Ox Revue
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Review: The Oxford Revue’s Christmas Party

 

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Bing Crosby, Santa hats and Christmas jumpers: The Oxford Revue’s Christmas Party kicked off last night in traditional cheesy style, providing an evening of sketches, stand-up, and musical numbers to warm the cockles of all but the very Grinchiest.

Clever and off-the-wall sketches abounded: your reviewer could be heard giggling like a schoolgirl watching David Meredith’s out-of-touch politician desperately trying to look normal.

But there was real variety here, with a ‘Tinder Rock Opera’ as musically impressive as it was funny, a psychotic mime act, short skits, impersonations. These last, from Alex Fox, were delivered with a lovable sincerity that more than made up for their dubious resemblance to the real celebrities (although, to his credit, Fox’s Gollum was uncanny).

For those who had seen the Revue already this term, there was some repetition of material, but I can’t imagine anyone really minded, with, for instance, ‘Fucking Issues’, a parody GCSE drama piece, gaining even more laughs here than it did the other week at the Wheatsheaf.

A short ‘erotic’ story described a woman’s encounter with a well-endowed milkman. “Hey, she said. Hello, he replied. You could have cut the tension in the air with a knife. A big knife. A knife shaped like a dick.”

Sadly, you would not have needed such an impressive implement to cut through the atmosphere in the theatre last night. Probably it was a combination of the slight underselling of tickets, the flatness of LMH’s Simpkins Lee as a venue, and the under-lubrication of the audience by alcohol—LMH’s bar, it grew clear in the interval, is down a labyrinth of corridors in an underground bunker, and anyway its queue was so long that making it back with a pint was a token of near-heroic valour.

All this, however, is no fault of the cast, which, it is obvious, contains a fantastic wealth of talent. Among many names, Will Hislop again stands out for his vital, engaging comic presence. Among the newer faces, fresher George McGoldrick drew early laughs—and some of the biggest applause—with his idiosyncratic stand-up.

The extremely high calibre of performance overall made the audience indulge occasional technical hiccups and the odd dud sketch. In fact, the biggest problem with this show was that the performers were often stronger than the material they were working with. This made the Christmas Party a rib-tickling, not a stomach-busting evening. Tonight, with a near-full house, I imagine it will be even better.

The Oxford Revue Christmas Party is playing at the Simpkins Lee Theatre, LMH, until 22nd November

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Review: Orlando

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Last week, Tim Stanley proudly flaunted his ignorance in The Telegraph over what exactly gender is, snorting: “Apparently a “cis” is someone who identifies with the same gender that they were born with. So that’s a thing now”.

Yes, Tim, it is a thing now – and, as this difficult but well-executed production of Virginia Woolf’s quasi-autobiographical gender-bending novel proves, it’s been a thing for at least a few centuries. Or millennia. It’s difficult to tell; time in this play is malleable, contorting and folding over itself, jumping hundreds of years, in a lifetime, in an hour and forty minute run-time. (more…)

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Africa: ‘The Dark Continent’? On the inheritance of knowledge

“The world is like a Mask dancing. If you want to see it well you do not stand in one place”

Chinua Achebe

“Do they know it’s Christmas?” Well of course they bloody do. They’ll probably go to Church, and then spend the day with their families.  I find the return of Geldof’s fundraising wonder song deeply problematic. His efforts in fighting the Ebola crisis are laudable, but the lyrics of the song betray the startling grip of an inherited image of Africa. Academia has a great deal to answer for.

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Roberto looking sexy
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Roberto Weeden-Sanz unopposed for President

Roberto Weeden-Sanz is unopposed to be Union President, sources within the Union have confirmed. He will take up his position in Trinity term.

Current Secretary Stuart Webber is unopposed to be Librarian, while former member of standing committee Robert Harris is unopposed to be Secretary. Antonia Trent, who has not yet held a position in the Union is unopposed to be Treasurer.

Only five candidates have nominated for the five positions on standing committee; David Browne, Cindy Yu, Verity Hubbard, Joel Nelson and Joe Fowles.

This election will be the first election to feature Re Open Nominations, meaning these candidates could potentially be RON’ed during the elections to be held on Friday of 7th week.

The OxStu understands that a potentially successful Senior Disciplinary Committee action against President Mayank Banerjee could also result in the election results being overturned, if his rules changes are found to be in breach of the Unions constitution.

Lippestad
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Geir Lippestad: Defending the man behind the massacre

It seems like an ethical thought experiment, an exercise for a philosophy class – someone who has committed an atrocity of unimaginable cruelty, a despicable murderer, stands in the dock, and has requested you to defend him in court. But, in the early hours of the morning, a matter of hours after Anders Breivik had committed one of the worst massacres in European peacetime history, Geir Lippestad’s phone rang. The man who had just left Norway reeling from the impact of 77 murders, including 69 children, wanted Lippestad as his defence attorney. (more…)

Japan
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5th Week escapism: Indulging in Japan’s forgotten season

If you’ve ever been to Japan, you might have noticed that the country places a strong emphasis on its four seasons, and with good reason: each one has distinct characteristics that set it apart from others. This means people wanting to visit will inevitably face the question of when is the best time to go.  Many will advise against the hot and humid summer and instead suggest spring, for the famous cherry blossoms, or autumn, for its colorful foliage. But how about winter? It is often overlooked, but winter is actually a fantastic time to visit Japan. Here are ten reasons why: (more…)

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