christmas to one and all.

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FASHION EDITOR's CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE Here I give you ideas for what to buy that special someone, your best friends, your family or to add on to your own wish list . Happy Holidays Everyonel

3.Penthaligon's Scents, for Men and Women, a luxury London brand that will make you or a loved one feel extra special. Ideal for fashionable fathers and brothers too. «Satorial for Men £50 Artemisia for Women £85»

1. They're clogs, they're boots, they have fur. They tick all the boxe s and at a great price; £55 from Next. A fabulous buy' for a sister, friend, cousin, oh heck just treat yourself. 2.Luella's Guide to English Fashion £20 Waterstones, for any English rose in the making.

4.Spoil your mum or your man, at Thomas Sabo with unique charms and jewellery that anyone will love; sheriff style guns, converse and eagles for men and diamond hearts, childhood favourites and vintage fashion for women.


0 7 DEC10

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ISSUE

DEAR

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A LooK BAcK AT 201 0

fATHER CHRISTMAS ••• I have been a reaUy good boy this year. I a keeping fit by cycling to uni every day, I a being organised and prepared for all m work; a pen is alii need, and I have learne to balance my time, yes the dissertatio needs writing but a pint in hand down th pub, playing pool with mates, another hal an hour won't hurt. If you could drop thes round on Christmas eve for me: 1.Graduate Slacker hoody £6o plainlazy. com, a new variant of my staple wardrobe

As 2010 draws to a close, it seems fitting to indulge in a spot of cosy nostalgia . And by that, I mean looking back over the last year in fashion, judging harshly and poking fun at some of the weird and wonderful creations in which we adorned ourselves. The year started well, in a flutter of angelic floral tea dresses . Very nice . However, as we end our year in a debauched mash-up of leopard print and velvet one cannot help but wonder what happened along the way ... This year has certainly been a journey. Yes, yes, I know that is a cliche but I am going to roll with it. And, as with any journey into uncharted fashion territory, there have been a few potholes and rabbit road kills along the way. The first thing to get caught up in fashion's eighteen wheeler truck were harem pants. The ill-fitting ones . The ones which clung and constrained your love handles and calves, but then hung like an old man's jowel around your crotch. Not flattering. You looked as if you had soiled yourself. And soiling yourself is not fashionable . Following in the same vein were jumpsuits. They looked like an oversized babygro. If you had a longer than average torso, your jumpsuit will have given you a wedgie. Or worse, camel toe - fashion's dirtiest sin . My mother wore one in the late 198o's when she was pregnant. She couldn't see her camel toe through her bump so she didn't care. Ignorance was bliss.

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............-~--·CHRISTMAS ••• I have been an angel this year. I have handed all my work in on time; I may have pulled an all-nighter in the library once or twice but on time is on time, learnt the value of money; fashion over food wins every time and I am always kind to others and interested in their lives; ahh the wonders of Facebook so pretty please can I put in a small request for:

1.How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World by Jordan Christy £12 .99 for Fashion know-how.

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2.Liberty Print suitcase £6o perfect for toing and fro-ing between uni and

2.The Black Tie Watch £3700 Dunhill, for uber-slick time keep ing.

3.Jo.Malone Pomegranate Noir Body Creme £48 to feel like a goddess I strive to be.

3.Comical Tees, from £20 awesome range at David and Goliath

4.Ciinique Expert Shave Set £27 Boots, hey I'm a modern man these da)£5.

s.Giobe Trotter Antique style MP3 docks £195 3ryan.com Music needs to look good too. KatJones 2011 is the year of the .. .bowler hat? Wearing heels in the day? Crawling out of comfort corner? As a freelance fashion writer for a number of London magazines you'd think I'd make an effort with my everyday attire . However, note the word 'freelance' and the fact that during the rest of the time I am very much a student. Comfort is the key word of student apparel, especially when it's this cold. Yet for 2011 I plan to embrace eclectic style for class and move away from my typical look of leggings and loose tees, or at least play around with it a little more. I've already done the drastic change in hair colour, so my ex-

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a: Next to be ground up under the fashion truck were bra tops. The tops which were a bra, with an extra bit of fabric (or on the worst offenders, elastic) attached to the bottom . lt was a top, right?Wrong .You just left the house in your underwear. I do not mean to write them off completely, because on the right person, teamed with something more demure on the bottom, they sometimes looked cute . Nudity in moderation please ladies. Worn in the wrong way, however, you looked like Chloe Mafia . Finally, one for the boys. Those deep necked tops favoured by the JLS boys. The "extreme v-neck". JLS can pull it off, sort of. But if I ever see another pale, blemished pigeon chest exposed by a dangerously low necked tee, I am going to vomit . They are fashion's limbo pole . How low can they go? No further please . So as 2010 rolls to a close, we look forward to what the fashion pack has to offer us in 2011. Which trend will drive us into a fashion frenzy? What fad will make us look like we crashed headfirst into a brick wall? 1, for one, am excited to find out. Hannah Britt

perimentation will be very clothes HATS OFF based . I'll be trialling wearing heels (I'm talking proper heels) all day TO - I've done it before so I can do it again, right/To mix my look up a bit Our fashion writers I'll also try out some niche trends; look ahead to the joys of the New such as leather-effect leggings, and year. the bowler hat! The latter scares me a little but I've found so many good examples I'm determined to make it work. Finally I may pull some slightly more graphic tees into the equation, usually opting for plain, as well as a variety of shades, textures and patterns in the tight department! See you in 2011 for a style challenge or two ... Camilla Sampson

2011

The ultimate fresh start that everyone embraces each and every January 1st The New Year! Dressed to impress in our gladrags, camouflaging that dreaded Christmas weight, and teetering out of 2010 in our sky high heels, everyone from the most ambitious to the downright lazy makes some form of resolu tion . Aside from the age old pledge to lose 10 pounds, this time around I'm dedicating my resolutions to style and confidence - it's all about me! The horror at the idea of turning twenteen has finally convinced me that I need to embrace my youth, let go of my inhibitions and finally wear things that I'll no longer get away with in ten years time. In the past I've always erred on the side of eau-

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4.Starbucks Christmas gift card; who can resist the Gingerbread Latte in this weather.

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z s.Anna Sui Embellished Dress £870 Net-a -Porter, dazzling Christmas party attire. KatJones tion, not too short, not too glammed up, not too outrageous ... But the phrase, 'If you've got it, flaunt it' doesn't just apply to your figure but to fashion too! If you have style, then why be afraid to push it to the limits just because of a few raised eyebrows. I always love going to London because I can wear whatever I want and no one bats and eyelid, but should I tone my style down just because we live in Norfolk, land of the farmers7 I a;, finally going to have the boobs, brains and balls to wear exactly whatever I god damn want, no matter how many people stare - yes, I am wearing heels during the daytime and you know what? I look fabulous!

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ARTS

ARTS>WINTER EVENTS THEATRE>THEATRE RovAL>GLYNDEBOURNE OPERA

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r- Last month the Glyndebourne Opera Company's national tour came to Norwich _j with performances of several classic and popular operas. La Cenerento/a - first performed at the Teatro V alie, Rome in l8l7 -visited Norwich Theatre Royal this Autumn > to a renowned crescendo and what seemed ~ like an endless stand ing ovation. ~ Amongst the many dedicated opera 0 fans with posh frocks, ties and suits chitterU chattering excitedly as the orchestra began to assemble, it's easy to feel out of place as a student, arriving a little late with scruffy ::!: hair, baggy trousers and a bottle of Summer _j Fruits Oasis in your hand. As a firsttime opera lL attendee it isn't hard to assume they are long, boring and confusing performances where singing could potentially become irritating, and romance just that bit too overdramatic. u it's a common student consensus that the opera is for the middle classes or the eld erly~ quite simply a gig or a Chinese takeaway can :L be seen as irresistible in contrast. However, this reporter was pleasantly surprised by what Glyndebourne had to offer and left pretty impressed, so much so as to 0 be contemp lating seeing another (although w a: perhaps dressing a little smarter next time). Having spoken to a couple of audience 3 members in the interval, it became clear that opera is an art form where one wi ll often return to. A lady in part icu lar spoke of her > husband's vocation in an opera house back r- in his youth, where he wou ld often watch the performances back stage . Yet after a lifetime of performances he continues to be an avid fan of opera, though now on the other side Ul

of the curtain. "He still loves the shows. We come often to see them, in fact, I'm not sure we'll ever tire from them". Rossini's La Cenerento/a tells the fairy tale of Cinderella, but not exactly as we know it from any pantomime or Disney version. There is a hint of cruelty (perhaps realism) in the way the tale is told, but also a certain warmth and humour with which it is impossible not to appreciate. As Allyson McHardy (Canadian mezzo-soprano and La Cenerento/a character) states, "The production gives us a fairy tale, but these are real people having a real experience" The quality of vocals were predictably outstanding and the characterisation was also brilliant. In particular La Cenerentola's feisty and funny alcoholic father (Don Magnifico, played by Jonathan Veira) was one of whom I felt convincing, comic and engaging. Favourably, La Cenerentola was easy to understand and accessib le for all. Although sung in Italian, the subtitles were easy to follow and proved well JUxtaposed with the action on stage, so there was time to read what was happen ing while appreciating the visuals. Overall the performance proved passionate, humorous and enjoyable and made a lovely evening out. Harriet Jones The ·last of Oaudio Monteverdi's ·operas ·The Coronation of Poppea concerns real rather than imaginary events, centering on the eponymous character's rise from Nero's mistress to Empress of Rome - via the death of Seneca and the ex il e of Nero's wife

Ottavia. The opera opens suprisingly, with Fortuna (in a stunning gold lame costume) and Virtue dressed as a nun engaging in a scuffle over a seat in the stalls. They debate their relative qualities before being interrupted by A more, who claims supremacy over both in a traditionally extravagant operatic style. We are taken on a journey where the progress of Poppea becomes clear, beginning with the moment that Nero has rejected his wife Ottavia and taken Poppea as his mistress. We see the coup le first in bed, which is returned to throughout the production, spelling out the intense relationship between Nero and Poppea. The opera then follows in subsequent acts with Poppea's reje ction of her previous lover Ottone, and her eventual installation as Nero's wife and Empress. In the crazy world of opera Nero is sung by a female soprano Lucia Curillo (the original would have been a castrato) and this has an interesting but no less impress ive effect on the performance.

