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EDITORIAL Thursday, 14 June 2018



3 “There’s space for everything” Creative writing interview Hollie McNish BOOKS 4&5 Fairytales... NSFW? Great Literature: The end of an era? TRAVEL 6 Two scientists and a politician walk into a bar... F O OD & DRINK 7 Feasting on memory lane Food and Drink editor Emma Taylor looks back on her time in Durham F I LM & TV 8&9 Lights, Camera... Action! F EATURES 10 Moving Out Without Throwing Out MUSIC 11 What’s On F ASHION 12 &13 Fashion’s Pick of the Statement Trends to know for Summer 2018 V I S UAL ARTS 14 Where Art Thou? STAGE 15 No Place For Racism Stage responds to Quentin Letts’s controversial comments and considers the issue of race in the world of theatre I N TERVIEW 16 Stevie Flies Solo indigo interviews Stevie Martin, one third of the hit comedy trio ‘Massive Dad’


s the year draws to a close, summer marks a time of rest for us all. A time for sleep, sunshine and socialising, yes, but also a time to practice self care. It has been a long year and a hard one for many of us, myself included. Between travel, internships, studying or starting work, take a moment. Make time for yourself. You’ve earned. Something as simple as going for a run, reading or being creative can have a huge impact on your mood, your day and your mental health. Summer is the perfect opportunity to take up a sport or learn something new. During these summer months it is also important to make time for others. As students it is easy to become wrapped up in our own narratives, but taking time to help others is exceptionally important. So, when leaving the Durham bubble this summer look around. Any gesture, large or small makes a collective difference. Help those who need support, or those who could use a hand. Over the next few months cherish those moments with yourself and your love ones. Give back to others. Why not volunteer at a charity shop or donate your unwanted items to Durham’s Green Move Out Campaign? In this edition, Features editor Rosie Dowsing takes a look at the impact of student waste, highlighting the importance of reusing, reselling and recycling. As she finishes her degree, Food and Drink editor Emma Taylor discusses the foods that have defined her time at Durham, and what she will miss when she’s gone. Looking to the summer, Fashion explores the latest statement trends, with a resurgence of new styles and the appearance of old favourites too. Music and Visual Arts solve the perennial question - “what am I going to do this summer?” with guides to what’s on in Durham and beyond. Finally, Travel talks to three former students about their unusual graduate planmoving to Spain to renovate a hotel and raise cats. It’s not one to miss. Enjoy the read, the rest and the recuperation this summer. We’ll see you in October. AC

INDIGO EDITORS Tamsin Bracher Adele Cooke (deputy) FEATURES EDITORS Rosie Dowsing Katie Anderson (deputy)

CREATIVE WRITING EDITORS Chloe Uwitonze Scaling Kleopatra Olympiou (deputy) STAGE EDITORS Kishore Thiagarajan Helen Chatterton (deputy) VISUAL ARTS EDITOR Madeleine Cater Anna Thomas (deputy) BOOKS EDITORS Alexander Leggatt FASHION EDITORS Anna Gibbs Francesca Reffell (deputy) FOOD & DRINK EDITORS Emma Taylor Sapphire Demirsöz (deputy) TRAVEL EDITOR Harriet Willis FILM & TV EDITORS Imogen Kaufman Sander Priston (deputy) MUSIC EDITORS Tom Watling Ashleigh Goodall Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @indigodurham Have a question, comment, or an idea for a story you’d like to write? Email to get in touch.


Thursday, 14 June 2018

“There’s space for everything” Creative Writing interview Hollie McNish: parent, performance poet and political activist By Chloe Scaling Creaive Writing Editor


ollie McNish is a British performance poet and playwright. Her 2016 collection, Nobody Told Me, which chronicles her experiences of pregnancy and parenting, won the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. She has also collaborated with Kate Tempest and George the Poet. She has released five collections, with her latest, Plum, released in 2017. Not only does she publish her work in written form, but in 2014 she released Versus, an album which features her spoken word both with and without music. She tours extensively with her books and hosts The Verb on BBC Radio 3. Creative Writing interviewed her about her inspirations, poetry as activism and asked her to pass on her advice for young poets.

What inspires you to write poetry? I just find it a really lovely way to sort of condense my thoughts about things or work out roughly how I’m feeling – so it can be anything, from a book I’ve read to something someone has said to a walk down the road. The more I read though, the more I do, the more I want to write.

Poetry is just a lovely way to condense my thoughts Who are your favourite poets, classical and contemporary? I’m not sure I have favourite poets, rather than poems. A bit like with bands. I don’t know enough of full collections to say I love this poet or that poet but I really love particular poems. I love Wifred Owen’s ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’. I love Deanna Rodger’s ‘Being British’. I love Vanessa Kisuule’s poem ‘Not worth shaving your arsehole for’. I love Liz Lockheed’s poem ‘Abortion’. There are so many poets I love. I love the words of ‘Take Me to Church’ by Hozier, if we’re talking sung poetry.

I loved your latest collections, Plum and Nobody Told Me and have been inspired seeing you perform in Durham. What are you writing next?

Photograph by Kat Gollock

I’m always writing poems, just not sure which I might share and which will stay forever in my notepads and computer files! I write a lot of stories too so might look at actually sharing some of those. I’d like to do something fun too - something with illustrations again. Just writing a lot and slowly working out if anybody’d be interested in reading the next stuff!

I am always writing poems, I write a lot of stories too We discussed some of your work in Durham Feminist Book Club this year. Do you think poetry is a useful vehicle for activism, feminist or otherwise? I think it can be, but I don’t think it needs to be. Like any art. Film, painting, whatever. Some films are so politically motivating, other films just make you wee yourself laughing, and I think there’s space for everything. I guess the wordiness of poetry is pretty helpful as a tool. I think a lot of political speeches are intentionally poetic. ‘I Have A Dream’ being the obvious example.

