Guess what? It’s another theatre review! Durham Drama Festival, a week of student-written productions, is currently taking place, and last night I had the pleasure of seeing Satin. The dark tale of a group of Victorian prostitutes, this performance took place in Old Shire Hall, and was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. As always, I will link you to my review on the Durham Theatre Review site, rather than posting a full review here, but I do hope that you go and take a look, and read reviews of some of the other DDF performances while you’re at it. And so, without further ado:
I’m proud of myself for this one, as I managed to write what I consider to be a well-balanced review, and to give three stars without being guilty. The do say practice makes perfect!
(For those of you looking for my final #DearValentine entry, I will post it tomorrow. Too much journalism/blogging, not enough academic work!)
I spent so much money last week that my bank account was almost squealing in protest. At the very least I expected one of those phone calls from the manager checking that nothing untoward had occurred. (“No Mr Bank Manager, that was me who bought the fifteen pairs of shoes. Nothing to worry about at all!”) But when I heard that Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair was coming to Durham, I just had to see what all the fuss was about. A mistake perhaps, as I returned with my purse considerably lighter but carrying these purchases:
Firstly, from Your Vintage Life, these flowered Doc Martens. These very nearly caused a falling out with my friend, as we couldn’t work out from the label whether they were a 6 or an 8. But I was Cinderella on that occasion, and given that the shoes fit, it would have been churlish not to buy them.
Aren't they beautiful?
Already broken in for me too!
Then there was this cute necklace, from Two Penny Lane. This stall had so many pieces of beautiful handmade jewellery that it was difficult to choose between them. One of my friends got a necklace with a miniature but working harmonica attached to the chain.
Even the packaging is adorable!
And nestling inside...
...is a tribute to my caffeine addiction!
And finally, because I can’t resist bargains or rings, I bought this for just £2! (Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the stall from which I bought it, so no link here.)
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the refurbishment of Klute, my favourite Durham nightclub, and my fears that the changes would not be for the better. Well, I went last night, more than a little apprehensive but drunk enough to put my fears aside, and I’m happy to say that I was wrong. The floor is a little less sticky, quaddies are fifty pence more expensive (incentive not to destroy our livers quite so much?), the old rugby video has been replaced with scenes from the film ‘Klute’ (the existence of which I was unaware of until last night), and the loss of the graduation boards in the entrance will be mourned by many (myself included), but the refurbishment has somehow failed to have any effect on the skankiness of the toilets (something which most people would have been happy to see a change in) and, most importantly, the atmosphere remains the same. And, at least on a Thursday night, the cheese lives on! They’ve introduced a bizarre system of only playing the first two minutes of a song before changing, but as someone with an extremely short attention span, this didn’t actually bother me. I was far too excited about the new cheesy additions (Teenage Dirtbag, for instance, a song which takes me right back to primary school discos) to worry that some of them were being cut short. They also played That’s Amore at the end of the night (although it was not quite the same having it followed by another song rather than the dulcet tones of the DJ proclaiming that “That really is all we’ve got time for!”), allowing my friend and I to waltz clumsily into the other dancers in traditional fashion.
In short, the night was a success, proving that good friends, good music, and free-flowing alcohol make for an enjoyable evening regardless of minor aesthetic changes. And, perhaps, that students have a tendency to overreact! Get yourselves back down there everybody, it’s just not right having room to move on the dance floor!
(I was in a very strange mood when I wrote this. For this I apologise.)
To say the least, this week has been insane.
I have moved into the keep of an eleventh-century castle, spent far too many hours staring out at the amazing view, and discovered that having an incredible room is just the incentive I need to actually clear up after myself.
I have attended lectures for the first time in a month, met my dissertation supervisor for the first time ever, and been reassured that I do have a hope in hell of graduating with a 2.1. I am more relieved about that than words can express.
I have eaten sushi, sambuca jellies, and the edible parts of college dinners (supplemented with Maryland cookies on the nights when the inedible outweighed the edible).
I have pulled muscles, had blood drawn, and nearly exsanguinated myself with a razor (entirely by accident, I might add).
I have seen old friends, reestablished old routines, and started one new activity.
I have returned to university, almost for the last time. I’m still not sure if I’m ready for it to end or desperate for it not to.
I heard some very sad news today. Klute, worst nightclub in Europe and home of many happy memories from my first two years in Durham (and a handful from my fourth), is under new management. No more quaddies (which were technically illegal anyway, but now they’ll be expensive and illegal), no more sticky floors, no more nights of dancing to exactly the same playlist. This may not be what I should be pining for, and some of the students who are complaining (and there are many of us) are being criticised for refusing to accept change. But to this who think that we’re a bunch of whiners, I’d just like to say this.
Klute’s makeover may turn out to be a change for the better, at least for the management (given that it will now be open to locals as well as students, there’s certainly a chance that they will be ). But for those of us in our final year, about to face the big wide world where we’re expected to get up before midday and not drink on week nights, this change comes t0o early. We’re afraid of everything that’s familiar to us being taken away, and even if the revamped Klute is better, it won’t be as familiar as the old.
So here’s to the old Klute, we loved you not despite the sweat, the stickiness and the lack of loo roll but because of it (well, alright, maybe not the lack of loo roll), and here’s hoping that the new Klute is at the very least a good enough substitute to get us through the remainder of our final year!
Just one of many happy memories!