If you can get past the fact that both leads are female although one is pretending to be a man, then the opera makes an enjoyable evening performance. The singing was tremendous throughout apart from Ottone (Christopher Ainslie) whose voice wasperhaps lacked the force necessary for this stage and his role. However, Seneca (sung by Paolo Battaglia), in contrast was electrifying. The minimal staging and modern, very beautiful costumes set the scene for a great evening and it is a tribute to Glyndebourne that they also managed to stage a comp letely believable murder in a bath full of water with barely a drop of water spilt' The production was clearly a huge success given the enthusiastic respon se from the audience at the fin al curtain, and this reporter certainly agrees that despite some minor flaws the performance is deserving of such praise. lmogen Steinberg

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Luke Wright is as clo se as you can get to a celebrity in the world of poetry, and when one sees him walk around, it can be easy to assume he is something of a moving statue of bravado and one-liners. At his recent show ent itl ed The Petty Concerns of Luke Wright, he introduced Tim Clare as a warm-up act and told the audience he feared he wi ll be up-staged by the support. Ha v ing see n Clare at Word of Mouth recently, he pretty much made the crowd fall in love with h im. However, this time he was noted as sli ghtly les s impre ss ive so perhaps thi s was an attempt to place Wright on top. After a break, W right appeared again , heading over to a nearby laptop to fidd le w ith leads as h is computerised introd ucti on was so undl ess. He went on to descr ib e t hi s show as an exp loration of "ego, ambit ion and humility." T he statue

was about to show his cracks. The show began with a familiar tale of his skinny jean days, kicking off the telling of his journey to success and wanting to be a 'star.' Mixing in comedic anecdotes wit h sympathetic story-telling and , of course, the poetry. He comments on the MySpace fame culture with Thanx 4 the Ad; the importance of Manchester mentor Mr. Blank; and his own failures and frustrations with self in Luke's Got a Joke. There are enough jokes to keep you laughing, yet still poignant moments of beauty and vu lnerabi lity, for example, as he tells the audience of fello w performance poet David J asking him "what you trying to forget7" T he even in g progresse s like a scra p book w ith phot og rap hs on the backdrop, alongside comments found Goog ling him se lf; he revea ls "under the chipped nai l

varnish of my life, were the same bitten fingernails." In an attempt to grow-up, with a wife and baby on board, we get Mondeo Man and a recital of a section of Philip Larkin's Oockery & Son. Wright concludes that you can't change who you are, but maybe you can d il ute it, asking the audience to Raise a Glass with the final poem. Perhap s the best way to judge a performance of poetry is whether, w hen lying in bed , about to close your eyes, you reach for the phone and type in lines of your own attempts at poetry. Whether that happens, well, you'll just ha ve to see for yourself.

Carmina Masoliver-Marlow


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THEATRE>路THEATRE RovAL>CHESS Originally opening in ~986, Chess is ostensibly a musical which follows the rivalry of two men competing not only for the title of World Chess Champion but also for the heart of the same woman . However, this plot is also a facade masking the underlying issues of the international relations between America and Russia during the Cold War period . Written by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, there is a clear ABBA influence in many of the songs and even a comic cameo from one of their hits. In addition to the strong score are lyrics by the iconic Tim Rice, creator of some of the best known musicals of all time . The love interest, Florence, is brilliantly portrayed by Shona White of Wicked, The Rocky Horror Show, and Mamma Mia . Playing the American competitor is James Fox, whose vocal talents have taken him from representing the UK in the Eurovision song contest to conquering the West End and Broadway. His Russian opponent, Anatoly, is played by Daniel Koek whose impressive vocal range stole the show. The show begins in Merano, Italy, and moves to Bangkok, Thailand, in the

second act. lt is narrated by the arbiter (David Erik), who appears to control all the actor-musicians, who wear innovatively designed, chess-piece inspired costumes by Christopher Woods . Woods is also responsible for the set design, which rema ins constant and relatively simple in order to allow the narrative to take centre stage . However, the moving video wall and the light box in the centre of the stage cleverly convey the rectilinear movements made by chess pieces. These chess-like movements are further emphasised through the original choreography by Craig Revel Horwood (famous choreographer and judge on Strictly Come Dancing) . His direction places the political metaphor of the show in the background while the audience focuses more on the relationships of characters. The beginning of Act Two, showing us a western idea of Bangkok, breaks the black and white colour scheme with elaborate gold costumes . The risque performance introduces the new setting of a seedy part of the city. However, Horwood's choreography has been toned down since the start of the

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tour because of its more adult content. This choreography, combined with the lighting design, reminds the audience of the play's '8os setting . Whilst Chess' Cold War theme is still prominent in world history, the show's softer love story is able to come to the foreground in this contemporary perform anee. Although occasionally let down by

inarticulacy during the faster ensemb les, Chess impresses with its intriguingly complex

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You might not think it possible to perform ~7 plays in only 3 nights. Some UEA Drama students have proved otherwise; the Shorts production from Minotaur Theatre Company has done just that . The ~7 shorts have been written and performed by UEA Drama students, and as you might expect, one of the greatest strengths of the plays is their originality. Away from limitations of more conventional theatre - itself a more adventurous genre of expression as compared to other mediums such as film the imagination of the students can really show itself. This imagination takes the plays in markedly different directions, evidenced in just the first night of performances, which Concrete attended . Magic at Midnight by Natalie Lester has a love triangle between the main characters, and comedy ensues,

with drama sprinkled in, up until the 'aww' ending . By contrast Obsession by Emma Macklusky is a dark look into the origins of psychological disorders, explored through character monologues accompanied by mimes representing their inner thoughts and feelings. Having watched Ellipsis by Joe Wright all the way through, the central meaning of this play - about a man shut in a room alone, with a typewriter - is still not entirely clear, but that's not a bad thing . The existential-esque theme of this short was carried on by Getting On by Marianka Swain, where two people are convinced they are in two different locations - as it turns out, neither of them is right. Notable mention, however, goes to the musical about vegetab les, Veg Side Story by Ellie Scarfe. A good wallop sil lier than anything else on the first night, it puts familiar character archetypes, such as the quarrelling brothers, and turns them into vegetables . Literally. Away fmm limitations of more conventional theatre - itself a more adventurous genre of expression as compared to other mediums such as film the imagination of the students can really show itself. The acting of the production was, on the whole, very good . At times, especially when a silent performance was demanded of the actors, it showed some weaknesses as a result of the more demanding style. However on the whole the acting pulled together very well crafted plays, and showed, with excellent costumes and sets, the originality of UEA students at its finest. Stephen Pester

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0 7 DEC10

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ISSUE

249

The Beach at Night

That Space Between

"... who built/So spacious, and his Line strecht out so far;/ That Man may know he dwells

The crunch of mandibles on bone. The lengthening shadow of hell at the foot of your bed. The most beautiful girl, the most handsome guy Walking out on you in a bla ze of accusation and disap point ment. A knife in you r back at th e hand of your olde st friend .

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From the dunes to the shore his eyes adjust alm ost im mediately. Blackness blinks li ke a negat ive an d co llects into impressions of li ght. A sheet of glass slid es silentl y over th e san d, cut harshly at the edges, transparency betraying its crystal interior. Sea: I saw lig ht nin g hit the sand near here. lt was a bloo dl ess wound, a scar gristled around a puck of ichor. He stands w ith a girl, not his girl, t he wro ng girl. Dark figures static amongst wind an d waves. The tide is quiet now, and fragile . Sea: I've looked the moon in the face for as long as forever, now. But she st ill has a sway over me. Lunacy!

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Sea: Of course not. You know she's just the replacement. Walking in the dark is like breathing. He feels like he should go on forever, unmarked. But sometimes it gets easily quickened, gathering sa lt in the creases, crystallising between the veins. Four footfal ls plunged and erased.

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Is everyone drawn to the coast so compulsively at a time like this? Like when he used to imagine the chalk doors of home from the shores of France . At least this way he can look at the horizon and know he's facing towards her. IJ.. Sea: But you cou ld look the other way and if you go far enough you'd get to her anyway. A boot stamp into retreating shards. 0 Boat lights teeter on the horizon. Sea: I am old. This t ime between you and her is a grain of sand. (I) ::>, To evaporate. He would give anything to evaporate, bi llow, and hurricane across the ~ earth. To rain down into her every pore , stream through her hair.

The sunrise at da wn as it sp lashes over the lake. The most bea utiful gi rl, the most hand so me guy Wal kin g in, taking th at seat beside you. An eternal ni ght in the pu b with every fr iend you ever made, And I mean the real ones- the ones who rea ll y mattered. Where is that space between 7 What is it we do- eyes closed, thru st into some place else The brai n serves you up al l these things you didn't eve n order, No charge- only that you must live through them, Watch as your dreams and nightmares are played out be fore your eyes. A cinema insid e, a movie made just for you. And whatever it is, whatever happens, you watch, and watch James Sykes

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Why did God make the world so big 7

Dream Thoughts trickle down the wal ls of my mind, Co ll apsing in to stagnant water. Striking collisions play a painful discord. The weak are filtered, The strong, mollified. Unti l the moon settles them under her starry blanket, Inviting her co lourful images to weave around their rigid boundaries .

Sea: So you wouldn't forget him. 0

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With the band of the Salvation Army and Gospel Choir led by Chaplain, Revd. D Come and join us singing traditional _ follo\\red by a glass of mulled

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07 0EC10 ISSUE 249

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THIS ISSUE, WE DECIDED TO TURN AN EYE TO NORWICH's BURGEONING LIVE LITERATURE SCENE •••• {I) (.!)

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ROBERT VAN EGG HEN

met with Luke Wright and John Os borne, two members of Aisle 16, to discuss the group's ten years at the top of performance scene ..... . >

Ten years ago, some UEA students decided to put on a poetry night in a room above a Norwich city centre pub . lt proved the launch pad for an unparalleled level of success and creativity that has firmly pushed Norwich further up the literary ran kings for both poetry and prose. Since then ·its members have expanded to seven, all UEA graduates and are acknowledged as "highlights of the spoken word scene" by The Sunday Times. Why set up a poetry performance collective? Luke: Well at first, it was more of a club where we would be able to do our stuff without being sneered at by some of the more traditional poetry elements . lt was never the plan for us to become this freewheeling band of poets . We would go on before bands and get bottled off. But in 2002, we took ourselves to Edinburgh and started calling ourselves Aisle16 and it just grew from there . What were the early shows like ?Were they well-attended or was it the proverbial two men and their dog? John : We had the benefit of being in the Creative Writing society so we could just go out and say "look here we are, this is what we do". We already had that ready -made audience there so it was just a case of getting out there and doing our stuff. Do you think there is a distinction between performance poetry and written poetry? John : Only to people who read or watch lots of poetry. Most people who come to watch Aisle16 come because it's funny and it takes them on a journey. They don't come and think "well this isn't really poetry". Luke: Obviously some things work better on the page, some things work better in performance - there's no denying that. For me, the best poetry works on the page and in performance . I like poetry which gets me in the gut but it doesn't have to be cheap, it needs that immediacy. But then Lark in does that- and he reads well on the page!

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You performed at Latitude and it's been said that "poetry is th.e new rock and roll". Do you think that's true? Luke: That was just a phrase put about by the Poetry Society in 1997 to try and make poetry seem cool. They put up a list of 20 rock and roll poets, the most rock and roll of which are Simon Armitage and Carol Ann Duffy. I think Armitage was pretty pleased with that . So it was a phrase which followed poetry around but no, of course it's not. John : For one thing, rock and roll is better. Luke: I did an interview where they asked me if poetry was the new hip-"hop. it's just one element of it. Talking of hip-hop, do you think that what you do makes poetry more relevant, more contemporary? John : I think so. Watching poetry, it is the contemporariness, the pop-culture references, which I enjoy. Luke: I think it takes less to train an audience to listen to poetry than it is to read . lt takes time to learn to read those nuances of voice, the subtlety of it. With a performer, you can see all those nuances right there on stage. Poets like Luke Kennard, I prefer them in performance. I read his poems and think I can't wait to hear him read that . I think that's the definition of good poetry.