Do you have any advice for aspiring young poets? Enjoy it. Don’t worry about ‘writer’s block’ just write when you want to write. And I guess the one thing I’d say is that if you don’t want to share your writing, that’s cool. If you do and you’re nervous, that’s fine too, but honestly sharing stuff is rarely as scary after as you thought it would be before. And finally, share it with actual live humans first, rather than online. I guess I don’t mean this with poems shared on the page, more if you want to video yourself reading them. Join a reading group / poetry group / go to an open mic. Don’t start with youtube basically, start with real humans because they are a lot more supportive often than random strangers online!

Start with real humans because they are a lot more supportive than random strangers online! I only put stuff online after I was asked by a teacher at a gig if I could, but I think if I’d had the hate I got online before I’d ever done a gig, I might’ve never done one.

Books Thursday, 14 March 2018


Fairy Tales... NSFW? By Cecily Hayton


airy tales told to children over generations are often viewed as harmless and pleasant ways of helping young people learn to read, yet the dangerous undertones of the tales are often overlooked. A feminist reading of various fairy tales reveal uncomfortable treatment of women and unequal gender dynamics, as well as subtly subversive sexual themes pervading many stories. Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood and The Little Mermaid are just three of these such tales.

A feminist reading of various fairy tales reveal uncomfortable treatment of women and unequal gender dynamics Sleeping Beauty The darkness of the original versions of Sleeping Beauty has been suppressed in its Disney counterpart. In Giambattista Basile’s original story, rather than being awoken by a prince’s kiss, the sleeping princess is woken by her new-born twins sucking the splinter out of her finger. The twins were conceived when she was raped by the prince while asleep in the palace. Despite the explicit rape, Basile’s version

has been viewed by some as having a happy ending, since the prince ends up marrying the figure of Beauty, who Basile names Talia. The antagonist in this tale is not the rapist prince, but instead his jealous wife who attempts to eat the twins – his rape is completely ignored, and readers begin to hope that the prince will choose Talia over his wife.

Her dependence on a man casts a dark picture of a woman’s place in society However, it is not only the traditional stories that have darker themes of conventional femininity and sexualisation of young girls. Even Disney’s version, which is explicitly targeted to young children, puts Aurora, as the princess is now known, in a position of vulnerability and requires her to be resurrected by a man. In recent films, Disney have attempted to move away from this portrayal of a stereotypical princess in need of saving and towards independent heroines. Despite this, even the modern story of Sleeping Beauty retains the subtle allusion to menstruation and the beginning of Aurora’s womanhood with the appearance of blood as she pricks her finger. Coupling this with her initial dependence on a man casts a dark picture of a woman’s place in society.

Little Red Riding Hood

The Little Mermaid Like Sleeping Beauty, the original story of The Little Mermaid contains much darker themes than the Disney interpretation, but modern versions preserve the undertones of sex and presents an uncomfortably anti-feminist protagonist. In Disney’s film, Ariel still gives up huge amounts of herself for the prince – her tail and her voice – as well as giving up her relationship with her family. This portrayal could be seen as a dangerous role-model for any young girls watching the film.

Modern versions present an uncomfortably anti-feminist protagonist Though the Disney version has uncomfortable aspects, Hans Christian Anderson’s original tale is much more explicitly dark and sinister. In his story, Ariel (who is only known as ‘The Little Mermaid’) is given an ultimatum: either she forces the prince to fall in love with her, or she will turn into sea foam and die. Perhaps this could be seen as a reflection of a young woman’s plight in life – an unmarried woman would struggle more than one with a dependable husband. Anderson’s story also depicts the prince treating the mermaid like a pet or a child, heightening the uncomfortable gender dynamics.

Though less explicit, the story of Little Red Riding Hood and its later derivatives can also be seen to have undertones of sexuality and rape. The picture of a young girl walking alone in the woods being approached by a threatening figure is a precursor to images from contemporary rape culture. Charles Perrault in his 1697 tale made it clear that the wolf was a seducer who invited Red Riding Hood into bed with him. Perrault even explained the moral of his tale, which implied that ‘wolves’ can come in all different forms, and often in the form of seemingly amenable men.

Little Red Riding Hood can also be seen to have undertones of sexuality and rape Angela Carter’s 1979 retelling of the story, entitled The Company of Wolves, depicts the young girl in the woods seducing the wolf after he eats her grandmother. Carter undermines the traditional perspective of the tale, which highlights the original’s disturbing sexual themes.

Images by Plum leaves via Flickr Creative Commons

Books Thursday, 14 March 2018


Great Literature: the end of an era? By Alex Leggatt Books Editor


n Plato’s Symposium, Socrates recounts Diotima’s bizarre assertion that ‘all men are pregnant’ and ‘yearn to beget’ upon the beautiful. This yearning stems from a primordial desire for immortality; men sacrifice themselves in battle to win ‘a deathless memory for valour’, parents acquire immortality through their children and the works of poets such as Homer and Hesiod procure them a ‘glory immortally renewed in the memory of men’. But in an era of post-modernity, characterised by Jean-François Lyotard’s rejection of grand narratives as a reinforcement of oppressive power structures, can narratives still offer us a solution to the fundamental problem of existence? To disregard stories as mere archaeological remnants of our primitive origins ignores their importance in binding social groups together and providing a shared sense of meaning and morality. To abandon stories, is, in some sense, to abandon a fundamental part of our human nature – we do so at our own cost.

