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Cressida Peever - email@example.com
INDIGO 3 F EATURES
A look at the charity aiming to imrove justice for those on Death Row 4 MUSIC
Previews of Record Store Day and Jam By the Lake 5 V I SUAL ARTS
We review an emotional showcase of the art of Basma Nimri at St. Mary’s College 6 FASHION
Our look at Kimye on the cover of Vogue and whether they deserve the spot 7 F O OD & DRINK
A taste of Catalonia’s traditional delicacies and the latest in experimental gourmet food 8 & 9 FILM & TV A battle between Marvel’s Captain America and Amazing Spiderman 2, as well as a look at the new season of Game of Thrones 1 0 & 1 1 B O OKS & CREATIVE W RITING
We try to work out how to create the perfect plot, and look at new writing from Durham students 1 2 & 13 STAGE
A look back at the best of DST 1 4 & 15 TRAVEL
We visit Ireland as well as journeying around Europe via interrail
This edition sees the launch of Indigo’s brand new Creative Writing section, which aims to give Durham students a platform for their original writing in print and online. Durham boasts many alumni who have pursued a career in writing since leaving the University: Stephen Davies, formerly of Collingwood, is an author of children’s books set on the edge of the Sahara Desert; James Kirkup, of Grey, was a poet, whose dedication to the forms of haiku and tanka was internationally renowned; Mary Stewart, of Hild Bede, is a novelist best known for her Merlin series, and boasts over twenty novels. The list of successful writers is much longer, and will no doubt grow as time goes on. There are several creative writing groups in Durham, as well as a creative writing module run by the English Department, so there is ample opportunity for us to develop our skills and hear the work of our talented peers. Nevertheless, this section of Indigo has been set up so that student writers of any experience level can showcase their work. We’re accepting poetry, prose and extracts of drama without prerequisites, hoping to spark discussion, provide exposure for talent, and even inspire others to put pen to paper. Each week we will provide a theme to give writers a starting point for their submissions. This week, the theme was ‘beginnings’, and in our next edition it will be ‘heroes’. If you would like to get involved in writing for the section, or would simply like to find out more about it, then email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the mailing list, and you could be reading your work in print in a few weeks time. Cressida
INDIGO EDITOR Cressida Peever
BOOKS EDITOR Kate Wilkinson FASHION EDITORS Isobel Buckingham Katie Shuff FEATURES EDITOR Francesca Jaworska FILM & TV EDITOR Jonathan Peters Caroline France (deputy) FOOD & DRINK EDITOR Diana Grant-Davie MUSIC EDITORS Sophia Smith Galer Jack Collins Anastasia Symecko (deputy) STAGE EDITOR Emma Dawson TRAVEL EDITOR Oliver Collard Naoise Murphy (deputy) VISUAL ARTS EDITOR Frances Marsh
Georgia O’Brien Jessie Honnor. Jack Collins Sophia Smith-Galer Jessica Ng
Diana Grant-Davie Jonathan Peters Sandy Thin Kieran Moriarty Michael Grant Ahmed Badrideen Emma Dawson Jorel Chan Melanie Webb Zosia Eyres Naoise Murphy Alex Cupples
Aphorisms by Shreyas Murali Thottuvai PHOTOGRAPHY / ILLUSTRATION
For more arts and lifestyle articles please visit www.palatinate.org.uk
Cover photograph by Emma Werner Illusration in photograph by Cressida Peever
“The most hard-working ones are the most accomplished escapists.” “You can talk in whispers for as long as you like but you cannot clear your throat with them.”
Jessie Honnor. Sophia Smith-Galer Diana Grant-Davie Mariam Hayat Emma-Kate Prout Emma Wernere Jack Hodsoll Rebecca Duke Alex Cupples
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Francesca Jaworska - email@example.com
F EAT U R E S
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a friend for those on death row
Georgia O’Brien looks at the charity trying to improve America’s justice inequalityuinouin via flikr
hether one believes in the morality of the death penalty or not, all defendants share the right to fair criminal proceeding and decent legal representation— especially when the punishment could be irreversible. Yet it is a terrible truth that public legal representation provided to defendants in capital punishment cases in the USA are often overworked and under-experienced, which can easily lead to errors. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg perhaps summed it up best when she noted that ‘people who are well represented at trial do not get the death penalty’. All defendants in criminal proceedings in the US are legally entitled to a public defender or court-appointed lawyer, but there is no guarantee as to the quality of their assigned legal representation. Public defenders are often underpaid and under-resourced, making their job extremely difficult. No matter how wellintentioned, court-appointed lawyers often lack trial experience and sometimes have never defended a capital case before. Sometimes, the situations is even more problematic; in the state of Washington one-fifth of those who faced execution over the past twenty years had lawyers who had been, or were later, disbarred, suspended or arrested. In the wider justice system, one in four capital defendants have been represented by lawyers who have been disciplined for professional misconduct. The mistakes that these lawyers can make range from elementary to egregious. Larry Griffin was executed on the basis of witness testimony that stated he had extended his right hand out of a car window and shot 19 year old Quintin Moss. His overworked and under-trained lawyer never challenged this testimony despite the fact that Griffin was left-handed. Capital defendant Judy Haney’s experience was even more farcical; her court-appointed lawyer was jailed himself for showing up drunk to her capital trial
proceedings. It is within this context that the legal charity Amicus operates. Founded in memory of Andrew Lee Jones, who was executed by the state of Louisiana in 1991, Amicus aims to improve the training of legal professionals to deal with capital cases, and in doing so help balance out the problem of poor representation for poor and vulnerable people in the American justice
a court-appointed lawyer showed up drunk to Haney’s capital trial proceedings system. Amicus are based in the UK and send over twenty to thirty interns trained in capital defence to the USA each year to provide legal services to capital defendants. Amicus argue that the poor quality of representation afforded to those who must opt for public defenders often leads to violating their right to due process. The injustice of this system is compounded by one simple fact; only those who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer are assigned public defenders, and therefore those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds are vastly more likely to be sentenced to death for their crimes. Amicus’ job is made harder by the fact that the structure of the US legal system effectively encourages the delegation of capital representation to under-resourced lawyers. Some jurisdictions give capital cases to the attorney who makes the lowest bid, effectively guaranteeing that a defendant will not have expert witnesses called on their behalf. It is this inequality between the defense and prosecution resources that produces such a gulf of injustice: prosecutors are often free to spend vast sums on
thorough investigations, expert witnesses and other necessary out-of-court expenses. Capital defendants usually have no such luxury: in some states, public defenders are actually legally capped on the amount they can spend defending a capital case. Alabama, for example, capped out-of-court expenses to a paltry one thousand dollars. In contrast, a well-organised prosecution can be expected to spend over ten times that amount. The racial prejudice that overshadows the American legal system also has a part to play. A North Carolina study found that the odds of receiving a death sentence were three and a half times higher for defendants whose victims were white. Perhaps the defining feature of a fair democracy is that all citizens are equal under the law, but how can that be true when the poorest in society are deprived of adequate legal representation—sometimes at the cost of their lives. Mistakes made by inexperienced and under-funded lawyers can lead to innocent people facing a death sentence, which is arguably the ultimate subversion of the ideals of a fair society. If a society chooses to hand down the ultimate punishment to their worst offenders, then it has a duty to ensure that, at the very least, those it chooses to execute are actually guilty of the crimes they are charged with committing. Legal wrongs and mistakes cannot be remedied from beyond the grave. By helping to ensure that only those truly guilty of capital crimes face the ultimate punishment, Amicus and other legal representation charities continue to battle for a small piece of justice in an overwhelmingly problematic justice system. If you are interested in joining the Amicus Society or finding out more about their work, email Natalie Chan at n.y.y.chan@durham. ac.uk Story byGeorgia O’Brien Images by Amicus Society
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Sophia Smith Galer & Jack Collins (dept. Anastasia Symecko) - firstname.lastname@example.org
review: record store day//19.4.14
The seventh annual Record Store Day was held on the 19th of April to celebrate independent record stores through live music and limited edition releases across the UK. As a music lover, I felt it was only right for me to pilgrimage to one of these stores and pay my respects to the art of the physical record, and while my first Record Store Day experience turned out vastly different to how I’d planned, it completely bypassed the enjoyment I’d had of any store event I’d ever been to before.
energetic and diverse, and the way they bridged so many genres made it impossible not to enjoy. I bought both McClure and Little Brother Eli CDs, and as the vendor was lacking change earned myself a couple of free badges.