CONFESSIONS OF A PERFORMANCE POET lt was four years ago that I went to my first poetry 'open mic' at Battersea Arts Centre run by Apples and Snakes; the leading organisation for performance poetry in the U K. My only experience of performance poetry at this stage was the AOA Anthology event with poets such as Benjamin Zephaniah, John Agard, and current poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy. I had never thought about performing my own work but a friend insisted I go along . Performers read from behind a bar that was closed for business. Most people who have met me would often describe me as shy, and although I remember being nervous this first time, from the moment I took the microphone, I became addicted . Second to writing poetry, reading poetry to an audience seems like the most natural thing in the world . I couldn't explain why I do either of these activities, other than I can't not do them . Some people don't understand why anyone

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You mention the funny and that's often the stereotype of performance poetry- that it's stand-up comedy which rhymes. Do you incorporate elements of stand-up into your performances? John: (laughs) Well I don't think I do any stand -up in my performances. Luke: But you are very amusing and I think that's the key. I do talk in between my poems but I don't consider it stand-up. I think it allows me tonally to do something very interesting . it's more of 'An Evening with .... '. I think of us more as being raconteurs. John: If anyone described us as raconteurs in a review, I'd be delighted .

would write poetry, but I don't understand why everyone isn't doing it. I spent a lot of time going to Farrago events, where I have been given featured slots, despite never winning the 'slams' held there . At my first featured performance, Scroobius Pip took part in the slam, and he sent me a MySpace message saying he enjoyed my set (which I also won a Zoo Award for) . Since these early days, I have performed featured sets at events in London and Norwich, including support slots for Francesca Beard and Kate Tempest. At UEA I have also organised a couple of events in the Hive as part of LitSoc. I enjoy Norwich's clubs as much as anyone, but nothing can compare to the buzz of live literature; so if you've never been, get inspired, go and see some poetry! Carmina Masoliver

Creative Writing Events Tuesday December 7th (.!)

Hisham Ma tar in conversation with Prof. Chris Bigsby- The author of the Man Booker shortlisted novel/n the Country o Men, will be visiting the University Qn Tuesday 7 December. Supported by the Booker Prize Foondation, the book was sent to all new University of East Anglia undergraduate and postgraduate students in an international initiative aimed at encouraging students to read contemporary fiction . This event takes place at 6.30 in the Thomas Paine Study Centre lecture theatre . The event is free but you can register your interest in advance by emailing literaryevents@uea.ac.uk .

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Wednesday December 8th Bare Feet Records Cabaret at The Birdcage - Featuring ffi poetry, spoken word and music from a variety of talented 1acts across the Norwich scene. From 7:3opm at The a: Birdcage, 23 Pottergate, Norwich . <(

Monday December 13th

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I present the ir final Open Mic of the year from 7=30pm in (I) the Grad Bar, upstairs from the Hive . Come along for some <! festive fun and feel free to dress fe stively' u..


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PRIMETIME - PEEP SHOW CHANNEL

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Terry Wogan. So much of our nationa l sense of humour is based on the concept of mental self-flagel lation , and Peep Show blossoms forth from this nationwide neurosis. Starring nerd-hero David Mitchell and hi s comedy partner Robert Webb as Mark and Jeremy, a pair of social ly inept thirtyso mething s, the show tracks the loves, losses and low points of their turbulent 21st century li ves. Now back for its seventh Series, both continuity and change are afoot for the trouble some twosome; Mark (Mitchel l) is coming to terms with becoming a father for the first time, whi lst Jeremy (Webb) continues on his hopeless hunt for sexua l and musical fulfilment .

PeepShow's strength as a sitcom doesn't simp ly lie in its outrageous situations, but in its unique use of POV camerawork and Mark and Jeremy's internal thoug ht monologues, vo ice-ove rs all owing us access to the characte rs' darkest and most private of thoughts. Both add a sense of personality and new la yers of humour to the show, and the monologues open up a whole spectrum of potentia l for fresh, engaging laughs, commonly at the expe nse of the dignity of the lead characters. lt provides a style of comedy that its fan s simply cannot get elsewhere on TV. Rejoice then, that Peep Show seems to be hanging around for the foreseeab le future, with its seventh series making it the longest running sitcom in Channel 4's history. An honour well deserved . Matt Tidby

Available on 40d and iTunes There is no denying that The Daily Show is a cult hit; this satirical news show found on Comedy Centra l in the US recently drew over 2oo,ooo peop le to its mock political rally. Even though it's joked that the core audience is made up of students and stoners, Jon Stewart in particu lar has become someone referenced and taken seriously by real news pundits. The show not only covers ludicrous things happen ing in cu rrent news, but also the hypocritica l behaviour of politicians and the biased coverage of the news stations that they parody. Not to give the wrong impression, though, it is light-hearted and sometimes far from mature with silly gags, puns and mock interviews, but the implications of th ese things are often rather.

One specific target for the show is the American channel Fox, owned by Rupert Murdoch that has uber-conservative Republican views, shown clearly through the m isrepresentation (and manipu lation !) of stories and political happenings, that its presenters and pundits give. You could say that Stewart is a kind of a watchdog for the media. On top of it all , The Daily Show is also a commercia l launching pad. lt gave Steve Carre ll, Rob Corrdry and Ed Helms their careers, and Steven Co lbert a mock-conservati ve spin-off show of his own. Stewart also interviews celebrities, politicians and academics on his show, giving a mix of faces you may or may not know. it's safe to say that if Barack Obama has been on the show more than once, it's an important place to be. Natalie Stephe nson

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THE OFFICE

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The Office box set consists of two series and two Christmas specials. lt follows tlie everyday lives of manager David Brent and his workers in Slough based company 'Wernham Hogg'. The combination of relatable characters and true to life dialogue with a 'mockumentary' filming style makes a welcome change from your typical sitcom. Though you will probably spend a lot of time screaming at Brent's screen antics, he's somehow incredibly difficult to hate. Venue can only put this down to Gervais and Merchants writing, they

take potentially two dimensional comedy characters and give them vulnerability. Venue can guarantee after just a few episodes you won't be able to stop watching; joining in on sneaky jokes against Gareth, or yearning desperately for receptionist Dawn to admit her love for co-workerTim. it's sharp, witty, and in some places just painfully cringe-worthy. What defines The Office above all of this, is its undeniable heart. Laura Stevens

GossiP GIRL

Go on, go on, go on, give the FatherTed box set a go! Initially, the premise of three priests and their housekeeper on a remote Irish island may not sound all that appealing .. Yet look at the characters and you find Ted, the well meaning priest; Dougal, his gormless companion; and the persistently drunk Father Jack and their ever present housekeeper Mrs Doyle. Who would have thought repeating two words in succession could bring such humour! Only three seasons were ever produced, ensuring that there is never

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a feeling that the show has outlasted its welcome. The humour is largely based on the absurd situations the characters find :;r themselves in, not least the extended _J Christmas special, which includes Ted u_ leading a group of 'lost' priests out of a lingerie department, as well as him receiving his 'Golden Cleric' award . Generally, it is inoffensive humour o that won't fail to raise a SIT'ile or two come Christmas Day! PhiiTurtle

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Gossip Girl, the stateside phenomenon that took the UK by storm when it aired three years ago . lt is one of the most satisfyingly decadent guilty pleasures to hit TV screens in recent years. The show centres around the dramatic and duplicitous shenanigans of a group of rich and ridiculously beautiful young people in New York City, including Queen Bee Blair; party-girl Serena; hunky Nate and nymphomaniac billionaire Chuck, watched over by Gossip Girl herself, an anonymous narrator who records their

every move on a scathing website. In fact, so much has happened in the show's four seasons that the DVD box sets provide the perfect excuse to escape into the glamorous world of the Upper East Side. Why not relive the bitching, sex tapes, affairs, gorgeous designer fashions, cameos from a plethora of celebrities and even performances from the likes of Robyn and Lady Gaga, over and over again? Michael Lovelock

After a day of frantically opening presents and stuffing faces with ridiculous amounts of turkey and all the trimmings, all anyone wants to do is have somE cood quality 'family time'. However, there are many people who would rather do anything but sit around and play board games Nhile making idol conversation; it is for these people that 24 is the perfect gift. The recent release of the eighth series on DVD provides the final TV outing for the day-in-the-life of Jack Bauer and, although

CTU might have moved location at the end of the sixth series, 24 still has all the classic elements which make it as addictive as ever. While, for once1 Kim manages to last without being kidnapped and most of the original characters have been killed off, Kiefer Sutherland delivers an incredibly intense performance to ensure that the series does not dwindle before its ending. Helen Eaton

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SPACED Buy the box set of cult classic Spaced and you'll be initiated into a special world, one that will change the way you see BacoFoil forever. Based around the simple problem of two strangers who can't find a decent flat alone, Tim (Simon Pegg) and Daisy (Jessica Stevenson) pretend to be a 'professional couple' to rent a flat off Marsha . Marsha happens to like drinking in the morning and has a thing for Brian, the tortured artist who lives downstairs.

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Every episode is a joy to behold, with witty one liners and pop references galore, you'll feel smugly satisfied once you've recognised all the films each episode is styled after. Even though it was only two seasons long, Spaced always feels new and fresh every time you watch it. lt is extremely relevant to any twenty-something's living together and well worth buying on box set, just make sure you get some Jaffa Cakes in ! KateAIIen

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bo nus st ars for long streaks and a hig her mu ltip li er, and even the abi lity to 'resurrect ' yourse lf if you fai l on a song. The Quest mode is of a sat isfying length and also allows you to change difficulty throughout, something other GH titles don't allow. This has prev1ously caused major frustration when there IS one song near the end you cannot complete on hard 1 The Quickplay option has also had an overhaul, whereby

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can see how far you are throug h a song while playing, which is usefu l for working out whether you are going to manage to get your five stars on a song or notl The soundtrack is very varied, with heavy metal (Rammstein, Dillinger Escape Plan, Avenged Sevenfold) through to pop punk (My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Nickel back), which can be seen as a pos1t1ve (a n1ce range) or negat1ve (unfocused and

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The market for rhythm action games exploded aro und five years ago with the re lease of the first Guitar Hero game and, since the n, has bee n flooded with games from both t he previous GH team Harmonix (who now make t he Rock Band series) and t he current deve lope rs Neversoft. Many cr iti cs may argue that t he market is now oversaturated and nothing new is be ing adde d; however, wit h t he re lease of Rock Band 3 , we saw the addition of a keytar and t he prom ise of a rea listic guitar con troll er that can act uall y t each people how to play. Warriors of Rock does not qu1te bnng the excitement of new instruments or re-invent t he genre, however, it does offer a lot more than some of t he previous t1tles. Th e maj or new addition is the oneplaye r main mode that, instead, of be ing in t he form of a ca reer, is now a 'Quest'. The basic sto ry is th at t he 'warriors' (a ll your old favourite roc kers from other GH games) have to j oin t ogether to save rock music using the ir powe rs, w hic h include gaining

silly cut scenes that you cannot skip and has a w ho le (a lbeit not t hat long) chapter devoted to Rush that is not going to be to everyone's t aste. it is also probab ly not the game to start with if you are new to wielding a plast1c guitar, as many of the song challenges are d1fficult and have to be completed on expert 111 order to earn the highest grade. Some of the songs included are also relatively unknown and pointlessly difficult and th1s can make the Quest a chore to finish. The game offers you the chance to play as a band or by yourself on not just guitar but also bass, drums and as a vocal1st (Bohemian Rhap sody anyone 7 ) , and there is downloadable content available as well as the option to export songs from other GH games into the so ng library Like all games in this genre, 1t IS great for casual and party play, and, depending on your opinion of the setlist, a valuable game to add to your co ll ection if you are a fan of rhyt hm act ion. Faye Fu llalove

now there are song specific challenges you can complete, such as getting a high score, a large streak or even hitting a certain number of blue not es. There is also a rank syst em that you can work your way up by co ll ecting stars from the song cha llenges, w hi ch un locks more venues, character and other content. Another minor feature, but one that is much apprec1ated is that you

random). This makes the gameplay quite difficult as you need to master power chords for some songs, fast hammer-ons and fiddley solos for others, and good luck to anyone attempting 'Sudden Death' by Megadeth , which was specifica ll y written to be the last song in the Quest mode and is msanely difficu lt 1 However, the game does feature some

-Varied setlist - New additions to m1x up a stale genre -Tons to unlock and h1gh score I -Great for hard core GH fans 1

-Varied setlist - Not the best for newcomers - No new plastic Instrument to master.