All social movements around a central text

and illogical thinking, stifling creative interpretation and the ability for morality to evolve and adapt. At first, I was swayed by the arguments of the “New Atheists”, who reject religious texts and narratives as ‘parasites’ and a ‘virus’ which blinds the mind to reason and logical argumentation. It seemed reasonable to reject these texts as poor attempts to make sense of a fundamentally strange world; as science and Enlightenment thinking progresses, ‘God’ retreats into the gaps of the unknown.

We should not disregard the power of ancient stories


This rejection of myths and their corrupting influence is by no means new; Plato famously banished the poets from his ideal Republic for two reasons. Firstly, they poisoned the development of the youth by refusing to show the gods as ‘right and good’, portraying ‘immoral people as happy’, and ‘heroes’ as ‘no better than ordinary people’. Poets draw the public away from the truth by representing things ‘as they appear’ not as they ‘are’, thus operate at ‘two removes’ from reality. Plato does allow for some stories – those that will contribute to a cohesive society through didactic assertions of the infallibility of the gods and heroes – thus ‘engender[ing] people of good character’. Narratives held considerable social power in Plato’s day, and ironically, Plato concludes his own admonishment of the poet’s and their myths with a myth of his own (the “Myth of Er”), an account of the afterlife which would probably see his own book banned in his ideal republic. All social movements fundamentally revolve around a central text, from the sacred texts of the great three Monotheisms, to The Communist Manifesto as the rallying cry for Marxist revolutionaries, to John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, providing modern liberalism with its central tenets. Despite this, imbuing texts and narratives with a sacred quality can give rise to dogmatic

ern society as a pessimistic nihilist, who celebrated the ‘death’ of God along with the breakdown of the ‘master-slave’ morality as proof of the meaninglessness of existence. However, this caricature ignores his own fears of a crisis of Western morality. A liberation from one grand religious narrative lends itself to a commitment to a new story (associated now with the unsettling ideal of the “Übermensch”). This yearning for a higher goal and purpose finds its roots at the heart of human nature, notions of this kind of self-transcendence manifest in philosophical systems throughout history, from Buddhism to Platoism.

Yet, this ideal of rationality as a viable alternative to religion and dogmatic thinking failed to convince me fully; Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind pointed me towards the work of David Sloane Wilson, who combined the work of Charles Darwin and Émile Durkheim to document the ways in which a shared morality can emerge from the ‘unified system of beliefs’ found in religion. The stories we tell ourselves are important because, according to Durkheim, we are homo duplex, moving from lower orders of individual experience to the higher existence of community.

Postmodernity’s rejection of grand narratives, not only as a means of explaining the world, but also of legitimating the world through a top-down imposition of an oppressive ideology, ignores the communal origins of these stories, which reflect a collective human consciousness as it evolves. It cannot be denied that a great deal of these grand narratives contain social and moral norms greatly at odds with today’s increasingly secular and egalitarian world. We should not disregard the power of ancient stories, but should strive to counter them with better stories. Thus, it seems that stories and their subsequent retellings are the only way we can imbue life with a meaning that sustains usl, they are a means of making sense of the fundemantal problem of existence.

Even today, we attach ourselves to stories Even in modern society, we attach ourselves to stories, be it the liberal narrative of an ongoing fight for equality and the destruction of oppressive and exploitative systems, or the opposing narrative. Stories such as these, to borrow a concept from Haidt, ‘binds’ its followers together, yet ‘blinds’ them to the other, opposing perspective, creating intolerance and an inability to find common ground. Nietzsche is incorrectly characterised in mod-

Image by Marcello Bacciarelli and Giovanni Battista Lusieri via Wikimedia Commons


Thursday, 14 June 2018 If you do visit, explore. Get a car – and brace yourself if you’re used to English roads – or dive into the bus system, which is not as bad as you might think, and has the added benefit that you can drink sherry when you reach your destination. If you visit, try things. A new type of food, dancing at a festival where every other song is flamenco, and definitely speak a little Spanish (here, the effort goes a long way). And the more everyday things too, like taking a siesta, drinking your beer from little ‘copas’ rather than by the pint, and saying hello to anyone and everyone you meet (a rather difficult task for the reserved Londoner).

Try new things: siestas, flamenco, new foods, learning Spanish

Two scientists and a politician walk into a bar... By Tommy Pallett


It seems almost unbelievable that a year and a half ago the idea to go to Spain was conceived in the kitchen of a terraced house in view of the Bill Bryson Library, and now here we are, ‘Tres Claveles’ Guesthouse and Cat Sanctuary completed (for the most part), and with the summer left to enjoy. It goes to show that you never know what life might throw at you, awaiting your catch; that it’s never asking too much to do something unexpected, something you technically shouldn’t, or that no one thinks you will. With any luck, you’ll think of this next time you book a holiday to Spain: there’s more to discover than you might think. Maybe you’ll even think of this whilst deciding what to do after university life. It’s a wide world, there’s lots to explore, and time waits for no one.

lim he Sk ye ’s t

Spending your first year after graduating in sunny Spain might sound like an attempt at delaying real life for a year-long holiday. That wouldn’t be entirely inaccurate; I am sure many students can empathise with being uncertain in proceeding into a post-university world. Having said that, our journey has certainly not been a year-long holiday – unless your holidays normally consist of renovating a property with no prior experience whilst looking after 17 cats and trying to hold down a part-time teaching job.


hat do two scientists and a politician do after graduating? The answer is not usually ‘move to the south of Spain to start up a guesthouse and establish a cat sanctuary’. In fairness, the question does sound like the start of a joke.

What it certainly has been is an adventure. Three students can now say they have electrically wired a house, plumbed and tiled a bathroom, rendered walls, and built a kitchen themselves. And it wasn’t handed to us easily: we found water in electrical pipes, termites nests in store rooms (aptly nicknamed ‘doom rooms’), and structural damage to support beams. We faced flooding, storm damage and even a fire. And of course, all this happened amongst 17 cats, all of which are still alive and well.

