ELLA WILSON and DANIEL LUBIN review UCL Drama Society’s As You Like It. Plastic trees and a pale patchwork backdrop. The neutrality of Georgia Green’s set creates a kind of liminal space, initially capturing the clinical and menacing courtroom before transforming into the cool boughs of the forest. In this way the stage is perfectly adapted for the two environments of UCL Drama Society’s As You Like It, directed by Polly Creed and produced by George Jibson. Their production reimagines and re-contextualises Shakespeare’s play, seating it in a firmly modern place thematically, even as its setting is contextually ambiguous. The production draws more out of the Shakespeare by leaning in to some of its queer themes. Though queerness emerges in the script through Rosalind cross-dressing as ‘Ganymede’, many male characters in this production are recast as women, such as Jaques (Róisín Tapponi) and Duchess Senior (Olivia Perrett), with their pronouns changed appropriately.…Continue Reading

As You Like It

ISABEL WEBB discusses breaking into creative journalism with industry experts Caroline Issa (Fashion Director, TANK magazine) and the Deputy Editor of Huck magazine. Hear their thoughts on everything from unpaid internships to social media and postgraduate courses. Filmed and edited by Nick Mastrini for SAVAGE Broadcast.   

Breaking Into Creative Journalism

SAM PRYCE  interviews Nik Colk Void, one half of techno outfit Factory Floor, on her new electroacoustic piece and how it came about, and discusses spontaneity, synths and starting work on her own solo album.  Nik Colk Void is probably best known as one half of post-industrial techno outfit Factory Floor. Hypnotic, abrasive and uncompromising, the duo have released two critically-acclaimed LPs to date, and earned a reputation as one of the loudest live acts around. In her solo work, she’s collaborated with two visionary figures in industrial and electronic music — Throbbing Gristle’s Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti, as Carter Tutti Void — and has worked with Helena Hauff, Daniel Avery and The Charlatans. At the Spitalfields Music Festival this week, however, her unique brand of experimental electronica collides with classical music as she premieres a new composition with orchestral collective S T A R G A Z…Continue Reading

Interview: Nik Colk Void

THOMAS CURY outlines the demands to fund and improve UCL’s Student Psychological Services.   There’s a mental health crisis going on across universities in the UK, and UCL is certainly not exempt. Within the last 10 years, the number of students who have disclosed mental health issues to their institution has increased fivefold to nearly 15,000 students. Student dropout rates due to mental health problems have also skyrocketed, with a record 1180 students leaving university early in 2014-2015, a 210% increase from 2008-2009. In 2015, some 87,914 students had requested counselling. As more students seek out mental health support than ever before, UCL’s services have been exposed as severely overstretched, understaffed and underfunded. The ever-increasing student body at UCL, which has risen from 19,000 in 2006 to 39,000 today, has not been matched with a corresponding rise in funds for the Student Psychological Services (SPS). A 2016 report conducted by the Student Union…Continue Reading

Fund Our Mental Health Services

BENEDICT YEO outlines the current flaws in UCL’s attempts at diversifying its curriculum. For an institution that brands itself as ‘London’s Global University’, there is a worrying flaw in the current UCL curriculum: there is a Eurocentric dominance of perspectives and content, with a failure to provide a more inclusive debate on ideas beyond Europe. Back in 2014, students from UCL’s Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) Students’ Network launched a ‘Why is My Curriculum White’ campaign, which included a short film exploring the experiences and opinions of students on the diversity of UCL’s curriculum. The video was a response to the study done by the NUS in 2009 on the experiences of Black students in higher education. The study results revealed that ‘42% did not believe their curriculum reflected issues of diversity, equality, and discrimination’ and ‘34% stated they felt unable to bring their perspective as a Black student to lectures and tutor…Continue Reading

UCL’s White Curriculum

ETHAN RHYS-JENKINS’ short is a punchy and enlightening advert for the Rent Strike protest. He is in conversation with HASSAN SHERIF to explain where the film fits into the larger movement, and where the movement itself is currently headed.  With Cut the Rent’s Free Ed demo racing towards us on 15th November in London, we revisited Ethan Rhys-Jenkins’ short, ‘Rent Strike’, which documents the student effort during last year’s movement. ‘I was working very closely with Rent Strike at the time’, he explains, ‘so this is my contribution to them – a sort of advert/infomercial just about the campaign, which is in dozens of other universities as well. The idea was to have this floating around, spreading the word.’ As a first year student, I was not acquainted with quite how widespread the multi-university movement really is. Ethan’s film (as well as Selma Rezgui’s article last year) pinpoints the massive successes developed over several years…Continue Reading