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Space 2 t e concept rst game remains: hack and shoot your way (I) 1- through mutated husks that were once rr: men in order to survive. lt IS also still set m <( space although engineer lsaac Clarke, the protagonist who makes a reappearance in this sequel, has left the 'P lanet-Cracker' Z starship USG lshimura and has arnved at 0 an enormous space stat1on comparable to Bespin, but with more monsters and less I Ul Lando. The monsters, or Necromorphs, <( are st ill defeated by remov ing any of t he U.. enemy's many mutated limbs, whi lst damage cause d to the torso will have little

put things in perspective: the lshimura had a crew of 1,332. In an interview, one developer has said "the Sprawl will have a population of over one mill1on people - all of them npe for infect1on by the rampaging Necromorphs ." A few things are apparent from what l1ttle we've seen of the game so far. lsaac will be back in his 'RIG' suit- one of the nicer touches to the original Dead Space. lsaac is contro ll ed in the third person , and everyth ing that would norma lly clutter the screen on a HUD is instead on

lsaac's suit. The Church of Unitology will be making a reappearance, with some scenes appearing to take place mside their churches, and , most importantly, lsaac is stil l an engineering badass. For those who haven't played the first game, the beauty of Dead Space is that there are almost always multiple opt1ons when under attack. You might choose to hang back and use some of your more powerful, ranged weaponry to dismember the Necromorphs from afar. Alternatively, 1f you're running low on ammunition, have no choice or are just that way inclined, you can have lsaac get up close and personal with them . Melee attacks, delivered with real force, are excellent. lsaac will stomp on enemies, swing equ1pment at them or, in some cases, perform more special, smpted ass kickmgs - although these awesome sequences may cost you in terms of health. Indeed, the combat in the original game was fun and 1ntense but not particular ly scary. At best, the interludes between fights we re tense and always at mosp heric. Th is looks set to be t he case

for Dead Space 2 as well. The most remarkable new feature so far is the inclusion of a mu ltip layer mode. These four-on-four matc hes wi ll see teams of eng ineers, like lsaac, going up against a variety of Necromorphs, all player controlled. Maps are objective based, and, after one team has won , the roles are reversed, similar to Left 4 Dead. Or perhaps ... Left 4 Dead Space' Anyway, Engineers can use tools and weapons, stomp and perform melee attacks. lnterestmgly, the Eng1neers will also be able to use the Stasis ability seen in the single player. Like in L4D, players wi ll be able to control a range of Necromorphs with different abilities. One is even called the 'Spitter'. To sum up: th1s IS Dead Space on a far bigger scale, and IS definitely worth look1ng out for. William Moran


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(INTERNET) Fun links to pass the t ime between social ising and learning. Instants! Fun A collection of buttons to press that make different sounds, most of which you w ill recognise . Favourites include 'balls of steel' and 'keyboard cat'. http://www.instantsfun.es/ True Lad In the vein of FML, little stories subm itted by users about 'lads'. Sometimes crude, sometimes idiotic, sometimes unbelievable but pretty much always funny. http://www.truelad.com/ First Person Tetris · A new twist (you'll get that awful pun when you play) on an old classic. With a choice of music and a great retro background this is a ve.ry easy way to waste some time . http://www.firstpersontetris.com/ Hyperbole and a Half A lovely blog about everyday life, with hand-drawn 'MSPaint' drawings illustrating the stories and enhancing the humour. Look out for April's "The Alot is better than you at everything" and March's "6 fake advertisements based on real products". http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/ Faye Fullalove

Already, everybody is living in The Information Age', an age where you can get whatever you want, whenever you want. The Internet follows us everywhere, it's on our phones, MP3 players, laptops, and even our televisions . However, this new found lnternet-based freedom comes at a cost, Digital Rights Management (DRM). DRM restricts what someone can do with a certain piece of software or website, it limits people in the freedom of the 'Information Age' to what corporations want the ir customers to be doing with their products. If anything, it gives businesses more power than they have ever had before . DRM is there to help protect the intellectual property (JP) of companies. Meaning they can protect themselves from unfavourable circumstances claiming misuse by end users. However it crosses the boundaries of what is protected by copyright laws and actually restricts customers using their legally purchased material in a fair way, i.e. making a back up copy of a DVD, audio CD or even up loading works and images onto file hosts. DRM won't effect everybody's life to the same degree. For many it will be the limits of what Face book allows you to up load onto the web, and for some it will be having to be continually connected to the Internet to validate a game you bought. The problems begin to arise when DRM restricts the freedoms of speech which, in this day and age, everybody should have rights to. One recent, and high profile, case involved the website WikiLeaks, a website

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that unveils high profile government secrets to the public. Last week WikiLeaks unveiled secret conversations between world leaders that revealed a lot of hidden diplomatic secrets, that had the potential to damage current American foreign policy. Although this leak is potentially damaging to American foreign policy and for many other international relations, surely it's something which Joe Public should have every right to know about. Amazon seem to think not.

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Amazon, who provided the webs pace for WikiLeaks, decided after all the controversy to pull the website, without informing or asking WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. Because of DRM, Amazon had the power to cull free speech and break its contract with WikiLeaks . This is the second time that Amazon

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has used DRM to encroach freedoms . In (.!) mid -2009 Amazon removed many books, z ironically including George Orwell's 1984, ...._ from its Kindle devices because they had m no copyright for them . This would be fine, _.J however, it also removed them from Kindle owners who had paid for the content the first time around . DRM can be further used in the music > industry as 'music protection'. Burnt onto 0 w many discs is protection that allows for ~ musi c to be only ri pped once, or not at all. a This means consu mers have to eithe r use u free download codes to 'purchase' the digital files, or they have to listen to the CD through an authorised playback device. ~ The shame is many of these COs are on ly _.J Windows compatible, completely closing lL off the Mac market. Of course companies say they are protect 1ng the consumer from illegal content, and protecting themselves from the piracy market. However, why u target those who already pay for their m content7 :J There are many public bodies calling ~ for an end to DRM by changing its name to Digital Restrictions Management (to make it clearer to the public), and to ensure that it never becomes 9n acceptable law, as 0 w currently it is not a legal requirement for a: DRM to be implemented . Hopefully, in coming years, the need 3! for DRM will diminish as publ ishers find alternative methods to curb the illegal download culture without effecting those > ...._ who lawfully use thei r content. Vaughn Highfield

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Print Conductor

Ultramon is an almost necessary program for those with multiple computer mon itors . It gives you a taskbar on each screen, allows you to send windows from one screen to another with a simple click of a button; it allows you to set up your wallpapers and screensavers as you want them, be it one image stretched across multiple screens, or an image on each . You can save these settings, along with the position of desktop icons, a handy feature even for those with only one screen, allowing you to switch between profiles on the fly. Although a free version of a slightly more advanced progrdm, Ultramon manages to provide all the features that anyone with multiple monitors could ever need .

Ever had a deadline you just barely reached because you had to wait for Word to open, load the file, tell the printer to print and then you discover the printer has decided to throw a hissy fit. We've all been there at least once in our university life . Print Conductor can't stop your printer from throwing a tantrum but it certainly can make printing files off it so much easier. No longer will you have the worry of Word crashing and taking essay down with it! With Print Conducto rs easy to use system you can browse files and print them without having to even open them . it can print a number of files . it may not be revolutionary but it could just save your grade.

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Stieg Larsson's crim e thrill er novels burst onto the best se ll ers li st in 2007, beginning with the now infamous The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. With the LL film following a year later, the dark Swedish trilogy gathered popularity for the following th ree years . 0 Now, the final chapter has m hit screens this November. Can The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest close the story of Lizbeth Salander with as much excitement as o it started 7 W Disappointingly, the a: simple answer would be 3 no . Although certainly a step up from the second ,

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friendship with the village prrest, Jack begins to examine the life he has led thus far. Th ere is an interesting premise of self-examination, but predictable plot twists hamper this thematic development. Clooney brings his usual engag in g screen presence, yet his character needs fleshing out, as do th e pastiche Th e supporting ro les. film picks up towards its conc lusion with a series of wonderfu ll y composed sce nes. Once again, however, content is sacrificed for lingering stylisti c shots creating a polis hed, glossy, surface which is more than the sum of its parts.

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and former lover Mikael Blomkvist despe rate ly attempting to prove her innocence, time is running

whilst under their care, and you can te ll that life ha s not got any easier for poor Li zbeth Salander.

out. Add in a psychotic half brother who still wants her dead, and an evil Swedish corporation desperat e to silence her before she can expose the truth of the sexua l abuse she suffered

The film'SlS certificate is there for a definite reason. Th e trilogy's reputation of gritty violence has not been forgotten and The Hornet 's Nest fully delivers on thi s front . With the brutal and

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The Girl Who Played With Fire, the most tedious, of the trilogy, the third instalment still feels like it's missing the chilling originality of the first. Flitting between dramatic courtroom drama and disconnected conspirac y tale, The Hornet's Nest seems confused about how many genres it can cram its excessive ly dense narrative into . Picking up almost immediately after the end of the second film, we now see heroine Salander on trial for th e attempted murder of her father. Traumatized after being shot in the head and buried alive, Lizbeth has become even more of a recluse, and with journalist, friend

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•Director: Gareth Edwards • : Release Date: 3/12/10

The first thing that rea ll y needs to be noted in this review is, oddly, if you're going to see Monsters for the titular 'mo nst ers', more than li ke ly yo u' ll be disappointed. Whilst obvious comparisons can be drawn to high-budget studio efforts such as Cloverfie ld (2008) and District 9 (2009), this is no big blockbuster monster movie. follo ws Th e story journalist Kau lder (Scoot McNairy), as he escorts his boss' daughter, Sam (Whitney Able) through the ' Infected Zone' of Central America, six years after aliens have invaded, making the area their home.