Spending your first year after graduating in sunny Spain might sound like an attempt at delaying real life For me, it was more than about the initial purpose though. This adventure shed a light on the real Spain, a culture often ignored by tourists seeking sun, sea, debauchery, and home comforts found in the resorts across the Costa del Sol and all the way up to Barcelona. Instead, here on the Costa de la Luz, the much more unspoiled cousin of the Costa del Sol, can be found a place which gives visitors an authentic taste for the Spanish way of life. Exploring Andalucia was about not just about the sites and impressive architecture. It was also about the people. To get a better sense of life in Spain, I reccomend going to the chickpea festival in Trebujena, where the council’s ‘delegation of parties’ ensure an abundance of the local sherry is available for free to everyone who turns up. Or try standing on the streets of Sanlúcar, watching the King’s Day parade go past as participants throw bags of sweets at the onlookers. We live in Sanlúcar. The town is incredibly popular as a destination for Spanish tourists, and many own holiday homes here. Images by Tommy Pallett and Sergio Tudela Romero via Flickr and Creative Commons.

By Harriet Willis Travel Editor


e often scramble to get out of the UK as quickly as possible, however a recent university field trip to Scotland’s Isle of Skye proved to me that this country’s holiday game isn’t all too bad.

Make sure that walking boots are on your packing list, as the island is crammed full of scenic hikes, such as a challening climb up to Coire Lagan. For fellow geography nerds, the landscape boasts some impressive glacial features. With its almost untouched scenery, it’s easy to think that Skye looks like a scene from a film, which isn’t too far from the truth. Both Stardust and The BFG – and numerous other blockbusters – have been filmed on the island. For movie-buffs, it’s worth checking out Trotternish Ridge in the north of the island. A final way to see some of Skye’s beautiful scenery is by visiting the Fairly Pools. Appropriately named, the translucent, turquoise streams running down the hills have a magical feel about them. Images by Harriet Willis

FOOD AND DRINK Thursday, 14 June 2018


Feasting on memory lane Food and Drink editor Emma Taylor looks back on her time in Durham

Images by Emma Taylor

By Emma Taylor Food and Drink Editor


aste is one of the five senses through which we experience the world around us. For this reason, food and drink make up part of the picture of a particular episode of our lives, becoming intertwined with the memory of it. We all have foods which take us back to a certain moment, a time machine on our plate. School dinners – the image of those square chocolate sponges – instantly creates the feeling of childhood, as does, for me at least, orange squash and spaghetti hoops. After an exam a couple of weeks ago I had a fish finger sandwich for dinner, soothed by its connection to a simpler time. In the last edition of the year, therefore – and in the last term of my final year – I want to trace my time in Durham through food.

My university years could be summed up as an ode to tinned food In first year, I was, as so many of us are, in catered accommodation. Potatoes were therefore a defining feature of my time (so many shapes!) and I remember standing in the dinner queue hoping it was my favourite type. Weekends began with brunch – I fell in love with hash browns and now can never eat one without believing myself to be back in first year, but do not miss the disappointment that came every time I hopefully and hopelessly tried the scrambled eggs. New friends were made over coffee in Flat White. Nights out started with wine drunk from mugs and ended with the pizza eaten in the small hours of the morning in a sudden intense craving for melted cheese. Then first year slipped into second year, and I moved into my first house, in which I would have to grow up and cook for myself.

Here I should admit that my university years could be aptly summed up as an ode to tinned food, which I love. My first dinner of second year was tinned macaroni cheese – in all its gloopy yellow glory – and I spent the year happily opening tins of spaghetti to put on toast, tinned peaches, tinned beans. It is with regret that I note I only discovered the simple joy of tinned rice pudding this year. Birthdays stand out as bright and beautiful meals. My housemates and I would cook for our birthdays, with ridiculously adventurous (and therefore often doomed) recipes - Pad Thai made from scratch was a particularly fun failure.

Food and drink form an intrinsic part of the mosaic of memory I remember eating a lot of peanut butter out of the jar during exam period.The summer after exams was lovely. It was picnics that lasted all afternoon, sausage rolls, slightly melted chocolate, squashed strawberries and warm cheese and crackers. My third year was spent abroad, in Brussels and Paris. It was a year that was both wonderful and challenging in terms of adapting linguistically and also personally. We are always told that food is a major part of a culture and way of life, and on my year abroad I realised this was not an urban myth. Brussels was defined by frites and mayonnaise (from lovely little stalls selling paper cornets of frites with a dizzying array of toppings), the best hot chocolate I will ever taste, and beer served in glass goblets. Paris was crepes, baguettes bought warm from the boulangerie after work, red wine and pastries. Almond croissants, for me, will always taste of homesickness. Food also became a part of feeling more at home, by bringing home with me. Whilst trying to embrace the cuisine of the

country I was in, I also drank tea in the mornings and afternoons, much to the amusement of my coffee-drinking colleagues. I remember coming back to England to visit with a friend, and we both excitedly ordered bacon sandwiches and tea at Manchester Airport. This year was my final year in a place I have called home for the past four years. I have spent a lot of time making the most of Durham’s little food spots, which will soon be confined to memory. This year I became more confident in the kitchen and in my abilities, as my housemates and I cook for each other often. One housemate makes incredible tomato and anchovy pasta. I have learnt the recipe, and will always cook it thinking of him making it in our little student kitchen with eighties music playing. I have not, however, forgotten my first love of tinned food. Tinned rice pudding, which my house-mate and I eat with a blob of raspberry jam, was a sweet comfort when summative season loomed large on the horizon.