“the artists feel the need quite simply to be heard, so give electrifying performances in a bid to do just that” After plans in Rise Music, Bristol and the Oxford Truck Store fell through, I decided to try Rapture in Whitney, Oxfordshire, a tiny place promising a host of live performances. Although I hadn’t heard of them before, Little Brother Eli and Paul McClure were the two standout performances for me, with McClure’s Don Henley-esque vibe impressing me and my mother, both big fans of The Eagles. His voice was one that spoke of timeless folk and his guitar playing was breathtaking, and coupling this with his great stage presence and audience interaction made the set unforgettable. Meanwhile, Little Brother Eli were so kooky that it was hard to miss them, although it didn’t hurt that the lead singer was rather easy on the eye! Their performance was
Supporting bands who were so passionate for music gave me a distinct feeling of pride, especially after being plastered with innumerable leaflets for talented artists that I believe deserve just as much mainstream success as the likes of Rihanna and Bastille, but hadn’t quite got their big break yet. However, I think that in a way what makes bands like this even more special is the fact that they haven’t
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reached that level of fame yet. The artists feel the need quite simply to be heard, so give electrifying performances in a bid to do just that. The shop itself was constantly busy, with people huddled over boxes of records and crammed into the CD aisles while regulars chatted happily to the sales assistants, delighted with how well the day was going. Shoppers were thanked for every purchase, greeted by genuine gratitude that people cared enough about music to part with their time and money for physical copies rather than using iTunes or torrenting. Personal recommendations from staff were rife, keen to go out of their way to give guidance on the types of music I might enjoy, in the end luring me in to buying copies of The Sound of the Smiths, A Beautiful Lie by Thirty Seconds to Mars, and my favourite purchase of the day, Green Day’s Demolicious. This was a special Record Store Day release, and contained demos of their Uno!, Dos!, and Tre! albums, including a previously unreleased single and an acoustic version of ‘Stay The Night’, one of my favourite songs. I also decided to take the plunge into starting a vinyl collection, which I’ve had the intention of doing for a long while now, with another limited edition release, a 12” of The Civil Wars: Live at Eddie’s Attic. I certainly haven’t regretted it – the sound quality is so much crisper than anything I’ve listened to before, and with 2014 set to see 900,000 vinyl sales it seems people agree with me. Story and photograph by Jessie Honnor.
preview: jam by the lake//14.6.14
This year’s Jam By The Lake Festival, held annually at Van Mildert, promises to be the best ever. Cecily Higham, this year’s director, has given the structure a real shake up, with the help of her committee, shaping a day and night packed with music and sure to get everyone up on their feet. Instead of the usual 11am until 6pm format, this year boasts the extended hours of 2pm until 11pm, and therefore makes 2014 the first year ever where acts will be playing into the night. From student favourites, through bands tipped for stardom, to a finale in the form of a live DJ set, Jam By The Lake 2014 promises to be the best yet. Lenny and the Mandem were the first band confirmed for the lineup, winning this year’s VM Battle of the Bands with a host of excellent covers to secure their slot with aplomb. They will be joined by Lancashire indie-folk outfit The Gentrymen, who boast Mildert’s own Phil Burns within their ranks, and The One Time Commitments, a soul a capella act set up by Laura Paul, frontwoman of Durham favourites The Invitations, who promises that she has a whole host of tricks up her sleeve to wow the crowd. There’s also rumours circulating that the all-conquering Quays will be making a triumphant return. The external bands have a whole host to offer as well. The Bluebuds played the festival in 2012 and were quickly recalled for this year to allow for the return of their original style, with their rustic tendencies allowing for both “rousing stomps and delicate balladeering” according to the BBC. Charlie Straw will
also be taking to the stage, a rising acoustic star in based in Leeds who has supported acts such as The Pigeon Detectives with his haunting bluesy sound.
“with nothing but positive live reviews, their presence on the line-up is extremely promising for the festival” House of Lions will be joining them on the bill, a five piece synth-guitar band who have drawn comparisons to Foals and Everything Everything, and who have been tipped by BBC Radio 2 as one of the hottest prospects for the next couple of years. Their new single, Uncruel, is well worth checking out. On top of this, come MOATS. Rated as one of NME’s Top 50 Bands of 2013, part of the Wasted Youth Collective and headliners of none other than Pete Doherty’s birthday party last year, MOATS have flung themselves into the public consciousness with their unique sound. Upon being asked to define their genre on their Facebook page, MOATS reply with “you decide.” As far as comparisons go, there’s hints of White Lies in their sound, and I’ve seen them described as a cross between The Cribs and The xx, but none of these really do MOATS justice. With nothing but positive live reviews, however, their presence on the line-up is extremely promising for the festival. To close the party, Jam By The Lake have teamed up with the DJs from the Arc collective, who have been
making waves in Durham recently with their On The River event, and have promised a set full of soulful house and disco to keep everyone dancing once the bands have finished. This is a break with tradition, and Arc will be the first ever DJs to grace the festival, and shows the progressive approach that Higham and her committee have had towards the festival this year. This year’s festival is on the 14th June, starting at 2 p.m. and is in aid of the charity Mind, who are a mental health support charity with specific interests in the welfare of students and young people. Jam by the Lake 2014 is kindly sponsored by Deloitte LLP. For information about graduate opportunities, please visit deloitte.co.uk/graduates or follow Deloitte on Twitter on @deloittejobsuk. By Jack Collins JAM BY THE LAKE 2014 Where: Van Mildert College When: 14th June 2014 Cost: FREE Who: MOATS, House of Lions, Arc Durham, Charlie Straw, The Bluebuds, The Quays, and many more. Twitter: @VMJamByTheLake Facebook: Jam By The Lake 2014 In Aid of MIND Charity. Sponsored By Deloitte LLC.