Dr. Teleborian, a sadistic paedophile brilliant ly played by Anders .'\ hi born. In fairness, the downfall of this film is simply that it's source material is too good. W ith so much happening in one narrati ve it's unsurprising that certain intricacies get lost in tran slation . Feeling long at l48 minutes, the complexity of this concluding tale may leave viewers simply w ishing they'd waited for the American remake (the first of w hi ch , directed by David Fincher, is due to hit our screens in December 2on). Better than the second but not quite as good as th e first; people might be less disappointed if they stick to the books. Beth Davison

disturbing rape sequence of the first film sti ll resonating , add in one toe-curlingly nasty scene involving a nail gun and audiences everywhere will be wincing' Aesthetically th is fi lm cannot be faulted. With gorgeous backdrops and cleve r came ra work the narrative may not thrill the Swedish tourist board but the scenery certainly wi ll . The acting is also brilliant with Noomi Rapace st ill on stunning form as our protagonist. Once again donning fu ll gothic punk attire for ju st one courtroom scene, audiences are reminded why she is one of the best antiheroes of this decade . The face of the central villain comes in the form of the abhorrent

LoNDON BouLEVARD

................... . Although it's hard to believe, first -time British director Gareth Edwards wrote , shot and edited the entire film himse lf on location, with a very modest budget. Most of the time this isn't even obvious; the CG I is admirable and serves its purpose we ll, even if it doesn't stand up to the likes of Avatar. Th e two leads should also be praised ; their simmering romance is the real attraction here. Make no mistake, there are plenty of massive electric octopus crea tures chucki ng cars around, but they only really serve as a background to the real story of the film; something which is far more potent than your average creature-feature.

James Coli ins

I : Dir:William Monahan

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: Release Date : 26/n/10

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• •••••••••••••••••••• London Boulevard is the latest edition to the British gangster genre and has a lot t o live up to. Directed by the writer of The Departed, London Boulevard tell s the tale of M itchell, played by Colin Farrell, a man newly released from prison , and his attempts to leave beh ind hi s former li fe as a gangster. In doing so, he takes a job working for Charlotte, a reclusive ac tre ss (Keira Knightley), with whom he fal ls in love . But Mob boss Gant (Ray Winstone) is not willing to let him go easily. Th is film is worth seeing if only for the supporting as cast. Anna Friel Mitchell's sister and David Thewlis as a film producer

who lives with Charlotte for no apparent reason steal every scene they are in. The film itself is enjoyab le, if rather hollow, and it certainly does not add anything to the gangster genre. Mitchell falls back in to the violent underworld too easi ly for his determination t o not return to his old ways at the beginning of the film to ring true, and the film suffe rs because of a lack of chemistry between Knightley and Farrell. Overall this is an enjoyable film, but does not offer anything that audiences have not seen before. Katy Ouigley


••••••••••••••••••• •Director: Tom McGrath • ••Release Date: 3/1.2/10 ••

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Dreamworks fails to produce something ground-breaking in Megamind for the superhero genre. The plot details the evil Megamind and heroic Goody-TooShoes continuing their long lasting rivalry. Megamind's scheming, extraordinarily, goes to plan, defeating his opponent once and for all. Having exhausted his frivolous fun, he falls into a rut of boredom, longing for the return of the excitement from some competition . As a result, he attempts to construct a new hero but the plan soon meets destructive complications. With the city's safety in danger, the civilians are left in desperate need of a saviour.

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The voice-work is perfectly fitting for each of the characters, featuring a particularly outstanding performance from Will Ferrell, whose villainous voice delivers the witticism of the script with comical precision . Megamind delivers some surprising shocks and titillating twists, but the ending fails to exhibit orig inality as evil stereotypically turns to good in the face oftrue love. Despite squandering any opportunityforemotion, the vocal performances, vibrant 3D images, and humorous script, packed with comi c Megamind book cl iche, provides an enjoyable experience for audiences of all ages. Grace Curruthers

••Director: • • • • • • •Ethan • • • • Maniquis • • • • • • • •• : Robert Rodriguez : : Release Date: 2 6t11t1 o : • : • •••••••••••••••••• : Machete is ridiculous. Full of sexploitation, mexploitation and goresploitation. That last one may not even be a real word, but that doesn't matter - Machete doesn't need a vocabulary. Monolithic in appearance .and monosyllabic in speech, protagonist Machete (Danny Treja) is an ex-federal agent formerly employed by the Mexican government. Drug lord Torrez (Steven Seagal) and businessman Michael Benz (Jeff Fa hey) set him up in an assassination attempt aga inst a staunch antiimmigration senator, (Robert Deniro). That's about as much sense as the plot makes.

Vimbai Mukwenha

••••••••••••••••••••: predictable, from the plot

: Director: Tony Scott : Release Date: 24/11/1o

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• ••••••••••••••••••• With the popularity of trains in cinema going back decades, Unstoppable steps in to carry the tradition. The tag line, "One million tons of steel. 1oo,ooo people at risk. 100 minutes to impact" alongside the title tells you all you need to know about the very basic plot; a runaway train carrying tanks of chemicals is storming down the tracks in southern Pennsylvania heading for populated areas. lt spells disaster. Veteran engineer Frank (Denzel Wash ington) and young conductor(Chris Pine) act the heroes, putting their lives at risk in an attempt to stop it. The film is incredibly

to t he main characters. Washington and Pine create a typical duo; at odds with each other to begin with, but who find understanding and friendship when forced together. However the film is well made and doesn't overdo the cheese so it's still very watchable . From the very beginning the film does not stop to take a breather with its fast-paced action; the intensity is almost painful, keeping viewers glued to the screen with the constant threat of disaster. Unstoppable does not cla im to be anything other than a mmdless action film, and there is no point judging it on any other grounds. On th is basis, it del ivered .

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: Release Date: 26/11/10

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Jesslca . Alb a an d M.IC he11 e Rodriguez are well cast as two superficially opposite types of women (the goodcop, bad-immigration officer thing) . But despite being more raw material (think quarried rock) than raw sex-appeal, Machete has an inexplicable attraction. Women are either naked, nearly naked or wanting to be nakeJ with him. The point is that t his isn't sexist or racist because it's so exaggerated, and the film knows it . The film takes inspiration f1-c.~ m 1970s B-movies. Brutal one-liners and sincerity are uneasy, not to mention the unnecessarily long running t ime. Machete is not one for everyone, but it is ridiculous and outrageously entertaining.

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: Release Date: 30/11/10

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The flat new A-Team movie, which cynics might consider a pointless remake, portrays the titular 'Alpha Unit' as a group of Iraq war veterans anxious to clear their names after being framed for a crime they didn't commit. Incorporating the tropes of the 'Michael Bay does Transformers' school of action and peppered with references to the TV original, the set pieces come thick and fast, and are messily edited, often being so frenetic it's hard to keep track of who is hitting who. These technical flaws could perhaps be overlooked if strong performances

Jerry Bruckheimer's PG rated production is silly and contrived, driven by clumsy a disastrous prologue, sub-plot and romantic manageable performances from the likeable cast. Set in NewYorkCity, Dave (Jay Baruchel) plays the part of a typical college nerd who is reluctantly recruited by a master sorcerer (Nicholas Cage) to protect the city from arch nemesis Horvath (Alfred Molina). The loose, fast paced plot serves as an excuse for Turteltaub to adorn the film with CGI enhanced special effects. This, if at all, saves the movie from an otherwise

distracted the viewer, but Liam Neeson seems comfortable to reprise his Taken persona ofsilver-haired ass-kicker whilst adding in some mutterings about 'the plan'. The characters played by non-superstars are largely marginalized - it's hard to imagine this BA appearing in a confectionary advert twenty years hence. Even a badly edited and dramatically dead A-Team movie might have been tolerable - after all, going to see the A-Team in any of

its guises expecting good acting and dramatic tension is like going to KFC expecting healthy eating. Therefore it is comfortably the biggest failing of the movie that it is unremittingly dull. A tank flies, a billion dollar's worth of buildings are blown up and half the USA's military is wrecked, but it's hard to care . The original A-Team, was a thin concept, but stretched out to over two bumnumbing hours it's tough to stomach . George Gilbert

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dire storyline. Furnished with banal humour and a childhood sweetheart cliche, Turteltaub adds in training montages which are a necessity to any magic/action film romp, including a exhilarating sword fight, a steel eagle taking flight from the Chrysler Building and - of course- the car chase . Cage gives a shameful, subdued performance, after his big hey-day in the successful film, The Bad Lieutenant. Perhaps it was

hard to feel inspired working a: with such a senseless bedlam U of a plot. Efforts by Jay Baruchel and Teresa Palmer to add some enchantment m were subsequently lost to the 1CGI fantasy spectacle. a: For the targeted <( audience, this family movie provides an easy watch for younger children . Boring z and forgettable, it can only 0 be described as perfect television entertainment for ~ Christmas. <( l.L

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Innovative and highly acclaimed director Alejandro Gonzalez lnarritu is set to enjoy yet another triumph with the forthcoming

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Biutiful.

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ANNA EASTICJ< tal<es a loo I< at the latest directorial effort from the man beh ind

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21 Grams and Babe!, and a potentia l second Oscar for Anton Chigurgh ..

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After the success of Babe/ (2oo6) and 2 1 Grams (2003) ..J the director has built up a body of work to ri va l most filmmakers . With many international film awards to > his name, the director has 0 become an internationa l w :r star, and is now promoting 0 his new film. Biutiful has u already been met with a great deal of enthusiasm from critics and fans ali ke. Although lnarrit u is ..J commonly known for his complex narratives and non u._ linear structures, Biutiful

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does the horror genre work' One way is by causing discomfort, often incited by crossing boundaries. Inevitably, as 0 film has evolved as an art w 0: form and the cinematic touchstone has developed, 3t the nature of these boundaries has changed be they pure ly visua l (Un > Chien Andalou), bodily (see: r- David Cronenberg) or aural (Psycho). Most recently, the pre-eminent boundary has been space, and a glut of (!) movies has transplanted the Z horror to the home . 1This is nothing new. The finale of Halloween was 0:

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differentiates from this fractured approach . When talking about his motive to make Biutiful, lnarritu remarks : "Each of the films I have made has been shot in a different language, in a different country. At the end of Babe/, I was so exhausted I made it a point that my next

fi lm would be about j ust one character, with one point of view, in one single city, with a straight narrative line and in my own native language." As a result, Biutiful was born . Biutiful emerges as a love story between a father and his children. lt takes the audience on a journey

MOVIES set in the house where the protagonist was babysitting, and The Shining was set in the haunted Overlook hotel. Yet, we need to distinguish between horror film s that occur in a domestic setting, and those that occur in the home in the fullest sense of the word - the house as a personal space. These jettison the creepy, secluded feel of a palatial ghost house and put into the viewer's mind a fully domesticated living room. In theory, t his should wo rk exceptionally well - films such as The Strangers and The Orphanage, as well as

with Uxba l (Javier Bardem), a man who struggles to cope with fatherhood, love, crime and guilt in the beautiful city of Barcelona . His sacrifice for his children knows no bounds. Like life itse lf, t his is a circu lar ta le that ends where it begins, it navigates through life's stages, whether bright, bad -or biutiful. Already, the film has evoked significant praise for actor Javier Bardem's performance . An actor who excelled himself in the memorable role of Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men, to which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His career already offers a stunning

and diverse contribution to cinema. Highly praised for his prev ious work, his performance in Biutiful is no exception . For his portrayal of Uxbal, Bardem recently won the Best Actor Award at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. With such appreciation for his acting ability, some claim there will be outrage if he fails to add the Best Actor award for his lead performance at the Oscars this coming year. Due for release early next year, Biutiful has seemingly high prospects. With Alejandro Gonzalez lnarritu, a director with such prestigious transnational recognition, and a lead performance by the talented

sensation that is Javier Bardem, there seems little that could disappoint. As a Mexica n film, it is shot in Spanish, but don't let thi s put you off - Biutiful is quite litera lly a stunning and powerfu l examp le of world cinema. Its pub licity is aiding an increasingly acknowledged international film industry, supporting foreig n products that were often ostracized in the past. As a result, the film 's contribution will be far greater than that of winning awards; it will help raise an awareness of foreign fi lms, whic h sad ly, due to Hollywood's dominance, are often overlooked . Anna Eastick

Still thin!< home is where the heart is? GEORGE GILBERT begs to differ.

the shaky-cam pieces such as Paranormal Activity should be genuinely scary and very jarring . The idea that the horror is 'in the home' is only a sl ight variation on the horror being 'in you', as was seen in the artistically immense and blisteringly successful Alien.