Almond croissants, for me, will always taste of homesickness Now, in my final weeks, my time in Durham is almost at curtain call. I will soon pack my suitcases, and drive with the cathedral in my rear view mirror for the last time. It will be preserved in memory, and like all memories it is made up of a myriad of things. The picture postcard views from the bridges, Palace Green, dancing in Klute, but also formals, dinner parties with friends, birthday cakes, and even the lunch boxes I packed for the library in exam season. Food and drink form an intrinsic part of the mosaic of memory. An academic text will always remind me of Durham, but so too will pesto pasta, instant coffee and peanut butter eaten from the jar with a teaspoon. Life is a feast, both metaphorically and literally.


Thursday, 14 June 2018

Lights, Camera...Action! Film and TV review the first ever episode of the Durham Student TV show ‘Really, I Haven’t The Foggiest!’ By Imogen Kaufman Film and TV editor


or the first ever episode of Durham’s Student TV show, ‘Really, I Haven’t The Foggiest!’, it was a promising start. I should stress now that I have not yet seen the cut version of the first episode and that my review is from the filming of it.

“I like my men like I like my road trips – I prefer to fly”

keeps the show fresh on a weekly basis. The comedians themselves had excellent energy; their singing skit was especially impressive! And even the technical difficulties, such as false starts, or words on the projector not matching the current game, were played off as funny. Here, the show’s comedians and its host really shone, as they made light of problems on set, which made them entertaining for the audience. What makes comedy improv good is the con-

My favourite moments of the show were the human interactions between the host, the comedians and the audience. The discussion about Tristian’s soggy crackers (which he keeps in the fridge, I still don’t understand why) was probably the funniest moment of the evening and wasn’t even part of a skit or a game. There was something oddly charming about the whole interaction that will encourage an audience to keep coming back.

Some of the best moments of the evening, in my opinion, were actually the warm up skits which involved more audience interaction and discussion between the comedians themselves. Iconic phrases, such as “sex with me is like a pancake” made me laugh and caught me by surprise and could have added more to the final cut.

The use of a guest panellist, who this week was Tom Harwood, is also a good idea as it

The show could also afford to have up to six comedians, in my opinion. Having just four faces puts a lot of pressure on the performers and their improv. More people, and more diversity, could lead to more creativity and simply more variety for the audience. It would be disappointing to see a repeat of the common BBC problem of having only one woman every time.

More people, and more diversity, could provide more variety

Tristan Latchford was a friendly and naturally funny host who set the tone of the show well. The atmosphere in the room was warm and welcoming. Even the title sequence they played on a projector for the audience felt authentic and almost sweet. You could tell a lot of love and passion had already been put into this project and that the comedians present were genuinely excited to be there. The evening was lighthearted overall and certain lines definitely stuck with me, such as: “I like my men like I like my road trips – I prefer to fly.”

The jokes felt self aware. like they were spoken by students to students

preparing some elements of the show is to be expected, it means that, as a viewer, sometimes you weren’t appreciating actual improvisation.

nect between the audience, both at home and during filming, and the people on the show. I felt that all the comedians and the host holding pieces of paper slightly inhibited this interaction. Holding notes means there is simply less eye contact with the audience. The use of notes also sometimes made you question what was being improvised and what wasn’t. Whilst

What will ultimately help this show thrive is building up the relationship between the audience and the show itself. Good, side splitting comedy is often a little odd, charming but also familiar. The jokes throughout the evening felt very self-aware; spoken by students to students. I haven’t the foggiest! has had an exciting beginning and as the show runners and comedians get more comfortable and confident it could really come into its own. The next episode will air at some point next week on their YouTube channel Really. I haven’t the foggiest!, so look out for it! Photographs by Mateusz Jaworski.

FILM & TV Thursday, 14 June 2018


FEATURES Thursday, 14th June 2018


Moving out without throwing out As Durham students gear up for moving, Features discusses our throwaway culture and its impact on the environment By Lara Santos and Rosie Dowsing


f the average UK household produces more than a tonne of waste a year, imagine the impact of students moving houses on an annual basis. Not only is student drinking culture detrimental to the environment through the consistent use of plastic cups, straws and cans, but over 2 million students across the country are moving out in June, which is taking its toll on landfill sites.

place at Durham University due to the array of available clubs, societies, fancy dress socials and black tie balls, and the result is an extensive amount of ball gowns, shirts and costumes often to be worn once and then thrown into the back of a wardrobe, not to be seen again until the end of third term. Charity shops in Durham are a great place to donate well-kept clothing items, enabling others to get an extra wear out of formal or fancy garments,

we should all get involved to make Durham a greener university Thinking about student life here in Durham, there are so many aspects that continually add to our throwaway culture. Fancy dress is bought for single uses on socials, coffee cups are consistently found in the wrong library bins, students living off meal deals generate huge amounts of packaging and often glass recycling bins go missing on student streets - which makes the whole process even more difficult. How can Durham students reduce its waste, throughout each term and at the end of the year? There are so many events and activities that take

living in Durham. Let’s hope the scheme continues to grow and have an increasingly positive impact.

Over 2650 bags of reusable items were collected last year Birmingham University has been highly acclaimed due to a similar initiative, run with student collaboration. This should be used as inspiration for our own Green Move Out scheme here in Durham, as more student involvement would greatly increase awareness and help decrease our throwaway culture. Having a student society or ambassadors for the campaign would be incredibly beneficial to the student population and the environment, simply by word of mouth or mobilisation via social media. While colleges are involved in Green Move Out, being awarded or ranked upon how many bags of household items they donate to CDFHS, a stronger presence among students would bring Livers Out together for the same cause. However, students are not entirely to blame. Whilst Morgan Stanley, Bill Free Homes and private landlords, amongst others, allow students to leave household items in the property for the upcoming tenants, JW Wood charges students for any item left behind, be it a plate, a chopping board or a traffic cone. Despite JW Wood emailing students with the Green Move Out campaign, perhaps more should be done to prevent this annual moving out routine from contributing so dangerously to landfill.

at the same time as helping both charities and the environment.