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Frances Marsh - email@example.com
V I S UA L A RT S
the humanity of basma nimri
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Sophia Smith-Galer visits an emotional showcase of the art of Basma Nimri at St. Mary’s College
enworthy Hall in St. Mary’s college is known mostly to students as the hectic backstage hotspot for the college’s drama performances, or as a space for the occasional Arts Society concert. However, for a short period in March, it was transformed into an emotional showcase of the art of Basma Nimri, resident at the college since January. A Jordanian artist skilled in painting, sculpting and writing, Basma owned the room on 18th March at a private viewing not only with her breathtaking works but also with her open and warm personal-
hearing about the violent turmoil back home in Jordan and the Levant she was filled with such sadness and anger that she dipped her hands in the thick red oils and scratched the surface of the painting ity. At the well-attended event she welcomed any question with enthusiasm and interest, responding eloquently with her stories behind each painting. The stories in themselves describe her eccentricity and imagination well; at a presentation one evening in the Dining Hall she was having such a good time that she ran away to paint how happy she felt - thus producing what she calls High Table Dinner. In another more harrowing painting, of a face covered in what appears to be blood, Basma informed me how she was first trying to paint a beautiful face, but upon hearing about the violent turmoil back home in Jordan and the Levant, she was filled with such sadness and anger at the troubles that she dipped her hands in the thick red oils and scratched the surface of the painting. The result is a wounded, lonely face, staring bleakly through lines - or are they bars? - of pure red fury. But what of the paintings themselves? The figures in them are blunt, even haunting. Their eyes are huge because Basma perceives vision as ‘greater than sight’, and they are always asymmetri-
cal because, as she beguilingly told me, “why have two eyes but only feel one thing? You have two eyes, you feel two feelings. Each feeling is seen in your eyes.” Their noses and necks are long to represent the dignity and nobility which they hold, though here there are some contradictions; the lips are often tightly pursed and small, peculiarly voiceless for an artist who has written books on womanhood and always depicts her women as naked “not because I want to show details, but because women are powerful. They have truths, they have nothing to hide.” Yet the figures remain dutifully silent and sad, their pain held within but for Basma’s intuitive way with the sumptuously thick oils. In the one painting where the woman’s lips are open, Basma adopts such a wonderfully bruised purple that the sound of the scream is clear on the canvas. Likewise with another painting she likes to call The Box of Sorrows, a man is standing behind a woman trying to hold her, yet inside her chest we can see a box that Basma tells me holds all her pain. The woman’s gaze is detached and staring away from the man trying to console her. In each painting every feature and every gesture is painted with intention, and Basma is a deliberate artist in her portrayal of the acquiescence of and struggle with pain. Basma lost her sister to cancer six years ago, leaving a painful imprint on the artist’s work; in the corner of Kenworthy Hall there are two paintings depicting two women, evidently Basma and her sister, and the empathy and the pain of absence and loss is made even more tragic by those long, dignified facial features that seem to evoke a resigned, poised acceptance of death. A few paintings along, we see an image of the artist’s sister alone. Basma told me how the
painting took her days, achieving the wonderful blended tone by painting millimeter by millimeter with the tip of her finger. The woman looks at peace, standing at the forefront of the painting with a dark, gridded purple background far away from her. St. Mary’s are fortunate enough to have been donated this piece by the artist herself. Basma has chosen it not only because it was painted here in Durham but because the expression on her face could as easily be that of the college’s patron saint, St. Mary. Basma has spent only a couple of months in residence at the college, but she finished 9 works in that time. When I speak with her she marvels at the beauty of Durham’s countryside, especially the Botanic Gardens, and she tells me how her paintings have changed so much since her arrival. The colour palette is definitely different in her recent works, where bright primary colours take over from Basma’s usual blend of deep, full-bodied reds, blues and purples. I asked Basma where she intends on taking her art to after Durham and she tells me that she would love to have another residency in the UK and that perhaps she shall open up a small gallery with her sister in Santiago. Wherever Basma Nimri’s paintings choose to rest, they will change the environment in which they sit; the blank square that is Kenworthy Hall has in this short period of time turned into a gathering of lost souls, encouraging the viewer to question their hidden stories with the jarring colours and heavy oils bringing about an overwhelming catharsis. Basma said to the guests that you can be skillful, but not powerful, and in her works it is clear that she knows the exact formula to be both. Photographs: Sophia Smith-Galer
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Katie Shuff & Isobel Buckingham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographs: Vogue..com, Vanityfair.com
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Kimye make the cover
t’s finally happened. After months of speculation, the cover that many said would never be has become a reality – a wedding themed, Annie Leibowtz directed reality to be precise, that has quite possibly made April’s US Vogue the #worldsmosttalkedaboutcover since that pregnant Demi Moore Vanity Fair controversy of ’91. In a move that has both shocked and confused the sartorial crowd in equal measure, Anna Wintour has allowed Kimye (that’s Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, for the uninitiated), to grace, or some would say desecrate, the cover of her beloved fashion bible. Cue an explosion of worldwide commentary ranging from the good (Henry Holland and Lily Allen are fans), the ambivalent (Naomi Campbell was a ‘no comment’), to full on fashion mutiny in the style ranks from even the most loyal of Vogue readers (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Bryanboy, the majority of Twitter…). On the one hand, calls for the boycott of Vogue appear entirely reasonable. She is a reality star diva who made her name from a sex tape. He is a self-proclaimed ‘pop enigma’ who is commonly ridiculed by the press for his arrogant and outrageous comments. Together they are loud, low-brow and, crucially, a far cry from the upscale elegance Vogue has come to be known for, so it is little wonder that loyal readers feel cheated. Indeed, the last thing they were expecting was for Wintour, the ultimate arbiter of high fashion in a world that is marked by exclusivity, to bow down to the popular culture of the masses. It is all
the more striking given her very public contempt of Kardashian in recent years: In 2012, Wintour reportedly blacklisted the reality star from the guest list of what is arguably one of the biggest fashion events of the year, the Metropolitan Costume Institute Gala. Although last year she may have acquiesced, Kardashian was notably omitted from any Vogue coverage of the event, very much indicating that West’s campaign to get his fiancée on the cover, which made headlines late last year, was ultimately to be a fruitless effort. Yet at the same time, a quick peruse of Vogue’s recent past in fact suggests this change of heart is a move that shouldn’t actually come as any surprise. After all, it is a fact universally acknowledged that models have long been edged out of the running for coveted cover space by actresses and musicians. So far this year, Vogue cover stars have consisted of Cate Blanchett, Lena Dunham and Rihanna – a trend that has led Naomi Campbell to declare that ‘we [the models] want the magazine covers back’. April’s offering can simply be seen as an extension of this celebrity takeover. The fact of the matter is celebrity personalities sell magazines better than models. They are more recognisable and, believe it or not, more relatable than the perfect supermodel. Actresses also have more to offer the reader via the possibility of a tell-all interview compared to an obscure model in a pretty editorial. Yes, this may be sacrilege to die hard fashionistas, but this is the way to reach a wider audience who are not interested in fashion for the sake
of fashion. And let’s face it, in the digital age, Vogue as a print magazine needs all the sales it can muster. Interestingly, in her editor’s letter Wintour states that ‘part of the pleasure of editing Vogue’ is being able to ‘feature those who define the culture at any given moment’, confirming that whilst ostensibly a fashion magazine, Vogue is no longer defined by the narrow, and quite frankly snobby, limits the label perhaps entails. It now stands with and alongside popular culture, not above it, making Wintour’s Kimye controversy part of a series of shrewd and clever business decisions that is reflective of this shift. Ultimately, the proof is in the proverbial pudding. Already, just two weeks after its release, April’s Vogue is being touted as the highest selling issue of the year so far, suggesting a move that is more maverick than disaster on Wintour’s part. Personally, although Kimye’s effort certainly won’t be making my top list of favourite Vogue covers any time soon, I do agree with Wintour that the end product was ‘charming’, if only for baby North West’s appearance in the editorial. For now, Vogue has been put back on the map as the most controversial and risk-taking fashion publications of them all. After all, no one is talking about Amanda Seyfried’s W cover, or Emma Watson’s turn as Elle’s cover girl. Although some may argue it is for all the wrong reasons, it seems that Vogue has never been more à la mode. By Jessica Ng
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Diana Grant-Davie - email@example.com
FOOD & DRINK
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Catalonia: home of creative cuisine Diana Grant-Davie tries traditional specialities and the latest in experimental gourmet food Barcelona and the wider Catalonia region have a global reputation for fine food and wine, drawing inspiration from French, Northern Spanish and Mediterranean cuisines. The region is on the coast but is also mountainous, leading to the popularity of mar i muntanya, the equivalent of surf and turf, taking advantage of the abundance of meat and seafood. I had the opportunity to visit Barcelona this Easter and try some of the local delicacies at La Boquería, a large market situated off La Rambla, the city’s central street. Butifarra, spicy sausages, along with salted cod and crema catalana, the Catalonian version of crème brulée are all regional specialities. La Boquería was first mentioned in historical records in the early 1200s and has grown in popularity ever since. The market is full of stalls selling everything from oysters to strings of peppers and was packed throughout the day. I decided to miss the four course Menu del Día lunches offered for €10 in nearby restaurants in favour of a late lunch of octopus and sangría at a small tapas bar in the market.