The proliferation of these movies reflects a world where geopolitical boundaries have become blurred and old certainties discarded . These broader messages are hammered home through 24-hour media. More conventionally, there is a

feel ing on the part of the big studios and directors that after so many boundaries having been crossed, a film whe re violence and shock take place in the home of the protagonist moves suspense to the next level . the Unfortunately of thematic coherence the films usually does not match the coherence of the rationale for making them . Long periods of suspense can become ted ious if characterisation and plot aren't attended to . Sad ly, it seems as though the kneejerk attempt to play on contemporary fears in the

quest for cold, hard cash is see ing a key opportunity missed. After all, a 'home invasion' horror film directed by Cronenberg or Peter Jackson could be awesomely effective. But before resigning to the line of 'a bad workman always blames his tools', it should be remembered that the otherwise accomp lished David Fincher's attempt to move into the territory was something of a failure with the largely tedious Panic Room . Perhaps the ground being trod isn't as ferti le as previously thought. George Gilbert

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~ THE PoPCORN CHART

As this is the last issue before Christmas, LORNA PoNTEFRACT

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THE MuPPETS CHRISTMAS

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Claus's elves. Experiencing all that New York has to offer, including the 'World's Best Coffee', revolving doors and free candy in the form of used chewing gum, he has the adventure of his life . All he has to do now is gain his father's love and get him off the naughty list. Oh, and of course, get the girl.

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naturally a rat for a narrator this is one not to be missed .

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U A comic re-telling of Charles Dickens' famous novel, starring Jim Henson's much loved characters. Ebenezer is (I) r- an evi l, greedy money-lender 0: lacking any Christmas cheer <( who is visited in the night by three spirits; The Ghost of Christmas Past, Present z and Yet To Come. Revealing 0 scenes from his life they bid to save his soul and convince him to change his ways. <( With Great Gonzo as Charles u._ Dickens, Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge and

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hires a new Santa by the name of Kris Kringle (Richard Attenborough), he quickly convinces all the chi ldren he's the rea l t hing, yet Susan remains unconvinced . When Santa becomes involved in a court case, it's only Susan's mum who can save him. But she needs Susan's help. This 1994 remake of the original is bound to get you in a Christmassy mood .

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Susan doesn't believe in Santa. I know, right' When Macy's Department Store (Susan's mum's work place)

Buddy(Will Ferrell) is in search of his long lost father in New York. However, Buddy is a human brought up by Santa

lists the best, and most repeated, holiday classics ... behind from a family holiday he finds himself totally alone in his house. With no parents and no rules he has the time of his life, until he discovers

HoME ALoNE

Home Alone is a timeless children's classic that Christmas wouldn't be the same without. When Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Cu lkin) accidently gets left

two burglars trying to break in. it's up to Kevin to protect the house and bring them to justice . If you like booby traps, slapstick humour and

plenty of cheese, this is the perfect film for you. THE GREAT EscAPE

Somehow this one (the Steve McOueen version) sneaks onto the TV during the Christmas period despite its lack of any festive theme . Imprisoned in a high security German Camp a group of prisoners of war endeavour to win back their freedom. Another great classic, this high-action adventure is full of comedy and tense moments. Lorna Pontefra ct


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WE ARE SCIENTISTS

We Are Scientists is a band whose two skinny frontmen men personify American indie culture . You could almost imagine them in an American teen film as the slightly uncool musicians who eventually make it big. As this seems to have quite literally happened Keith, Chris and

the ir new drummer Andy Burrows (exRazorlight) brought their most recent tour to UEA on the 19th of November. Feeling slightly hesitant that their set was to be dominated by their new record, Barbara, this reviewer entered the gig with some caution. Kicking off with

J(EITH MURRAY Howareyou?

Damn well! Actually I'm finally succumbing to tour illness, has to happen once every tour and it's descended ... The British weather perhaps?

Erm, you know, not to impugn your weather systems but yeah, they have a chill, it's not conducive for wellbeing . Have you played here before?

Yeah, I think this is our third or fourth time in this room and they were really good . At the end of our first record we ended the shows with a karaoke cover of a Boyz 11 Men song and this was the first place we ever did it. We were very nervous, but I distinctly remember doing it here and being incredibly relieved that the crowd were up for it. Is it good touring the new album?

it's been great, this is the first tour we have done since the record came out so its relieving to plays shows and see people recognise the songs, you never really know how it's going when you are away. There has been a lot of appreciation shown

vs.

Nice Guys and soon following with the massive Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt, it was obvious the band had no intention of alienating the crowd, and rapturous screaming, fist-pumping and some serious foot stomping ensued . The lads' energy seemed to be on a constant high; bouncing from their new single I Don't Bite to fan favourite Chick Lit. The hits were relentless and it was only with the announcement of "We're going to slow things down for a bit guys" that the whole crowd seemed to calm . Textbook was the track that followed and although it was meant to be a breather, Keith foolishly decided to venture into the crowd midsong. He was lovingly mobbed by the newly energised audience and the 'attack' resulted in the brilliant line, " I buttoned up this shirt for a reason!" which was a rather futile attempt to quell his female fans . Although you can tell from a glance that music is everything to the band, their on stage banter is always a massive crowd pleaser. Having three cracking albums to choose a set list from, the gig was likely to

be a winner. They st ~uck a balance with the glories of new and old and the last half of ..._ the set was definitely dedicated to those m early followers of the band . The Great _~ Escape, it's A Hit and After Hours were played in quick succession and finishing the encore with the electric Cash Cow was an incred ible way to close. ÂŁ14.50 very well > 0 spent

ALEX THROSSELL

for your new drummer, is there anything you don't like about Andy Burrows?

Do you prefer bigger stages at festivals or smaller venues like this?

in a smaller room that is packed with people > that are excited about our songs. ..._

The dynamic certainly has changed in that we all are much, much happier, we definitely are a pretty fun trio, when we hang out it's a good time, it's not strictly a professional relationsh ip. One thing I will say I don't like about Andy is that his humility is excessive, he apologises for performing well, we'll play a show that was amazing and he'll be like, "ah, um ahm, god dammit why did I, so stupid" and we'll be like "that was amazing, I forgot all the words to the song, but whatever!"

This is always more fun, I'm not the biggest fan of festivals to be honest, especially the main, main stages where you are kind of soft away from the closest audience member, who isn't necessarily there to even see you, maybe they are excited that you are playing but it's not like they came to the festival to see We Are Scientists. lt is always nice to be

Any thoughts about the rest of the tour?

I think we are all gon na be pretty excited to l!> z go home eventually but it is really nice to end in the UK, we are a lot bigger here than ..._ we are in the U.S. so it's nice to end on the a: highest notes, it does legitimately feel like a 3 homecoming .

In terms of writing, you have 3 albums already, are you writing on tour?

We aren't really very good on tour writers, our song writing scenario generally involves extreme privacy and exclusion which is impossible to find on tour, so we tend to not really write on tour, soundchecks are very, very brief affairs. So tour is more your time?

On the actual tour no, we are excessively social, then we get home and it's time to write, like for Barbara I moved to Georgia (from LA) and just lived there for a while . c

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0 7 DEC10 ISSUE 249

MUSIC concrete.music@uea.ac.uX

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THE HUMAN LEAGUE

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Sean Purdy really li kes the Human League. When given the chance to speak to Phi ! Oakey he was ecstatic. He only actually spoke to Joann e, his chi ldish glee w as unbe ara bl e. He also got into the gig ma de hi m an even happier chappy, read on see the story unfold ...

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At the peak of the Human League 's popularity back in the 8os, Phi I Oakey stood out for many as a fashion icon in an age renowned for eccentricity. it's unfortunate that any· progressive style seems to have eluded him and has been replaced by an ill advi sed comb ination of zips , ove rsized hoods and sexual predator-y sunglasses. Ph iI does a good job of demonstrating the main issue with watching the once innovat ive Human League 30 years later; they're simp ly not edgy or on-trend anymore . Th e new single, f\light People, highlights th eir detac hment from current trends and although it shows Oakey can stil l work his way around a bassline, is just too embarrassing . it's relatively groovy, but they've taken all the components of an 8os classic and constructed a monotonous mess with awkward lyrics about chocolate and cheese. it's more like your dad sing ing about you going out rather than the political commentary of The Lebanon or the inspirational messages in The Thing s That

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fun was had . The Dare e ra classics were always going to be euphoric, with Sound of the Crowd and Love Action rousing the sensib le pullovers that made up the majority of the crowd into a creaking, head-nodding action. Older efforts like Being Boiled and Empire State Human provoked the most hipshaking/dislodging and although the set had lost most of its momentum by the time they played Don't You Want Me, the inevitable singalong lasted unti l we ll after the band had left the stage. it was a good gig but maybe not for the right reasons; does the shee r elation of seeing your childhood idols outweig h the fact that they're just not very coo l anymore7 Does the fact that the Leag ue are attempting to produce new music, instead of relying on old classics, outweigh that it's si mply not very good7 On th e night the answer was yes, but it was a close cal l. You can't help but feel that Phil and eo, shou ld simply embrace that th e 8os were the ir era. Where the heavyweight hits struck home with a nostalgia fu elled crowd, the awfu l outfits and new music failed to make much of a mark.

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Your new album Credo is out early next year. How is the production going with that, how far along the creation process are you?

Your band image in 2010 has matured since the days of long fringes and dangly earrings, particularly in Phillip's case . Is there any particular reason for this?

Well it's actually fini shed ' it was mastered a few weeks ago and originally we we re trying to get it out thi s year, but, as we usual ly do, we've fallen slightly behind and so we've on ly rea ll y got t ime to put th e sing le out, so we decided to do that this year, and then go with the album probably around February/March .

Well, Phillip lo st his hair' He can't really do the long fringe thing anymore. I think it's just a case of mov ing with the times; we can't really go out dressing as we did in the 8os, peop le wo uld look at us very strangely

The Human League has had a career spanning three decades; how has the band's approach to the creative process developed since the days of ' Dare'?

The last few years have seen a popular resu rgence of both 8os style and synth orientated music, with bands like La Roux and Hot Ch ip leading the synth rerevolution; what's your opin ion on the 8os rev ival?

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Ithink actual ly that we're stil l writ ing music in pretty much the same way, as in getting backing, Phillip has a pan ic, goes away and writes some wo rd s, comes back the next day and we sing them. We've never rea ll y been a band of typical songwriters, writing music in a conventional way around a piano, as none of us can actually play any in str uments .

I mean, I think it 's great' Its great for us that we have a new album to come out when that sort of music is popular again, we're being ta lked about by other artists who are say ing that, you know, we 're an influence on them. So hopefu ll y, it's going to be good for us from a commercial point of vi ew too.