Cut The Rent

NICK FERRIS reviews Teatro Vivo’s promenade piece Twistov on the streets of Shoreditch. To visit present-day Shoreditch is to be overwhelmed by a particular brand of high-priced London gentrification. Swanky burger joints with bare-bulb lighting, Victorian pubs selling nothing but craft beers and gins, and the infamous Cereal Killer Café characterise a neighbourhood largely inhabited by middle class ‘creatives’, who stalk the streets with their apple products, Fjällräven backpacks, and All Saints or Urban Outfitters clothing. Only two or three decades ago, before creative and tech industries came to take advantage of cheap rents in the declining industrial landscape, Shoreditch was anything but genteel. It was, at that time, the heart of London’s East End: the infamous inner city realm synonymous with extreme poverty and petty crime, and popularised by writers such as Charles Dickens. Yet can a neighbourhood’s identity truly just change in this way? Can Shoreditch really have gone from poor…Continue Reading

Twistov

SOPHIE CUNDALL reviews the final night of UCL Drama Society’s Women, Power and Politics showcase. The night’s first show, The Milliner and The Weaver, directed by Cara Michel, transports us to Ulster, Northern Ireland, at a time when society is being uprooted. So intense is the conflict over the issue of Home Rule after the third Home Rule Bill of 1912, that it tears apart and silences the already criminally underrepresented Irish suffrage movement. We embark on a microcosmic exploration of this period with two endearing and sensitively portrayed women from different universes as they navigate the outdoor political environment from the space they know the best: the home. Walking across the stage before the show, we are enveloped by a sense of domesticity; the carefully strewn socks, shoes, chairs, and newspapers are minimalist but pertinent. This, we learn, is the entire world of Henrietta (Róisín Tapponi), the weaver, a world into which…Continue Reading

Women, Power and Politics – 3rd night

IMOGEN GODDARD reviews the second night of the Women, Power and Politics showcase. Part of UCL Drama Society’s Women, Power, and Politics showcase, the two short plays Bloody Wimmin (Lucy Kirkwood) and The Panel (Zinnie Harris) promised to be thought-provoking as well as enjoyable, and did not disappoint. The former explores the Greenham Common anti-nuclear women’s protests of the 1980s, focusing on one participant, Helen, and the subsequent tension between her and her husband before fast-forwarding twenty years to the situation in the early 2000s regarding climate change activism and feminism. The second play contrasts with the first, being set in a male dominated office environment with five men tackling the deceptively difficult task of employing a female colleague. The showcase’s logo of a striking red Venus symbol against a white background, displayed in the theatre as the audience took their seats, was a perfect introduction to the 1980s Thatcher-era setting…Continue Reading

Women, Power and Politics – 2nd night

WAFIA ZIA argues that the government’s anti-terrorism scheme is isolating young Muslims and doing little to combat radicalisation. The narrative starts off the same. Hands on the prayer mat, whispering three times while in a sajdah. But this time, like many others, is slightly different. An elderly woman from outside of the hospital prayer room begins to scream and shout, calling to us. The peace that once occupied the space has now been replaced with a numbing shrill. ‘You’re all disgusting, disgusting, disgusting’. The words echo in my head as she leaves. Sitting up, I turn to my friend as she mutters: ‘ugly cow’. I smirk. But there’s a nagging, guilty feeling in my throat. Why is it that the people who are often the most hurt are also those who suffer the most interrogation? The truth is that everywhere you go as a Muslim, you will find hatred. Institutions that…Continue Reading

The Prevent Scheme

SELMA REZGUI previews Margarete Kreuzer’s comprehensive documentary ahead of its premiere at Doc’n Roll Festival. ‘Tangerine Dream is science fiction!’ announced the German prog-rock band’s frontman Edgar Froese. To really drive this point home, occasional scenes from outer space punctuate the interview and archive footage that make up the backbone of this thorough documentary. A drifting galaxy here, a supernova there. We get it: Tangerine Dream and their experimental music are not of this world. This documentary presents a comprehensive journey through the band’s history, and perhaps loses something in its attempt to cover so much in one 90 minute film. Edgar Froese narrates from beyond the grave: the actor Alexander Hacke reads extracts from Froese’s autobiography, providing a soothing voiceover which, combined with highlights from the band’s discography, guides the film through its narrative trajectory. Revolution of Sound is a straightforward chronological retrospective of the band’s story from their early days…Continue Reading

TANGERINE DREAM: REVOLUTION OF SOUND

ISABEL WEBB discusses sex education after UCL Leading Women tackled the subject in collaboration with Men’s Rugby. Ask anyone what their experience of sex education was like in school and they will probably mention a traumatising demonstration of what happens to a tampon in water and a very rogue use of a banana. Fruit was always a common theme in sex education; first came the banana, then the condoms on cucumbers, and then the school nurse attempted to incorporate a pear into her description of fallopian tubes. The use of fruit seems to perfectly encapsulate the innuendo-laden inaccuracy of most sex education in schools, as well as Britain’s deep rooted discomfort with directly talking about sex. Clearly, using actual scientific models to explain bodily functions to children would be too much to ask. It’s no secret – and no surprise – that most people’s attitude to sex is a heady cocktail…Continue Reading

Sex beyond bananas