Photograph: Javier Lastras
Crema Catalana Preparation: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes infusing Cook time: 50 minutes, plus 2-3 hours chilling Serves: 4 Ingredients:
Photograph: Diana Grant-Davie Catalonia is also home to Ferràn Adrià, the revolutionary chef at the legendary El Bulli restaurant and pioneer of experimental gastronomy. El Bulli had three Michelin stars and received the award of Restaurant Magazine’s Best Restaurant in the world a record five times. His experiments with creative cuisine included frozen parmesan foam and cocktails which make the consumer breathe smoke. The restaurant, located on the coast of Catalonia, closed in 2011, but will reopen later this year as a cultural foundation and research institute. Chefs who have previously worked at El Bulli include René Redpezi, founder of Scandinavian restaurant Noma, rated best restaurant in the world this year and Nuno Mendes, executive chef at new London sensation, Chiltern Firehouse. The following recipes offer a taste of Catalonian food and drink that you can recreate in your own kitchen in Durham.
• 350ml milk • 125ml cream • 2-3 pieces of peeled orange zest • 2-3 pieces of peeled lemon zest • 1 cinnamon stick
7) Use a blow torch (or a hot grill) to caramelise the sugar, taking care not to burn the sugar. 8) Remove the ramekins from the baking dish and transfer to the fridge to chill for a couple of hours until completely cool. 9) To serve, sprinkle a heaped teaspoon of sugar over each ramekin and use a blow torch (or a hot grill) to caramelise the sugar, taking care not to burn the sugar. Sangria -
1) Put milk, cream, lemon and orange zest and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for 30 minutes 2) Preheat the oven to 150C/130C with a fan assisted oven/gas mark 3 3) In a mixing bowl, lightly whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract 4) Strain the milk, discarding the zest and cinnamon sticks, then slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly 5) Divide the mixture between four ramekins and arrange them in a deep baking dish. 6) Carefully add boiling water to the baking dish to come halfway up the ramekins, then transfer the dish to the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes until the custard is just set at the edges and still retains a wobble in the centre
Ingredients: •1 lemon •1 lime •1 orange •250ml rum •750ml bottle dry red wine •250ml orange juice •100g sugar Instructions: 1. Slice the lemon, lime and orange into thin rounds and place in a large glass pitcher. Pour in the rum and sugar. Chill in the refrigerator 2.When ready to serve, crush the fruit lightly with a wooden spoon and stir in the wine and orange juice. Adjust sweetness to taste
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Jonathan Peters (Caroline France - deputy) - firstname.lastname@example.org
F I L M & TV
Marvel summer showdown
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Captain America: The Winter Soldier versus The Amazing Spider-Man 2
ecent weeks have seen superhero ‘tentpole’ movies Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 unleashed onto the viewing public. With both dominating the box office, it appears summer blockbuster season has officially begun. Judging simply from the first two films out of the gate, it seems that this year’s slate will be less disappointing than the last. Filmmakers have realised that bigger is not necessarily better, and have tempered the monotonous citywide carnage that plagued the likes of Man of Steel and Pacific Rim. In these films the action is controlled, exciting, and the stakes seem more personal. Each makes notable creative choices to distinguish itself, warranting a comparison between the two.
ander Pierce. As for Redford, he’s a fun presence, even if he does coast along a little on his previous political thriller roles. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 could have been the best entry in the series, if only its weak villains didn’t threaten to
Chris Evans makes a likeable enough Captain America, but his character remains intrinsically bland. Thankfully he is ably supported by Scarlett Johansson, who is given a much meatier role than in previous Marvel Cinematic Universe outings, and is clearly growing more confident as Black Widow. Between her, Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury, and Antony Mackie’s Falcon, the movie has more than its fair share of interesting supporting heroes, who play off each other nicely.
Winner: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 The Villains Besides Tom Hiddleston’s fantastic Loki, the Avengers franchise has never really boasted a truly memorable villain. Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier is a step up from Christopher Ecclestone’s forgettable Malekith (Thor: The Dark World) and Ben Kingsley’s execrable Mandarin (Iron Man 3), but he’s never really as menacing when he arrives onscreen as directors Antony and Joe Russo seem to want him to be. His lack of dialogue doesn’t so much add mystique as make his character feel underdeveloped, and he is sidelined in favour of Robert Redford’s sleazy SHIELD operative Alex-
The Action Captain America: The Winter Soldier, unlike its immediate predecessor, favours traditional choreographed fight scenes over excessive CGI, and is all the better for it. A hand-to-hand duel with the Winter Soldier halfway through the film is brutal and brilliant, while some explosive car chases have audiences on the edge of their seats. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 features some of the most spectacular set pieces in recent memory. Opening with a superb plane crash sequence and moving into a jaw-dropping web-slinging scene, the action never lets up. Each sequence is bright, bold and colourful, and the aesthetic is more striking and stylised than Captain America’s. Director Marc Webb, particularly during an assault on Times Square and an electricity grid-set finale, captures what it feels like to be Spider-Man. He slows down the camera and pans leisurely around the scenes of destruction to represent ‘Spidey Senses’ in a way never depicted in the franchise before, and follows the web-slinger closely during aerial battles to exhilarating effect.
However, it’s Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey, who really shine in The Amazing SpiderMan 2. Their sizzling chemistry holds the film together and elevates it to a new level. Stone delivers an emotional performance, while Garfield is perfect as SpiderMan. He exudes infectious charisma where Tobey Maguire always seemed awkward and reserved, and pulls off with aplomb angsty and comic moments. Sally Field makes the most of her slim amount of screen time as Aunt May, her touching scenes with Garfield grounding the film.
Winner: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Winner: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 The Story
Illustration by Mariam Hayat derail the entire experience. The excellent Paul Giamatti is wasted in a fleeting cameo as the Rhino, and his confrontation with Spider-Man is too worryingly reminiscent of the Underminer scene in The Incredibles to take seriously. Jamie Foxx fares even worse as Electro, proving unconvincing as an Oscorp engineer who becomes obsessed with Spider-Man after a brief encounter. What could have been an interesting exploration of an extremely lonely man driven to insanity is hampered by hammy dialogue, camp acting and an unbelievable character arc – Electro transforms in one scene from a helpless victim terrified of his own new powers to an unsympathetic, overpowered maniac. Dane DeHaan on the other hand is a great actor, and is actually better than James Franco as the Harry Osborne version of the Green Goblin. Unfortunately his story is equally rushed, even though he is afforded an unbearably tense final showdown.