For the ten years that you haven't released a record, you've still been touring internationally and headlining festivals. it must be quite nice to get back into the studio after such a long break . it was .. it was very ·unpressurised as we ll, we did it in our own studio, we didn't have to do it London and t hin k t hat oh, this is costing us hundreds of pounds, its our own studio in Sheffield that we've had since 1986. it was a very laid back way of doing it. Was there any poi nt over the Human League's expansive career that you t hought it was time to leave the band a nd move onto something new? I suppose individua ll y possib ly at different times we've all been fed up with it . But fortunately, the three of us have never thought of it at the same time' One person wil l think it and the other two will be like no, we can't give up' So alii can say is th at all three of us never came to a negative conclusion at the same t ime.


GIG REPORTS ELLIE GOULDING:

lCR 24 . 11 10 After supporting Passion Pit at the LCR, Ellie Goulding has matured into quite the little songstress. A year after she first came here she has decided to return to UEA to give us a charming headline show. from dance/pop Support came duo Bright Light Bright Light and the interestingly named Sunday Girl. Both acts were a hit with the packed audience; cheers were rife during Bright Light Bright Light's infectious set and Sunday Girl delighted the crowd with her strong vocals and impressive range . In addition, she challenged the audience to a 'who-cansing-the-loudest' contest, a familiar, but popular, gig pastime . After Sunday Girl finished up her set the thrill of expectation drew closer and pockets of the crowd exploded into feverish chants of "EIIie! Ellie!" The introduction of Under the Sheets burst out, with Ellie then treating the crowd to an impromptu drumming session . Her wide musical talent was portrayed further when she introduced her acoustic guitar into the mix; providing the perfect backdrop for songs such as The Writer.

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The most popul~r song of the night can be awarded to ~ er distinctive version of Elton Johns anthem Your Song which is currently gracing our televisions in the form of a John Lew;s advert. The crowd clearly connected wit h El lie; frequent cries of "I love you!" greet ed her whenever she opened her mouth. One audience member even proposed, only lfor it to be dismissed with a soft "no thanks ." The moments when Ellie spoke t o the crowd were touching and her apweciation of her fans was warm and genuine. Ellie was once just a student too, like many in the LCR, only she dropped out to focus on her. si r)ging dream . Thank goodness she did, because a true talent like hers is greatly needed in a world of identical pop and R&l!3 clones . Ellie's star will Mpefully rise further; she has released her album in the US and the new songs she played in Norwich, The End and Human, are every bit as fantastic as her others. After t he encore of Starry Eyed, the crowd left with the satisfaction that they had just see a class act.

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lAURA MARUNG: WATERFRONT Three years ago, before the term 'nu-folk' had graced the pages of NME and the likes of Mumford and Sons had made banjos socially acceptable, a talented 17 year old delivered a self-conscious performance to no more than thirty people gathered round a bandstand in London's Hyde Park. This reviewer was lucky enough to be among them. Two mercury-nominated albums later, Laura Marling makes her Norwich debut at The Waterfront, a venue with the capacity for a crowd roughly twenty times the size that at that bandstand in 2007. For a song-writer whose first album prompted comparisons with Joni Mitchell, it is difficult to imagine how Marling can have matured since. But it is soon clear that a wealth of onstage experience has moulded the chronically shy teenager into a modest but accomplished performer. Engagement with the audience was always absent from her earlier concerts but tonight she happily jokes with the crowd and tells unruly audience members to "chat somewhere else." Marling and her band dive straight into album material with the gutsy

26/11/10

Devils Spoke, blasting away any thoughts that this was going to be a timid affair. For the first half of the set the band give an extra force behind Marling's unique vocals . Hope in the Air is unforgettable with its climatic build from her acoustic to a full band finale and lends itself brilliantly to the live show. After apologetically warning the crowd that she had three new songs to play, we are treated to the romantic and lyrically powerful Rest In My Bed and slightly heavier, more upbeat Don't Ask Me Why. The last of the three is a heartfelt cover of Jackson C Frank's, depressing yet beautiful, Blues Run the Game. Half-way through, the band leave Marling alone with her acoustic guitar to play haunting tracks like Alpha Shallows with stark intensity. She finishes the show in delightful fashion and enthuses the crowd by diverting from the set-list to play a very apt Goodbye England (Covered In Snow). Deciding she's "not rock 'n' roll enough for an encore," Laura Marling thanks the audience and leaves as quietly as she came in, quietly triumphant.

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LCR 21/11/10

After being scheduled to play at the Waterfront Athlete's return to Norwich was given a slight boost by being upgraded to the LCR . The night's procedures were a dedication to the album release Athlete: The Singles, a nine year documentation of all the releases, whether chart topping or not from their old record label, EM I.

Playing before the celebrations began was A lice Gold, a rock princess oozing with confidence . Her first few numbers were banged out with Janis Joplin-esque soulfulness and the set continued with nervous enthusiasm and experienced vocals . Conversations of Love, was slow but sweet

and the already released Orbiter, was performed with the Jnergy its chorus deserves. Alice Gold has great potential, yet it was all too clear th~t she wouldn't have been on stage but for t he reason that she's on the same record la6el as the headliners. The middle aged fair-weather crowd were allowed a half hour gap to get boozed up before Athlete's Jbel Pott strolled on with a boom box and an acoustic guitar to deliver You Got The Style . Once the rest of the gang made it on ~tage, a relaxed performance followed with all 15 singles on the record being played out with utmost sincerity, interspersed with funny banter. Stand outs of the night included the vulnerable Black Swan Song, the greatly appreciated Wires, and the surreal Outsiders, dedicated by Joel ~o "all you English." All were performed with open arms, fantastic harmonies and a light show that illuminated every corner of the LCR . The encore raised ithe bar as Getaway and Half Light, were belted out with stadium rock prowess. The finale was a magnificent yet suspicioys choice; Chances typified the romance of the night for the beloved fans. Overall, a night of jubilant celebration dedicated to a quain~y English, yet ultimately accomplished band .

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The genre of post rock has put6sdaysofstatic in a difficult position. Being defined by the masses as unnecessarily complex and for 'those who like to impress arty girls with their music tastes' may have been correct of the band's previous incarnation, but whether or not the Sheffield four used to be in that camp is ultimately inconsequential. They are no longer playing post rock, they don't even play songs anymore; they write compositions and perform creations. Swathes of fuzzy chords, chiming melodies and brutal layers of sprawling beats, none of which ever seem overstated, are abundant on their most recent album We Were Exploding Anyway and it is the wake that record left which submerged the Norwich music scene tonight. lt seems all too commonplace to say that the venue was crammed, but the sold out Arts Centre really was busy. To the annoyance of front man Joe Shrewesbury though, nobody was moving. The infectious instrumental barrage that made up the first half of 6s's set left the crowd awestruck, and despite Joe's on-stage trickery only a few in the crowd were losing themselves . lt took 'Retreat' Retreat'', one of the band's oldest and most popular tracks, to really get

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the crowd going; screams of "This band is unstoppable 1" were heard over the sample running through the PA and a pit opened up to claim those at the front . . Despite consummate performances of their other, more challenging tracks such as 'Dance Dance Dan.:e', with its all encompassing drum breakdown, the

10 minute epic that is 'Tiger Girl' was both the apogee and the culmination of the band's set. An unrelenting 4/4 beat, tribal percussion and layers of deafening distorted guitars left the crowd's ears ringing, but their hearts yearning for more. A lex Throssell

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LIVEWIRE UNSIGNED: BLUE BAR Friday 3rd December saw the Blue Bar filled to burst for U EA student radio station Livewire's battle of the bands, Unsigned 2010. The event saw 5 bands duke it out to win the top prize which included two days' worth of recording time at Purple Studios, with additional prizes including a support slot at a future Norwich Arts Centre gig. Champions of the night were experimental folk group In lay, who combined electric violin, banjo, accordion, acoustic guitar and strong vocal harmonies to great effect. The group played with the impeccable timing and precision of a group that has been playing together for much longer than they have (the band formed in 2009), but at the same time displayed a raw energy that filtered through to the rest of the bar. Runners up were equally exciting funk-rockers The Fuzz. Arguably already quite well established within the Norwich scene, the band was on energetic form, switching from genre to genre with ease and boast1ng soulful vocals and even more soulful saxophone solos. A highlight of the night came courtesy of The Manalishis, a four-piece which included former members of the nowdisbanded Wasted Reverends. The band performed a stunning pop-rock cover of

3/ 12/ 10

Chase & Status' 'Heartbeats', and their overall tightness and presence set the bar for the quality of music throughout the night. The night also featured a lively set from The Branstown Band who played warm, spirited country-influenced pop (boldly closing their set with a bluesy number which evolved halfway through into full-

on rock 'n' roll) as well as swaggering, almost sleazy rock from The Dirty Tricks. You can find out more about all of the acts on the Live Events page at www. livewire1350.com -you might just discover your new favourite band. Kate Hinksman


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RoMANCE: DANGER DAYS

of the album . First single Na Na Na is fast and exciting and if it doesn't make you want to get up and punch the air then there is something seriously wrong . The first guitar solo on the album is crunchy enough to let us overlook the fact that we've been waiting four years for this but Save Yourself, I'll Hold Them Back, with its stripped -down rock sound and Gerard Way's desolate wailing vocals, is also satisfyingly reminiscent of the band's debut. Other highlights of the album are Party Poison and the anthemic Bu/letproof Heart. One criticism of My Chemical Romance's new direction is their newly added use of electro effects, particularly in songs such as Planetary (GO!) where it seems as though the band is just following the latest trend in mainstream rock by putting synths under absolutely everything. lt's unnecessary 路 and the songs would work better without. However, the snappy Vampire Money is a fast and messy slice of old-school punk that finishes the album brilliantly. Despite early rumours that the latest offering from My My Chemical Romance has Chemical Romance was going to be a stripped down rock always been a band that splits album with no characters or gimmicks, the newest set of opinion and this album is no alter-egos from the New Jersey five-piece have proved to different. The haters will find things be their most explosive yet. Armed with ray-guns, vibrant to hate, and the fans will stick with coloured masks and enough swagger to shock Steven Tyler, them to the end . Whether you My Chemical Romance have delivered a new record that is like the band or not, Danger Days miles away from the dark theatrics we came to know from is a clever album that does not The Black Parade. disappoint, so turn your radios up You could be forgiven for missing the CD in stores; the and "party 'til the gasman comes". album cover depicts a sunshine drenched desert scene and is a colourful contrast to the ghoulish, blood splattered artwork Ellie Kumar of previous efforts. Most of the songs from Danger Days work as stand ?lone tracks but also within the full concept

Earlier this month, we had every intention of running a Christmas feature where our writers thought of alternative festive lyrics to popular songs. Nobody responded apart from Ant Firth-Ciark who managed to get the brief wrong anyway. Nonetheless, he got it wrong in a very funny way. .. Jingle Bells, we're in hell Cameron laid Nick Clegg Oh what fun it is to live in a benefit free mistake, OH!

Jingle Bells, we're in hell Cameron laid Nick Clegg Oh what fun it is to live in a benefit free mistake, OH!

Jingle Bells, we're in hell Life ain't for the dregs A dystopian world run by Oxford girls, a regret we cannot shake

Jingle Bells, we're in hell, Double-dip is our real fate Don't you fret, we're still in debt, just a lot more filled with hate .

Riding through the storm, of an investment w**ker's pay, Bailouts are the norm So they're laughing all the way, A budget fix was formed For the debt to cast away The poor have been dehomed, And education's thrown away, OH!