Green Move Out enables students to donate reusable household items to a charity collection Durham University also has a Green Move Out scheme, which is a useful initiative organised with local charity, Country Durham Furniture Help Scheme (CDFHS), enabling students to donate all cutlery, plates, electrics and other reusable items to a collection at the end of the academic year. Clear purple bags are being distributed to Livers Out over this week and the next, where students can place all of their reusable items that they would otherwise throw out when moving house. The bags are then collected by volunteers, and the items are sold cheaply in October for the next academic year, supporting people in need across the North East and massively helping to reduce student waste. Over 2650 bags of reusable items were collected last year, which, although impressive, is little when compared to the population of 17,000 students

However, agencies like Bill Free Homes have also failed to provide feasible recycling options for students living in Market Square, as their rubbish is collected by the letting agency. A student under these circumstances, Sam Assim, spoke to Bill Free Homes about this, and was told that his only option is to take recycling to a tip, all of which are at least a short drive away and thus not always a possibility for students.

More should be done to prevent this annual moving out routine from contributing so dangerously to landfill Moving out is stressful, and worrying about recycling and waste may seem to be the least of our problems. However, reducing throwaway culture at university is actually a lot simpler than it seems if we are informed about the many possibilities available. Nearly two thirds of household rubbish can be recycled, and with the rise in eco-friendly initiatives, we should all get involved to make Durham a greener university. Illustrations by Lara Santos

Music 11

Thursday, 14 June 2018

What’s on? By Ashleigh Goodall Music Editor


he summatives have been handed in, the exams are over, and finally, the academic year is drawing to a close; but fear not, there are still plenty of events coming up for you to enjoy, whatever your musical preference. Here is a round-up of music events happening across Durham in June and July.

‘Jam By The Lake’ is free to attend, however, t-shirts will be sold at the event to raise money for Clic Sargent – a charity which aims to support young people suffering from cancer and their families.

looping technology! The festival is a chance to see some worldrenowned musicians, including Australian trumpeter James Morrison, and the be-skirted Spanish brass band Artistas del Gremio; if that isn’t enough of an excuse, the Durham Brass Festival also provides a chance to explore alternative venues across County Durham.

DUOS Cathedral Concert When? 16th June, 7:30pm Where? Durham Cathedral

The festival has been running for over ten years now and gets bigger and better every year – definitely not one to miss if you are a fan of brass!

vegan options), a Pimms stall and an ice cream van – as well as a glitter stand.

Durham Festival of the Arts continues this month, with many exciting performances from Music Durham’s wide and varying ensembles. An event to note in your diary is Music Durham’s most prestigious orchestral ensemble, DUOS, in their final concert of the year at Durham Cathedral. DUOS will be presenting Elgar’s classic ‘Enigma Variations’, an audience favourite, whilst ensuring to bring some less-explored composers to the forefront, featuring works from Niels Gade and the British Arnold Bax. However, the highlight of the concert is sure to be the brilliant and ethereal ‘Trittico Botticelliano’ by Respighi.

Jam By The Lake When? 14th June, 1-9pm Where? Van Mildert

With an enchanting evening of classical music in Durham’s most iconic and breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site, this promises to be a special evening.

Durham Operatic Ensemble Present: HMS Pinafore When? 14th – 16th June Where? The Assembly Rooms

On Thursday 14th June, Durham’s very own open-air music festival will be coming to Van Mildert. It’s open to everyone – not just Van Mildert students – and aims to provide an afternoon of fun for people of all ages to enjoy. Kicking off at 1pm, the event will showcase 13 musical acts spread across two different stages, featuring music from a wide variety of genres – from garage rock, to folk, to hip hop – so there really is something for everyone The acts which will be performing include Durham based five-piece funk band Odd Socks, who will be performing a groovy mix of originals and covers, Durham’s long-standing rock and pop covers band The Quays, and Mildert’s very own Mustard Yellow, who will be delivering some alternative rock anthems. Headlining the festival will be Normanton Street, an RnB group from Brighton; their sound consists of jazz-influenced guitars, tight rhythmic drums and saxophone melodies, providing a little something for everyone to jam along to! Furthermore, Durham-based singersongwriter Jordan Sheath will be headlining the acoustic stage, bringing refreshingly smooth melodic vocals to the table. Alongside the music, there will also be a variety of food and drink stalls present at the event – including cupcakes, burgers (including

Following the sell-out productions of ‘Opera of Ages’ and ‘The Magic Flute’, Durham Opera Ensemble have had a fantastic year; they plan to end the academic year on a high, and promise that their third and final production of the season will live up to the high standards of their previous performances. Featuring ‘When I was a Lad’ and ‘I am the Monarch of the Sea’, HMS Pinafore marks one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most renowned operattas.

Durham Brass Festival When? 13th- 22nd July Where? A variety of venues including Durham Miners’ Hall and Bowes Museum For anyone who will be in or around Durham in the summer, the bold sounds of brass from across the world will be taking over the streets and stages of Durham for the Durham Brass Festival. The festival includes an exciting 10-day line-up of different styles of brass, incorporating themes including ‘women and brass’, and showcasing the use of live

“Set on a ship, this show explores the relationship between Josephine, the Captain’s daughter, and Ralph, a lower-class sailor. Social class becomes an obstacle for the pair as Josephine’s father attempts to marry her to the First Lord of the Admiralty. Will his mind be changed when he finds himself in a similar position, when Buttercup, a nanny, falls in love with him?” HMS Pinafore will be shown at 7:30pm on 14th and 15th June, and at 2:30pm on 16th June. Tickets cost £7 for students (£6 for DST members). Many thanks to Meg Greenall, Carys Roberts, Heather Pearson and DOE for their assistance in writing this article. Images by Max Halcox.