As Mark Kermode has pointed out, there are the obligatory running, jumping and fighting sections in the new Captain America, but the storyline, with SHIELD compromised and the hero on the run, is an intriguing political thriller with gripping twists and turns. It drags its protagonist into the modern age, questioning the relevance of superhero fiction, where the sides are usually black and white, in an era of government surveillance and lost faith in our supposed protectors. It’s all fairly silly considering the protagonist is a geneticallyenhanced supersoldier from the 1940s, but you can’t blame the filmmakers for trying something new. By contrast, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is pure escapism. The story suffers from Spider-Man 3 syndrome and is overstuffed with underdeveloped characters, but the film does add a crucial element lacking in almost every superhero drama since The Dark Knight: a proper sense of peril. Whilst the Avengers movies frequently cop out of actually killing anyone, this film presents palpable danger for its characters, and to its credit is unafraid to travel to some dark places. Winner and overall victor: Captain America: The Winter Soldier By Jonathan Peters
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Jonathan Peters (Caroline France - deputy) - email@example.com
F I L M & TV
Game of Thrones
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Spoiler-filled reviews of series four from newbie and book-expert perspectives
ollowing the shocking and harrowing end to the third series, which had been plodding along slowly until the events of the ‘Red Wedding’, the writers of the HBO smash hit have packed an awful lot into these opening episodes. One of the large criticisms of the last series had been that the narrative was becoming too saturated. Though the source material undoubtedly requires a more episodic approach than most shows, it had begun to feel like the writers were fighting a losing battle to keep on top of eversplintering storylines. This problem, however, seems to have been largely addressed in the new series, as each episode focuses on fewer storylines but for a greater period of time, allowing the viewer to experience the wonderful character development. While it may seem counter-intuitive to go whole episodes without seeing Daenerys and co., it is easier to engage for ten minutes at a time every second episode, than it was with a brief scene or two every week. By this stage of the story, even those viewers who like me have no knowledge of George R. R. Martin’s novels, know to expect the unexpected. Thankfully, the death of sociopathic King Joffrey was one that all fanatics had been praying for since the show’s very beginnings. In terms of unwavering sadism and evil, it is difficult to imagine a more
perfect villain than Joffrey, whose portrayal by Jack Gleeson over the last four years has been truly superb. Having made the decision to now retire from acting, at the age of 20, one can only imagine that Gleeson had grown tired of people confusing his role in the show for his real life character. His final moments, as he taunted and humiliated a defiant Tyrion, acted as a perfect showcase of his hateful nature, even having the cheek to turn his nose up at a cameo from Icelandic band Sigur Rós at his wedding. But as Joffrey gasped his last, the series has breathed new life into the show’s other characters. The Jaime-Cersei dynamic will be very interesting to observe over the coming weeks, and the AryaHound road trip seems likely to bring a lot of joy to viewers based on their scenes in the first episode. Even the seemingly aimless wanderings of Bran now seem to have found some clarity, for him at least if no one else. As for the goings-on at The Wall, well, we’re still waiting to see ‘the biggest fire the north has ever seen’, but the cannibal wildlings do seem an intriguing addition, as does the revenge-hungry Prince Oberyn, at King’s Landing. Stannis…well, nothing much has really changed with Stannis since series one, but he is virtually alone in his lack of character development. It is hard to recall any other TV show in which
your opinions of characters change so drastically and so frequently. Such has been his transformation been over the last series, that viewers have virtually forgotten Jaime Lannister’s assault on the beloved Ned Stark. Similarly, we now pity Theon so much that we can overlook the fact that just two series’ ago, he burnt two farmer boys to a crisp. Given the beauty and skill with which the character drama is written, it is a shame that the nudity and gore still seem so obligatory in the show.Though its softcore pornographic sensibility may have attracted some teenage boys in the early days, the fanbase is now so established that it often seems unnecessary – at times even shoehorned into the plot. Some may argue that it is part of the show’s image, some historians have even argued that it offers a more realistic portrayal of Tudor Britain than many historical novels, but while the violence and power struggles may be brutally honest to life, it seems unlikely that so many political decisions would be made in brothels. Though perhaps in a world inhabited by dragons and white walkers, to discuss the historical accuracy of the show is to miss the point. Regardless, the new series’ opening suggests a huge return to form that will surely provide a welcome hour’s break from revision each week over the coming months. By Sandy Thin
Photographs: HBO Imagine a series of fantasy books, which dedicated thousands of pages to hundreds of characters and interweaving plots that extended across seven kingdoms. As armies clash over who will sit upon the Iron Throne, there are executions, black magic, Image sadistic courtesy torture, of rape, human sacrifices; a brutal viUniversal sion of Pictures a world at war. Added to this absurd melting pot is a horde of frozen zombies, pyromaniac witches, shapeshifters, giants and fire-breathing dragons. Now imagine trying to mould this madness into a primetime series. The final product is Game of Thrones, the international phenomenon that has taken television by storm. As an avid reader of George R. R. Martin’s novels I would have felt this feat was impossible. Where could you begin when considering their immense scale and outrageous content? Nevertheless, the show is a triumph. It is the most expensive television series ever broadcasted, but that money has been well spent on all aspects of production, making it a rare breed of TV adaption, one which satisfies the devoted reader and the uninitiated but captivated viewer. Game of Thrones is indebted to its superb cast for bringing its iconic characters to life. Peter Dinklage as the dwarf Tyrion Lannister captures perfectly the mischievous wit of ‘The Imp’, making him a fan favourite. You cannot help warming to him, despite his assistance of the Lannister tyranny. He combats the disgust of his family towards
him, with wry remarks and dry humour that raises him above the rest. Charles Dance’s thespian gravitas is ideal in his portrayal of Tywin Lannister, one of many villains featured in the series. His appearance is as cold and cutting as his delivery of his terrifying commands to his inferiors and his family. Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister is the ultimate lady of the back-stabbing court; false smiles, venomous one-liners, and mass histrionics of rage. As for Jack Gleeson in his portrayal of the sadistic King Joffrey, the outpouring of joy on Twitter following the demise of his character recently, vindicates his great performance. Michelle Fairley as Cateyln Stark is a strong female character that endures, despite the continuous waves of misery that batter her. Each Stark child faces their own adversity, lost from their parents, which is conveyed capably by all of the young actors. Whether it’s the depression and hopelessness of Sansa, trapped in the parasitical court at King’s Landing, the strength of Arya on the run or the confusion of the youngest boys, Bran and Rickon, about their destiny. Yet none can match the importance of the main heroine, Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons. Within the books and consequently the TV show, misogyny is rife. Women have to endure a wide variety of hellish situations, whether it be prostitution, beatings, forced marriages, or worse.
Daenerys is the ultimate exception and stands as a beacon for female empowerment, a role the story desperately needed, for the books and the show. Emilia Clarke plays the progression of Daenerys beautifully throughout the TV series, developing from scared teenager into a woman of stature and authority, before becoming the moral and rightful claimant to the Iron Throne. For many of us that have now watched the show, the excellent production of scenes means that it is the television series which provides us with those definitive images. The small details gleaned from sentences we have read are preserved painstakingly within these scenes, and the sensory qualities that television adds act as a huge enhancement. The ‘Red Wedding’, for many, would be the most traumatic event they had ever witnessed on a television screen. No show would permit heroes to be so brutally massacred yet Game of Thrones boldly does the unthinkable, true to the books. I knew exactly what was coming, yet the shock still hit me like a train. As a reader, knowing of the many jaw-dropping events to come, it is clear that Game of Thrones has longevity, providing the same attention to detail is preserved. I am not a purist for the novel in the debate over book and show. For me, I’m happy to enjoy both. By Kieran Moriarty
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Kate Wilkinson - firstname.lastname@example.org
BOOKS & CREATIVE WRITING
finding the plot Michael Grant goes on a hunt for
the perfect plot formula
ore than 2000 years ago, Aristotle argued that drama consists of six main elements, of which plot is the most important. Since then, vast numbers of writers and theorists have tried to elaborate on his ideas. What is it that makes a good plot? Why do some tales affect us deeply whereas others leave us cold? And is it possible to devise a general formula which could guarantee a gripping storyline every time? One notable attempt to answer these questions was made by Gustav Freytag in the 19th century. By comparing the storylines of ancient Greek and Shakespearean dramas, he was able to break plot down into five basic sections: ‘exposition’ (setting the scene), ‘rising action’ (the plot builds and excitement increases), ‘climax’ (the turning point for the main character), ‘falling action’ (any remaining conflict unravels), and ‘denouement’ (concluding the story). Although this analysis was limited to a specific type of drama, it clearly forms the basis of a broad range of literature. However, it would be difficult to construct a plot starting from those general observations. In order to find a more specific formula, it is necessary to examine a genre that is by its very nature formulaic. Such as James Bond, for instance. The Italian novelist Umberto Eco once wrote a detailed analysis of Ian Fleming’s James Bond nov-
Sonnet to my Left Hand Maligned and hated as an Ishmael It serves the right like a begrudging slave Although the same in muscle, shape and tone. Unornamented, disinherited It hangs. Or grasping fingers rove in vain. Fearing its touch, they call it sinister And keep for it all the detested work. The right hand doesn’t know the left hand’s deeds. Perhaps one day we’ll find it charged with power Possessing , then, what it had never held, The nimble fingers where the lithe pen rests Rewriting what we know of history. That day, when white is black and black is white And when the dormant left-hand wakes to write.
