The Culture Show Specials

13th December 2012

The Culture Show has had an incredibly busy weekend bringing you two specials from outdoor locations! Saturday saw The Culture Show Christmas Special down at the Lakeside Arts Centre, where Martha, Anna, Hannah, and Ella hosted musical performances and dramatic readings from some of the very talented societies at the University of Nottingham. On Sunday, URN became the station for classical music as The Culture Show brought you three hours of classical performances, including a live broadcast from The Great Hall in Trent Building, featuring Mussoc’s Sinphonia orchestra in their winter concert.


Between 2-4pm, The Culture Show took over URN, and turned the Lakeside Arts Centre into a festive concert hall.
The Lakeside Arts Centre

Throughout the day, members of different societies came down to perform some Christmas favourites. Singers from Mussoc treated us to traditional Christmas carols, such as ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful’ and ‘Hark The Herald Angels’.

Musicality also performed four Christmas songs such as ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’. Their singing was so good, we all had a sing along session to Mariah Carey, ‘All I want for Christmas is you’! The Lakeside Arts Centre was the perfect venue for their voices which completely filled the space.


Hannah, the roving reporter for the day, spoke to the cast of the latest play at the Lakeside Arts Centre, ‘Two Little Boys’. Kevin and Steven, the two main actors, spoke of the play’s origins and whether the play treats us to a white Christmas. The performance will be on at the Lakeside Arts Centre until 30th December.

Blowsoc also joined The Culture Show to perform a medley of Christmas songs. They played several songs for us, some using brass instruments, and the others on wind instruments.


We were also treated to a dramatic Christmas reading from the Nottingham New Theatre, with Alex from the society reading the end of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’—the perfect story about redemption at Christmas!

The end of our Culture Show Christmas Special saw the winner of the Christmas Cake-off revealed. Earlier in the week, Genie and Jonny from URN met with Charley from Cakesoc to learn how to make the best Christmas Cake. In a blind testing on Saturday, Charley proclaimed Jonny and his Jager-laced cake the winner of the Cake-off.
Christmas cake-off


Sunday saw us broadcasting MusSoc’s ‘Sinfonia’ orchestra’s winter concert live from the Great Hall in Trent Building.

We also had chats with OpSoc about their previous night’s premiere of Ed Denham’s Carnival. Ed composed the opera using the plot line and characters from Aphra Behn’s ‘The Rover’, and he is a very talented post grad student who wrote the opera for OpSoc, a society close to his heart as he played piano for them during his time here at Nottingham. Mia played the character of Angelica. She told us how she got to grips with the role and how wearing a corset forced her to adapt her singing technique only a week before performance.
Both Ed and Mia described Carnival as ‘The Inbetweeners meets Opera’. On the show we debated whether opera was still relevant for students and this is one of the ways OpSoc are making opera more modern and accessible to the younger generations. We realised that opera has filtered into popular culture in recent years with certain ‘pop-opera’ stars on our screens such as Katherine Jenkins, Paul Potts, Il Divo and G4.
Rosie who played Florinda in Saturday evening’s performance popped into the studio to give us a quick review on how she thought the performance went. She praised Andy Routledge, the director from New Theatre for adding another dynamic to the opera. He encouraged the comedy elements and for the cast to emphasise their actions so that the story of the opera was played through their bodies and not just their voices. Rosie gave us a quick demo of singing and it blew us all away in the studio!

Earlier in the week, we spoke to Neil Bennison about the Theatre Royal’s Go Classical Scheme. By signing up to this free scheme, students or people under-25 can receive tickets to any of the Theatre Royal’s classical concerts for just £5.

Sinfonia performed three pieces for an excited audience in the Great Hall in on campus.
The first of which was Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides Overture.

The second piece was a series of four songs composed by Edvard Grieg for the play Peer Gynt.

The third piece was Dvorak’s Symphony number 9 in E minor.

The weekend was action-packed, and full of some of the wonderful talent on offer at the University of Nottingham