Thursday, 14 June 2018


Going Round the Block Block colours are back. If you aren’t already wearing primary colours on your face, wear them on your body... or do both (plus turn up that saturation on your Instagram edits). Photograph: @topshop via Instagram

Chunky ‘Dad’ Trainers Forget heels - the new way to give yourself extra height is through extra chunky trainers. Bonus points if you pair them with classic tailoring. Illustration: Anna Gibbs inspired by @filauk on Instagram

Fashion ’s Statemen

know for Su By

Looking for some inspiration to spice up thos outfit posts? We’ve chosen our favourite bo you, from eyeliner to retro-inspired spo individually as statement pieces or all tog warmer months to inject some excitement i


Be Bright Eyed If you’ve ever wished you could find makeup in the same array of colours as your colouring pencils then you’re in luck. Crayola now have a make-up range with asos! Photograph: via Instagram

3 Paper Bag Trousers Forget the same old, same old ‘jeans and a nice top’now it’s all about the quirky trousers (nice top still recommended though). Illustration: Anna Gibbs inspired by @zara on Instagram

FASHION Thursday, 14 June 2018


Suit Up for Summer


Modern suiting isn’t going anywhere- simply swap heavier fabrics for lighter ones during the sunnier months. If you manage to come across a blazer with matching highwaisted shorts (or dogs in a North London chip shop), you’re laughing.

Pick of the 5 nt Trends to ummer 2018

Photographs: Harry Styles photographed by Glen Luchford via @Gucci on Instagram

Anna Gibbs

se holiday Instagram old style updates for ortsluxe. Wear them gether during these into your wardrobe.

Check Mate Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean heritage prints need be left behind. This is rainy Britain, after all, a fact that Burberry fortunately never forgets. Photographs: Both Thurstan Redding for @ Burberry via Instagram

Dario Catellani via @josephfashion on Instagram


Thursday, 14 June 2018

Where art thou? By Madeleine Cater and Anna Thomas


ith a long summer ahead Visual Arts takes a look at what’s on across the country. From north to south, photography to sculpture, we’ve collected a variety of ideas and places to take a peek at.


Maritime Perspectives: Collecting Art of a Seafaring Nation Scottish Maritime Museum – 1st June to 21st October 2018 Described as ‘capturing life along Scotland’s coastline in all its grit and glory’ this new national collection displays Scotland and her sea in representations from the 1830s up until the modern day.


Woman in Focus: Part One: Women Behind the Lens National Museum Cardiff – 5th May to 11th November 2018 An exhibition which celebrates the contribution of women to photography, from the first pioneering female photographers up until the present day. While this exhibition focuses on woman behind the lens, the second part, opening in December, explores woman as subjects of photography.


Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden Open Mondays to Sundays over the summer A hidden gem in the middle of St Ives, Hepworth’s sculptures are well worth the visit in-between a quick surf and an ice cream.


Great Exhibition of the North All over Newcastle and Gateshead! – 22nd June to 30th September 2018 A three-month celebration of the North of England’s ‘pioneering spirit’ and influence overart and design. Staged in Newcastle and Gateshead there are exhibitions and events all across the city over the summer, and pretty much all of them are free!


Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up V&A Museum – 16th June to 4th November 2018 An exciting new exhibition drawing together personal artefacts and clothing belonging to the iconic Mexican artist. The collection has never been exhibited outside of Mexico and really is a ‘must- see’ for the summer.

Illustration by Anna Thomas. Frida Kahlo by Katie Butler.


Thursday, 14 June 2018

No Place for Racism Stage responds to Quentin Letts’ controversial comments and considers the issue of race in the world of theatre By Sophia Atkinson


uentin Letts’ most recent Daily Mail scoop has once again piqued public interest with inflammatory content.

Part of the Katie-Hopkins’ school, Lett’s articles frequently  make comments about an artist’s appearance or race rather than their ability. Reviewing Tara Erraught, the acclaimed opera singer, Letts called her “a pork pie.” He was no less damning of  the RSC’s current production ‘The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich’, awarding his prestigious three-star rating. The article focused  on Leo Wringer, playing Clerimont, a penniless youth suffering from disinheritance. Amid calls for the male love interests to be more “sexy”, the Daily Mail  critic asked:  “Was Mr Wringer cast because he is black? If so, the RSC’s clunking approach to politically correct casting has again weakened its stage product. I suppose its managers are under pressure from the Arts Council to tick inclusiveness boxes.”

Consequently, it has been shown that Letts has a  habit of finding black actors “miscast” (see Letts’ review of the National Theatre’s 2016 production of Peter Shaffer’s  ‘Amadeus’) or foreign dialects “impenetrable.”

It has been shown that Letts has a habit of finding black actors “miscast” Yet, Letts serves a useful purpose; highlighting, perhaps grotesquely, that the role of the critic is not didactic. Letts may be cynically ignoring  the  sheer wealth of BAME talent when he brands diverse artistic representation ‘box-ticking’. But boy can he make headlines.

Although I sympathise with those opposing Mr Letts’  unfair and  insensitive comments, calls for media censorship, these are no less concerning than Letts’ attentionseeking clickbait.  Critics offer biased, valuejudgements on qualities which are inherently subjective. While proposing that casting is solely race-based falls more in the realm of the political debate surrounding quotas, the point still stands. The article is not defamatory, lacks  explicit  malicious intent and  falls inside the legal bracket of fair comment. Letts putting forward his  personal views opens them up  to public scrutiny.