N D I G O
Illustration by Emma-Kate Prout
Alexandria Remember Alex and her littered streets Where we first tried the juice of sugar-cane Smoked scented shisha with some local men While elfish children, dressed in mucky clothes, Could charm you out of ten or twenty pounds – Their large and glinting eyes, uninnocent. Or how a raucous zeffa would erupt With a bewitching bendir drum; its beat – sprightly, insistent – a seductive jinn. There an ungainly groom with his small bride Flooded and yellowed by the street-lamps’ light, received the women’s happy ululations which rocketed into the humid air. And all the while unnoticed lapped the slow sober waves of the caerulean sea. By Ahmed Badrideen
els, in which he reduced the books down to nine different ���moves’. Examples include ‘M moves and gives a task to Bond’, and ‘Villain tortures Bond (with or without Woman)’. Eco claimed that all of these moves are invariably featured in each book, although they may appear more than once and in different orders. According to him, Fleming is able to disguise these similarities by altering secondary elements such as locations and supporting characters, whilst leaving the basic framework untouched. This enables the reader to enjoy what is in many ways a new adventure, whilst still having the comfort of knowing more or less how the narrative will proceed. Although it is important to stress that Fleming did not use this formula when plotting his novels, it does raise the interesting question that if he had deliberately constructed each of his plots from a recipe, could he ever have achieved such success? For that matter, could anyone? To answer this, one need look no further than the novels of Lester Dent. Dent was a hugely successful American writer who had over 150 pulp fiction novels published during the early 20th century. Today, though, he is probably most famous for his ‘Master Plot Formula’. This is a set of instructions that he developed, which provide a step-by-step method
N D I G O
Cressida Peever - email@example.com
BOOKS & CREATIVE WRITING
Photograph by Emma Werner
There they are, staged it seems, and she is on one knee to him in the restaurant. It happened suddenly, everyone was eating their food nice and quietly, having recovered entirely from an earlier incident where the same woman knocked her plate on the floor. The noise, such an abrupt crack through the restaurant. She was clearly ever so nervous and in that moment became ridiculously clumsy. I could see that she was mortified as her face creased up, just a little. She was trying to hide it. I’m sure she just didn’t want to disturb everyone’s peace; she’s a considerate kind of person. And nobody likes too much attention. So I was watching them because after the plate eruption my attention had been drawn to them. I initially thought “this couple aren’t too drippy; they don’t get closer than they should in public.” But then he started relentlessly playing with the bracelet on her wrist. If I were her I’d tell him to cut it out. Or I’d give him the bracelet and say, “Put it on your own wrist if you like it so much and stop bugging me!” But I suppose I’m missing the point, it’s just that I loathe people who really have some sort of inability to keep still. They’re always fiddling with their earrings, fussing a strand of hair round their finger, juddering their leg up and down, cracking their knuckles. Ugh. And then she does the drippiest of drippy things, she goes iii. Dandelion down on one knee. I feel faintly unimpressed; this is not what I came here to see. So he will say yes and as a result they will get closer than they should in public. Then later Midnight suns seduce the farm, exhuming he’ll swirl her in his arms and carry her out the restaurant, in her paws a bottle of champagne taste from lifeless crop – pretty though that the ecstatic (the really, very ecstatic) restaurant owner just had to present to the glowing uncaring buds perform their jaded blooming couple to make their perfection just a teency, weency, little bit more perfect. Ah, the power of once more to wryly please the dogs with no free goods and alcohol; they both improve the best of things. Wait a moment. The man’s face has changed. Her face creases all over. They converse. Oh my, she’s gone out of apparent dreams. A dandy-lion, sick the proposing position and sat back down (without even the embrace.) The lady sits with one of banal oxen roars, takes flight to flee fist clenched so her knuckles look like they are popping out of her hand, the other hand: her the stale worn ranch; swept up to such fantastic nails mildly attack her chin and her throat. The gentleman is not behaving like a gentleman heights, its novel world distended endlessly. as he scowls, he hurls some words at the woman, yanks himself up and with a wounded air, leaves her with the bill. Afflicted by vast unknowns, destroyed by greed, But she is clearly not leaving things like this. After a millisecond’s consideration, she hurls her the seed collapses beneath the abyssal glow: plate after him, the second plate she’s broken into smithereens today. It doesn’t quite hit him, darkness devours lightness. Unbearably freed, it falls by his feet but he still gets a wave of china pelting his legs. Thank goodness her missile the young-proud fool now fears his life of vertigo. didn’t shatter into another customer because I think there would have been a riot. The man it turned out actually had some guts, if it could be called that, so he foolishly decided If cusps of flowers covet skies above, to rid the restaurant of this plate-throwing threat. He coolly paid the waiter for the plates she then who shall bear the ennui of the earth? smashed and then attempted to bear her out of the restaurant. It did not go well. So the lady stayed and he went, and after a decent length of time she left too. I wondered what ix. Vicissitude would happen when they next met.
Indigo is now accepting submission of creative writing. To find out more, email creative.writing@ palatinate.org.uk
By Emma Dawson for plotting a 6000 word pulp story. The formula describes precisely how to divide the story, and clearly lays out the narrative goals for each section. It is somewhat inflexible, but this may well be what lends it its reliability, with Dent himself saying, “No yarn of mine written to the formula has yet failed to sell”. However, this recipe only applies to a very narrow genre, and Dent was the first to admit that pro-
Doesn’t that suggest that there really is no limit to the number of stories that can be told? ducing high literature was not his main priority. The question still remains as to whether there is a universally applicable secret to the perfect plot. Over the years many people have tried to boil plot down to its most basic elements in attempts to answer such a question. Christopher Booker once argued that there are merely seven primary narra-
tive structures from which almost all stories are derived. But the last word on this topic must go to William Wallace Cook, who in his 1928 book ‘Plotto’ set out to catalogue as many conflict scenarios as possible that could occur in a literary work. The result is an astounding collection of around 2000 unique plot ideas, each one cross-referenced with possibilities for how it may have arisen. But it would seem that, rather than helping to uncover a secret formula for narrative, ‘Plotto’ might actually be doing the opposite. For if one man was able to devise such vast numbers of plots, doesn’t that suggest that there really is no limit to the number of stories that can be told? Of course it is possible to make general observations about structure, but there will always be exceptions to any rule that we try and impose on literature. And besides, as Umberto Eco pointed out, it is often the small details and variations in a plot that make it enjoyable, rather than its overall form. So in the end, is it possible to define precisely what makes a good plot? Of course not. And if there ever comes a day when it is, then that will surely be the day that literature dies.
