Culture Club Freshers Showcase

Culture Club Freshers Showcase

Izzy Cutts reviews Culture Club’s first inter-arts event of the year


UCLU Culture Club brings together all of UCL’s arts societies to support and encourage each other. The Freshers Showcase was the first of many inter-arts events to come, and showed what all the societies can do. Seven societies made their new members perform a short slot, demonstrating what the society does, and what they have been able to achieve in the short period since term started. Luke Blackett, president of Culture Club, played compère for the night and started a self-bashing hashtag (#burnblackett) to ensure everyone was fully satisfied with the proceedings.

UCLU Jazz Society kicked off the performances with a new boyband. They played really well, considering how quickly they had been put together (I know that sounds quite ‘X factor’). UCLU Live Music Society followed, mixing individual and group performances, before a whole group performance of Pumped Up Kicks. They overcame a few technical difficulties to show the amazing musical talent we have at UCL. Dylan Trenouth performed his own song that felt like a success already. I could even see girls mouthing along behind the wings. While a lack of sound checks on the piano led to Luke seemingly describing the performance as ‘rough and ready’, the Live Music freshers certainly weren’t.

UCLU Folk and World Music Society followed in a similar fashion with a soloist, followed by a new Ceilidh band. It took me longer than it should to realise that there was a harmonica attached to Charlie Stott’s guitar, but I absolutely loved it. Charlie also performed his own song, and it’s safe to say he won the audience over. I even saw someone declaring their drunken love for him in TCR Subway later that evening. (That person may or may not have been me.) His voice was absolutely mesmerising and, after confessing his Bob Dylan obsession, he did a super cover. The Ceilidh band seemed very professional – the person kicking my chair enthusiastically was definitely enjoying it. However, I felt the performance needed dancers.

UCLU Film Society rounded up the first half with their 48 hour Vine competition, where people had submitted mini film clips reflecting hilariously and absurdly on university life. The ‘behind the scenes’ video that followed exhibited the contrasting professionalism of Film Society and the extent of what they do.

The second half began with a piece, devised in ten hours, from UCLU Drama Society. Like an existential game of ‘Would you rather?’ there were questions asked from a voiceover, focusing around the theme of ‘firsts’, and the answers to the questions would then be acted out. I wasn’t sure on the style but there were some really hilarious moments and I loved the scene where they embodied everyone’s inner thoughts on a date.

Following them were UCLU Comedy Society who started off with their sketch group, and even though they recycled some of the group’s material from the Edinburgh fringe, the freshers performed it brilliantly. Their brave and quick-witted improvisation games also had the audience howling.

It was down to UCLU’s Musical Theatre Society to close the proceedings and, supported by a particularly over-excited front row, they performed a condensed version of their musical Little Shop of Horrors. Alex Hall reprised his brilliant performance of the dentist, this time with added innuendo. I thought everyone’s vocals were stronger this time around and it was a fun and uplifting performance to end the evening.

It was a great evening to bring together Culture Club’s main aims. There was a very supportive environment and it was a night of genuine entertainment. It’s just a shame that the night was slightly overshadowed

Featured image credit: Danté Kim

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