The goal should be to find the best actor for the role Recently, Quentin Letts has been attacked for holding a racist attitude towards the casting of Leo Wringer in the play ‘The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich’. Stating that the actor was only cast because he was ‘black’ was not only politically incorrect, but invited the backlash of the ‘troubled’ directors. It cannot be denied that there has been an effort to push for the inclusion of minorities in theatrical productions across Britain. Some would label this an agenda. With the multicultural identity of Britain growing and evolving, the ethnic stamp of the country no longer resembles a homogenous population. It is inevitable that people who buy tickets to go to the cinema, would often want to see people on stage who look like themselves.  However,  should casting be compromised to promote policy inclusion?

Critics offer biased, value-judgements on qualities which are inherently subjective Critics of Quentin Letts have obligingly focused on  his criticism of  classically experienced Wringer. Quoted in The Guardian, the RSC’s artistic and creative directors released a statement, calling the review an “ugly and prejudiced commentary” with a “blatantly racist attitude.” In a similar vein, Act for Change co-founder  Danny Lee Wynter,  called  for editors to “come together collectively on who is allowed to write these reviews”.

and was hardly ‘colour-blind casting.’ It was a conscious decision to have people of colour playing what most people would have claimed to be roles intrinsically  not  suited for them. Race simultaneously became relevant and irrelevant. Lin Manuel-Miranda, writer and original star of the musical, operated in this realm of juxtaposition as he presents a cast that most people can connect with, in some degree. After all, how else would the giant figures of the white, male founding fathers be presented as people a diverse audience can connect with?

By Roshan Jacob


ace. A simple noun that carries explosive potential when mentioned. Today,  we have plays that include ‘blind-casting’ that refuse to construct race as an important feature of an actor’s persona. At the same time, calls are being made for a larger presence of minority actors in the Western world. There are inherently two directions the world of cinema and theatre can take. Those directions are either to ignore race completely when casting, or to acknowledge it and be conscious of the representation of minorities. Hamilton is the first theatrical production that comes to mind when questioning the issue of race. Thomas Kali, the director of the West End production has defined the multiracial casting as the ‘core’ of the play. It was essential

It is not about the product or the result of the plan as much as it is about intention The question of race depends on what the director values more: achieving cultural or historical accuracy or wanting a  diverse cast that achieves the goal of somewhat equal representation?  One is not necessarily better than the other. Letts’ misplaced statement is the sum of a clash between these two ideals. Either way, the goal should be to find the best actor for the role. To me, the answer is clear. Different directors, companies and plays will seek to speak out about different issues. It is not about product or result of the plan as much as it is about intention. Image by Gresham College via Flickr and Creative Commons

THE indigo INTERVIEW Thursday 14 June 2018


Stevie Flies Solo

indigo interviews Stevie Martin, one third of the hit comedy trio ‘Massive Dad’... By Kishore Thiagarajan Stage Editor


head of her debut solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe this August, Durham alumnus Stevie Martin, part of the famed comedy sketch group Massive Dad, sat down with Indigo to share her memories of her time at Durham, and anticipations of the Fringe.

Could you introduce yourself by telling us what you studied at Durham? I did English Literature and went to John’s.

What were some of your most memorable moments whilst at Durham? I got dared to run naked around Palace Green and ran into my Introduction to Novel tutor. I also turned up to a bar crawl - where the theme was “Christians” - dressed as a nun, and everybody else was dressed up because it wasn’t themed, it was the actual Christian Union and they thought I was taking the piss out of them (See above about me going to John’s) (I loved it by the way, and when I explained they were fine) (Look, some of my very good friends are Christians OK).

What was the comedy scene like when you were at Durham? How involved were you? I was a member of The Durham Revue for two years, so I was fairly heavily involved. It was the best fun ever and the Fringe was carnage.

Ahead of August, how does it feel to be making your solo debut at the Fringe? I can’t stop going to the toilet. That’s got nothing to do with the question, I just wanted to tell someone. But yes, I’m excited and nervous and I’ve bought £250 worth of props that yesterday I cut from the show. If anyone wants a fishing rod, give them my details.

You’ve titled your solo show ‘Vol 1’ - is this the first to come of many future solo ventures? I went for the most vague title ever in case I wanted to switch it from sketch and character to French Vaudeville at the last minute. There’s still time.

Solo versus group comedy: what are the biggest differences? After you’ve done a good show there’s nobody to celebrate with so I go to Nandos a lot on my own.

You’re performing at one of the most prestigious Fringe venues for comedy – The Pleasance Courtyard – talk to us about your relationship with the venue. They produced my sketch group Massive Dad for years so when I went solo I did their excellent comedy night ‘Hub’ in front of the Pleasance Head of comedy and asked if he could produce me as a solo act. When he said yes I was so relieved and had seven Nandos.

So far you’ve worked with Channel 4, BBC Three, Comedy Central and ITV2 - what’s next for you? To be honest I’d be pretty annoyed if after all this i don’t get a Nandos Black Card. Some more fun TV projects to work on would be good too.

What’s your experience working as a female comedian in a, largely, male dominated industry? There are loads of women in comedy now. So, it’s alright!

Finally, for any budding comedians at Durham, what advice might you offer? If, like me, you aren’t super rich and can’t just start taking shows to the Edinburgh Fringe immediately, do another job you like (I chose journalism but other comedians I know were waitresses, teachers, lawyers etc before they quit to go full time) and do it on the side. Also listen to my podcast ‘Nobody Panic’ - me and Tessa from Massive Dad do it and it’s all about how to navigate your 20’s. Might be helpful! *** The Nobody Panic podcast is available to download on Acast and iTunes. Stevie Martin: Vol 1 is at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August. Tickets available at

Photography by Idil Sukan

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