When at the trumpet call, my king and beggars adorned in gold, march proudly through the town, all knees shall bow and tongues confess the splendour of ascendance to the everlasting guilty crown . When at the archaic sanctuary, my Satan and priests offer frankincense to the nameless nun, all knees shall bow and tongues confess here exists ceaseless reprieve in the only infinite one. When at the door of death, my Pharisaic wives embalm in myrrh the unwanted stillborn child, all knees shall bow and tongues confess their lives are wholly borne from undying sacrifice, exiled. The bramble immolates before my wilting gaze; I see my life transcend incessant days. By Jorel Chan, extracts from ‘To an Old Born King’
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Emma Dawson - firstname.lastname@example.org
0 8 M A Y
the best of DST
N D I G O
Melanie Webb guides you through the best Durham Student Theatre shows so far this year.
urham’s theatre scene may not be as well known as London’s West End, nevertheless, it also boasts huge talent. Let’s take a look at this year’s best productions so far... First on the list, is The Furies. Although receiving mixed reviews, this offering from Durham University Classical Theatre most definitely deserves a mention, if just for its ambitious staging and impressive prosthetic make-up (make-up artists Charly Burnell, Michelle Novellie, and Idgie Beau all deserve praise.) The terrifying Furies, played by Georgina Franklin, Beau, and Phillipa Mosley, combined with haunting acoustic melodies composed by Ben Williams, immersed the intimate audience in Castle’s Normal Chapel. Next is all-time theatre classic, The Importance of Being Earnest. Ooook! Productions deserved the night after night full-house it received, with charismatic performances from Phillipe Bosher as the audacious Algernon and Chaz Pitman as the endearing Jack Worthing. However, Freshers Abigail Weinstock and Lydia Brown stole the limelight with their outstanding portrayal of the hyperbolic Lady Bracknell and the sensual Gwendolen. A brilliant production all-round.
Photograph: Rose Innes
Photograph: Nicola Todhunter
In keeping with the comedic sentiment is DULOG’s absolutely hilarious The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The relatively small cast and crew (for a musical) provided hours of unrelenting humour and wit. The impeccably detailed set, stretching beyond the stage into the theatre, convincingly portrayed an American elementary school, which worked amusingly well with the audience participation. Sophie Mcquillan’s adorable Logainne SchwatzandGrubenierre and Maxwell Spencer’s eccentric William Barfée were remarkable; their quirky mannerisms and delivery were unwavering and brilliantly believable. Other exceptional performances included Russell Lamb’s and Alex Prescot’s switching of distinct roles. Convincingly portraying school children was no mean feat, so all the cast deserve a well-earned slap-on-the-back, especially Callum Kenny whose performance as the pre-teen Chip was side-splittingly funny. It must be added that the musical numbers had fantastic choreography from Rebecca Meltzer. Director, Simon Lynch, definitely took all the right risks in this uproarious production.
N D I G O
Emma Dawson - email@example.com
0 8 M A Y
Darling, don’t eat ice cream. Zosia Eyres ensures that you will never embarrass yourself at the theatre ever again. able seats, discuss how you think it’s “so cute” that the people in them are having a nice day out from whatever they normally do. 3) If you’re going to see a Shakespeare, make sure you read the text a number of times in preparation to memorise every play on words (there will be a lot of these.) This is so you can start laughing a few seconds before the
Illustration: Jack Hodsoll
Going to the theatre can be intimidating, there are so many traps you can fall into and so many faux pas that you can make in front of the people you’re trying to impress. I’ve therefore compiled some tips that could help get you in with the coolest of people, those lovely thesps. 1) Make sure you wear your best theatre clothes. I suggest that you start your outfit with your signature “I go to the theatre” beret as it suggests a certain continental charm and superiority. 2) Always buy the most expensive tickets and while you’re walking past the more afford-
jokes are told on stage to show everyone how well-acquainted you are with the Bard and how the Renais- sance language doesn’t ever mask the comic nuance for you. 4) If you’re going to a theatre where ice-
Another highlight of the Epiphany term was winner of the Durham Drama Festival, The Noctambulist. This character driven play by Joe Skelton investigated every day, banal life in a humorous manner. The cast worked beautifully together and Alexander Dury’s brilliant portrayal of the paradoxical Albert must be noted. A superb example of a student-written play. Then, of course, there is this year’s annual Gala Show, Guys and Dolls, an exciting and polished performance which wowed Durham audiences. The two couples were, of course, the highlight of the show. Michael Forde was exceptional as the cheeky Sky, showcasing his Durham-famous acting talent, but also his lesser known singing talent in Luck Be a Lady. He worked well with Lucy Rowlanes as Sarah, whose musical numbers demonstrated a beautiful high range.
However, it was Callum Kenny as cold-footed Nathan and Sophie Mcquillan as Hot Box girl Adelaide that really captured the audience’s attention. Their comfortable interaction and evident connection drew in affection, while their hold over the audience was never relinquished. Nevertheless, every character took their moment to shine and the New York accent was effortlessly maintained by the cast, especially by Mcquillan and Maxwell Spencer (Benny Southstreet) who adapted the accent to perfectly suit their characters. Stand out numbers included the Hot Box Girls and Havana dance sequences, choreographed by Susie Hudson. Ellie Gauge, the director, should be congratulated. Last but by no means least, is Jerusalem. It, hands-down, has to be the best production so far. It was close to flawless and the set was
cream sellers wander around you during the interval, do not buy anything from them. You’re not at a pantomime (god forbid.) While I’m discussing this point I must stress, never go to a pantomime. 5) Prepare an opinion about the play that you can loudly talk about during the interval and after the play. Make sure that it’s either sycophantically positive or disgustingly rude. 6) Another topic of discussion should be your own dabbling in the theatrical world. This is most likely amateur level drama and you should say how “of course, you know that it was just silly really but that you were actually highly critically acclaimed for your role” (don’t mention that this was by your parents and the student paper article written by your friend.) 7) If a member of the cast is a famous TV or film actor, pretend that you don’t know who they are because you “haven’t got time for that sort of thing.” The only acceptable exception for this rule is if the actor in question has been in a foreign language film or featured prominently on The Culture Show. 8) If anyone talks during the performance, look at them with the UTTERMOST disdain. I mean seriously, look at them as if they’d just punched a pensioner in the face right in front of you. I wouldn’t recommend extending this to shushing the individual because that could lead to awkward confrontation and you’re not very good with real life drama. particularly impressive (caravan, real turf and all.) All the cast should be commended for their moving, immaculate performances, especially Georgie Franklin’s touching portrayal of the resigned Dawn, Joe Skelton as the pathetic Ginger, and Hugh Train, who showed great comic timing, as Lee. Michael Forde was simply astonishing as the outlaw Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron with his compelling physicality, line delivery, and acting from the core. This exhausting (in the best possible way) three-hour emotional rollercoaster was an astounding feat from director, Matt Dann. Congratulations to all those involved, we await the Summer term’s productions with impatient delight!