Visionary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, shortly before his death in 1999, was awarded the D.W. Griffith Lifetime Achievement Award. In his recorded acceptance speech, he suggests that the karus myth is not a cautionary tale about the dangers of hubris, but rather a rallying call to build better wings . There isn't enough space on this page to do Kanye's album justice in any kind of intellectual arena, so lets just kick it with a purely emotional- Jesus H., this is the s**t. lt feels like history. West is a man of extremes, and everything about MBDTF deals exclusively in those extremes. And what else could he have done? He flew as close to the sun as any have, and the wax started to melt. Here are those new wings. 'Devil in a New Dress' feels like walking in slow-motion through a cocktail party. 'Hell of a Life' feels like hooking up with a porn star. 'Runaway' feels like being Kanye West in his darkest moments, an empty bottle of Hennessy in hand, the words "Taylor, l'ma let ya'll finish in a minute" echoing over and over in a mind swimming with bourbon and bad ideas. lt's a piece of art concerned with power, influence, guilt and self-doubt. By the final track, we stand awed and speechless, having borne

Destabi/ise is the hotly anticipated metalers Enter Shikari . Whilst the

single from dance/ hy, powerful chorus St AI ban's quartet, the firs.t breakdown sounds di and unflattering. This blockage in the flow ofthe track is somehow rectified, however, as the explosive second br akdown gives a much needed dynamic edge to the track . T e main problem with Destabilise is that it is missing the . ignature melodic un derbelly of earlier ES singles. They ave the old brutality in abundance but not the catchy, po -infused melodies of previous releases. Destabilise brings about the de th of the old happygo-lucky Shikari and signals the ful regeneration of the band into a darker, increasingly sini ter, politicised beast. Whether this change is of merit is question of listener opinion. What can be confirmed, t ugh, is that this is a very 'Shikari-esque' record that fuse together a pick-andmix of countless sub-genres, but unf rtunateJy without the usual delicate blending we have com to expect.

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OH, THE PLAcEs You WILL Go ••• If you're going to a gig in Norwich, it's more than likely you know where to head but if you're looking to see some stand -up comedy then you might not be so sure; beyond the Theatre Royal , Pla yhouse or the Arts Centre. This week, Venue is provid ing you with the 'go-to' places to see local and (inter) national comedy in this fine city.

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The Birdcage The old stomping ground of 'Sa ltbox Presents .. .' The Birdcage offers a hedonistic experience in a cosy cafe, priding itself on its bohemia. The Birdcage puts on a variety of nights, and even though 'Saltbox presents .. .' may not be putting on its New Comedy Cabaret nights The Birdcage has a long history of cu ltivating some of Norwich's best talent. With all sorts of Cabaret evenings and the like the Birdcage should be top of your list to pop into and share the laughter over a couple of White Russians . If you do want to see 'Sa ltbox presents .. ' now at Maddermarket ,they're Theatre.

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Right in the heart of the Golden Tri ang le is one of the city's best comedy venues, especial ly for those looking for something from the local scene, or trying to break into it. The Rose Tavern on Rupert Street ha s long been hosting loca l comedy nights from UEA alumni LOL to Headlights. This is a great chance to see new comedians starti ng out and testing their new material. You never know these guys might be the ne1.v Foot lights!

This qua int litt!e coffee house isn't just a sweet place to grab a mug of hot chocolate but also offers some great comedy nights. You've probably past Cherryleaf Coffee House time and time again wa lk ing into town v1a St. Giles Street and thought about popping in for cake and a cup of tea, but probably not to get your fill of laughs. If you're looking for a different way to spend your time and catch some comedy out of a pub ve nue this is a great place to head down to .

This behemoth of a bui lding in the City Centre not only hou ses BBC East and an impressive library but plays host to The Comedy Store once a month . Yes, it is re lated to that famous London institution that gave so many a comedian their big break . Venue highly recommends heading down

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Norwich Ci t y Footb all Club You may ha ve headed down to Car row Road to see the Canaries play but the footba ll ground also offers something a little bit different. Even if football isn't your thing every last Thursday of the month the Lounge puts on the Red Card Comedy Club, which is t he perfect excuse to make your way out on a cold w inter night. The Red Card Comedy Club is Norwich based but is definite ly worth checking out for your bigger names. This month sees John Mann, Sean Mao (yes, again), Dan Antapolski and Rob Rouse grace Norwich with their presence, check it out 1 Paloma Ja cquin

In a turn of events that not even Psychic Octopus Paul managed to predict Russia won the bid to host the World Cup 2018, beating Portugal + Spain, Netherland s + Belgium and Eng land. FIFA president, Sepp Blatte r's, announcement makes Russia the first nat1on to host the World Cup behind the former Iron Curtain. As a beacon of hope and

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The X Factor finalists have made their formal bid for enrolment into the British Army with their cha rity single, a cover of David Bowie's 'Heroes'. it's a twoprong attack, a combination of lyrical imp lication ('We could

be heroes, just for one day' - if you listen careful ly, Cher then si ngs 'Piease7' in a voice only audible to dogs) and a clear insistence by all invo lved that a career in music would be a threat to national security. With the shock departure of obvious winner Wagner, we can only assume that his delightfully playful facial hair has now been posted on the front line .

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FROM THE FRONTLINE touring the country, nay the world, at the moment and nab the chance to see some ris ing stars. You'll have seen a number of them on your screens appearing in a va riet y of panel shows 1 Sean Meo, Steve Gribbin, Andrew Bird and more are gracing Norwich on the 13th of this month so grab your tickets now I

Th row a stick at yo ur carefully annotated bumper Christmas Rad io Time s and the chances are you' ll hit a Christmas comedy specia l or two (and severely confuse the dog). The format is deceptive ly simple. They're usua lly double the length of a regu lar edition of a sitcom favourite and quite often only half as good. This year, the oft- quoted Peep Show offers us its first Christmas

While the tensions of the season of 'goodwi ll to all men' is ferti le ground for laughs, it also has a 'phoen ix from the flames ' effect for departed shows and stars to take the hour as a last hurrah. Or, if you're Only Fools and Horses, quite a few 'hip hips' as wel l, managing its last specia l a decade after the end of the actual series . See also The Vicar of Dibley, where the ju xtaposit ion of Vicar and major Christian fe stiva l have

edition of its seven se ri es run. One can guess the addition of paper hats and fami ly members will create comedy gold in this saga of awkwardness and hidden feelings , especial ly as we're apparently going to meet those who supposedly spawned the quivering quas i anti-hero that is Mark Corrigan.

created several successful thematic episodes. Equally, Victoria Wood used the format to create a cozy comeback last year, parodying tea time drama and re-writing her classic comedy song 'Let's Do it' lt is in these cases that more often or not, muc h loved shows and formats gent ly remind us why they are no longer prime time material. However, apart from the litany of plastic gunk filling the shelves of Toy shops, Christmas is hardly the t ime for anything attempting to be cutting edge, so a specia l dispensation, helped by a love for sitcom characters often not seen in other genres w ins through . Of recent years, The Royle Family's specials have made cri t ical

ethical practices Russia is more than 'Read y to lnspi(e' the World Cup 2018. Recent Wikileaks have consistenlty proven Russia's ability to host interesting football in the next decade. Fulfilling Sepp Blatter's mission to bring the World Cup to unu sua l footballing destination there has been no hesitation to rush in. Running an understated campaign it is unsurprising Russia won the bid . 2018 promises an exciting World Cup with a number of the matches being held in modern and spacious stadiums all across the country from Kallingrad to Yekaterinburg. The fact that the infrastructure has yet be built means that the world can eagerly wait for glory. Natasha Smirnovski

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impact, achieving that much credi ted but rarely achieved accolade of being overflow ing with humour and heart by tackl ing a death wit h pathos rather than parody.

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COURTESY TAXIS DISCOUNT WRISTBAND

One cannot overlook Ricky Gervais' closing festive episodes of The Office, where al l romantic ties were neatly tied lfl a way not expected from t he ennu i fi ll ed mockument ary. One fee ls without the trappings of the season, t hings might not have ended so pleasantly. Why not have a happy ending 7 Tis the season, after all. If none of this sentimental nostalgia is your bag, and you've seen every rrr-c~-crr.rr.'rr mawkish film known to man, there's always The Big Fat Quiz of the Year and similar panel show marathon offerings to t ide you over. An~thing's better than a cracker joke, eh7 Christian Pierre

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Rich Hall- The PlayhouseGentleman's Dub Club - Norwich Arts Centre - 8pm (£6) * - LCR - 7=30pm (£16) * The Smiths Indeed -The Waterfront7:3opm (£15) * The Wizard of Oz- Planet Ice- 7:30pm (£?-£9)

orcycle C L - LCR * 7:3opm (£18.50) * UEA Symphony Orchestra & Choir- St Andrews Hall -7:3opm (£4-£12) * Flange Pudding- Mercy (free admission with flyer before 11.3opm)

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(£4.50) * Jenny Eclair: Old Dog New Tricks The Playhouse- 8pm (£17.50 - call for availability) * No Strings - Burlesque and Cabaret Club - Norwich PuppetTheatre - 8pm (£19.50call for availability) * Glow, Bubble and Snow- Mercy (£2.oo off Admission with flyer before midnight)

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(£3.5oadv) * Jack and the Beanstalk- Theatre Royal (continues until 16th January)- various times (£5-£17)

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- Inception- LT1- 7=30pm (£2.80) Col or Xmas Special feat SHY FX -The Waterfront- 1opm (£8-£10) * Jingle All The Way ... Giveaways Galore - Mercy (free admission with flyer before n .3opm)

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CHRISIMAS nME IN NORWICH Cl I Yr The famous Coca -Cola advert has been on for a while, everything is covered in snow and you've opened the first few windows of your advent calendar, so you know Christmas is just around the corner. Norwich has a lot to offer those of all ages in the coming days and weeks as you get in the festive spirit . Both Castle Mall and Jarrolds will have Santa in his grotto up until Christmas Eve, not really sure how he manages to be in two at places at once, but that's the magic of Christmas! No festive season would be complete without a pantomime and this year the Norwich Theatre Royal offers you the fantastic tale of Jack and The Beanstalk while Maddermarket Theatre has on offer the equally enthralling story of The BFG. For those of you look ing for a more grown up theatre product ion, Holkham Hall will be hosting the spooky tale of The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde. If you crave something a little more unique then how about Planet Ice's first ever Christmas show. Both Norwich skaters

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and international stars will be performing the Wizard ofOz, on ice ! Mus1c is always a big part of Christmas and Norwich has all sorts on offer. The first such event is on Thursday gth December as the UEA symphony Orchestra & Choir perform at the lovely St Andrew's Hall. Tickets are available from the UEA bo x office so grab one and support your fellow students . Also later in the month ,on Sunday 19th December, get ready to Swing into Christmas at The Forum as Jonathan Wyatt and his big band return for your listening pleasure . For those of you yet to get that festive feeling, the annual Norwich Cathedral Christmas market this coming weekend is the ideal place to find thoughtful gifts and soak up the yuletide atmosphere .

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1-

9

8

1-

0

HARD

MEDIUM

7

1 3 1

8 1

1-

2 7 8

1 5

4

9

7

9 1

6 7 5 4 3

6 2

4

2 8

1

2 7 9

9

4 6 5

3 2 6

6

1

-

f-

8 4

2 1 9

7

6

3

4 7


Venue - Issue 249 - 7 December 2010