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Ollie Collard (Naoise Murphy - deputy) - firstname.lastname@example.org
T RAV E L
Ireland: not just pubs and leprechauns
N D I G O
Naoise Murphy takes a fresh look at home
andering utterly lost through residential West Belfast, it struck me again how completely unfamiliar I was with this incredible city. Shamefully unfamiliar, for someone who lives just an hour away. I had only ever visited Belfast a handful of times, and even then it was a purely functional trip to apply to the university. And this is true of many of the fascinating attractions of north-east Ireland. But thanks to a visiting Australian friend, I now had the opportunity to properly explore the part of the world I have inhabited for eighteen years, with the adventurous spirit of the traveller, a knowledgeable father just a phone call away, and a wonderfully enthusiastic companion. I live in Dundalk, a fairly dull town equidistant from Dublin and Belfast, which makes an ideal base for exploring the east coast of Ireland. And exploring is exactly what this week turned out to be. We had a rough plan for each day, but by far the most enjoyable element, for both of us, was the meandering exploration. This was not a tour guide and tourist sort of trip. In fact, due to a lack of planning and map-reading on the part of the guide, we both ended up as rather clueless, but determined, adventurers. Our first destination was Newgrange, a Neolithic passage tomb in Co. Meath, older than both Stonehenge and the Pyramids at Giza. The monument is aligned with the rising of the midwinter sun so that every year on 21st December, the inner chamber is flooded with light. Newgrange is a truly spectacular place; a testament to the intelligence, creativity, and deep spirituality of ancient peoples. Choosing the ‘scenic’ route home proved interesting, and was the introduction to a theme of getting lost which recurred alarmingly often during our week-long adventure. My companion’s frequent exclamations of ‘Wow, it’s so green!’ did however open my eyes to the real scenic beauty of Ireland, and miraculously, the sun came out and stayed for longer than ten minutes. The next few days were filled with hiking in the Cooley Mountains, just outside the pretty medi-
eval village of Carlingford, and a trip to the Giant’s Causeway on the North Antrim coast. This World Heritage Site is made up of striking formations of hexagonal basalt columns, sticking out into the sea. We followed this awe-inspiring sight up with a picnic by the sea, a quick nap in the sun, and a visit to the windswept and precarious Carrick-aRede rope bridge. Every day, deviation from the prescribed paths led to some of our most enjoyable moments. It may involve getting covered in mud, but not following the crowd is nearly always worth it. Next on our list was Belfast. Once my companion got over her confusion about the change of currency, we took a relaxing stroll through the picturesque Queen’s University and Botanic Gardens. Belfast turned out to be great for art galleries; we saw two fantastic exhibitions, ‘The Art of the Troubles’ at the Ulster Museum and ‘We are Exceedingly Proud to Present an Exhibition of Capable Artworks by the Notable Hand of the Celebrated American, Kara Elizabeth Walker, Negress’ at the MAC. City Hall is undeniably impressive, but we also enjoyed exploring the Falls Road area, with its striking murals and thriving Irish language cultural centre. We certainly got a rich insight into Belfast’s complex history, something that could only be achieved by an overview – admittedly, a realistic one – of all of the contrasting elements of the city, and a lot of walking. Fortunately, I am more familiar with Dublin. We saw most of the major attractions: the Book of Kells, Trinity College, Dublin Castle, the National Museum, Temple Bar, Christ Church Cathedral and St Stephen’s Green, as well as some lesser known spots such as the Dublin Writers Museum, the Chester Beatty Library and the Science Gallery. The ‘bog bodies’, human remains which had been preserved in peat bogs for thousands of years, were a definite highlight, as was the Temple Bar area (the nightlife is both overrated and overpriced, but there are lots of great quirky shops and galleries). Here our wanderings uncovered wonderful street art and talented buskers, plenty of
vintage clothes shops, ‘traditional’ Irish pubs and parks filled with spring flowers. It turns out that Dublin is a vibrant city, not the gloomy hubbub of perpetual road works I had always thought it to be, although maybe this was just because the sun was shining for once. Finishing off a day of discoveries with Owen McCafferty’s superb play Quietly at the Abbey left us with a high opinion of Dublin’s cultural scene. Nowadays, we don’t often take the time to explore. Even while travelling, we tend to have set destinations, meticulously researched and scheduled, leaving little room for new discoveries. At home, there is a natural tendency towards the slightly arrogant belief that we’ve seen all there is to see and done all there is to do. I suppose I always thought of tourism in Ireland as consisting of over-priced pints of Guinness, awful trad music, and rain. But if we could introduce a little enthusiasm for adventure, the true spirit of travelling, and the open-mindedness of the responsible tourist into our lives every now and then, there’s a chance that even our home towns might just surprise us.
Photographs by Rebecca Duke
N D I G O
Ollie Collard (Naoise Murphy - deputy) - email@example.com
T RAV E L
the ins and outs of interrailing
Alex Cupples shows us what the railways of Europe have to offer
ure, a week on the Zante strip may promise cheap alcohol and you can sleep in the same bed each night - well...maybe - but interrailing offers so much diversity and a more fulfilling experience. An interrail pass covers you for almost all train travel within Europe for a certain time period. For three weeks away, the ideal pass covers ten days travel within 22, which costs £224 and can be ordered online. This pass gives you enough time and travel days to comfortably do six or seven cities, spending around three days in each. Although the pass offers freedom to travel wherever the wind takes you, it’s worth having a rough plan of the trains you want to get, particularly if you are planning to take unusual journeys or need to be somewhere in time to get a flight home. Missing your flight would not be the ideal end to your interrailing trip and while some cities are connected by high speed trains, others, such as Budapest and Dubrovnik, take a couple of days to travel between. An excellent website with up to date information on all European trains is, no surprises here, the German train website, Deutsche Bahn. There are a few exceptions to the interrail pass and these include trains within Britain. As you can’t use the pass on trains in your home country, it’s often easier and far cheaper to fly to a starting point. Easyjet offer really cheap flights to Europe. Last year a flight from Manchester to Amsterdam cost just £26, making it a much easier option than using British trains and ferries. If you live close enough to make it worthwhile, you can get a discount on the Eurostar but it’s not included in the pass. Overnight trains in Europe are another exception to the pass and require you to make a reservation. However, these are reasonably cheap and are worth getting to avoid wasting valuable travelling Image courtesy of Universal Pictures
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going until midday even on weekdays. Some places, such as Berghain, are open all weekend. However, you do risk waiting hours outside to be rejected by Sven, their notoriously picky bouncer. Tresor, a techno club inside a former power-plant in the old east, is busy until 7am even on weekdays. Although I’m sure techno fans would disapprove, the atmosphere of this club makes it an enjoyable night out, even if you are not a fan of techno. Karlovy Lazne in Prague prides itself on being the largest nightclub in Europe with five floors including an ice-bar, however, it’s extremely touristy and aside from the ice bar which just about justifies the visit, it doesn’t have much to offer. European bars ooze character. One such is Szimpla bar in Budapest which is frequented by a good mix of tourists and locals, and is home to a number of interesting objects including a table made from an old Trabant. The best thing about interrailing is how versatile it is. A pass gives you the ability to pick and choose what to see and do within a whole continent. The people you meet in hostels and bars come from all over the world and it’s the easiest and cheapest way to explore so many interesting countries. Interrailing is simply an experience which cannot be rivalled by a one-stop holiday on a Greek island full of English tourists.
time. Reserving beds on overnight trains can be done online before you leave or at any of the main European city train stations. However, they do get booked up and if you are travelling with others you may be split into different carriages, possibly sharing a confined space with a Polish woman who speaks no more English than you speak Polish, yet remains determined to try and make conversation with you all night. Once you’ve got your pass, even if you aren’t planning everything in advance, it’s a good idea to think about where you want to go. The further east you go, the cheaper the accommodation, food, and attractions become. Eastern Europe has an incredible history and a number of memorials and museums to visit. The House of Terror in Budapest is a must see for anyone even mildly interested in communist or Nazi history. Another notable site is Auchwitz, which can easily be done from Krakow where most hostels offer a reasonably priced package which includes transport and a tour. European museums are mostly cheap or free, though some do charge excessively, like Anne Frank House in Amsterdam which, after you have queued for up to an hour and paid almost £10, is not much more than the empty shell of a house. Berlin is an obvious choice for anyone interested in recent European history. With many free memorials or historical sites to visit, it is also incredibly lively and relatively cheap. Europe has a lot to offer in terms of nightlife. Berlin is famous for its clubbing scene which doesn’t get started until around 1-2am and keeps
Photographs by Alex Cupples
The letters of each grid link together to make one long word, moving left, right, up, down and diagonally. Once youâ€™ve discovered this word, how many shorter ones can you find?
Illustration by Harriet-Jade Harrow