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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Upcoming cultural events in Oxford

Lily Jones, Isabella Elliot, and Elena Buccisano share a few events they’re excited for this Trinity Term… If any spark your interest, get involved!

Croquet Cuppers

Season Two of Bridgerton has given me a newfound desire to grab life by the mallet, so this term I have decided to sign up for Croquet Cuppers. Is this because I believe that I could be a valuable addition to the team and lead my college to victory? No, of course not. My only experience playing croquet included getting so drunk on Pimms that I vomited on the side of the perfectly manicured lawn – any sport which includes a tacky chun is a winner in my book.

I have decided to sign up to Croquet Cuppers as I feel it could really benefit me personally. Not only is it one of the few sports in existence which I may have the athletic ability for – next to perhaps, chess or twister – but Bridgerton has also taught me that it is a great game to find a handsome man in a billowy shirt. As I approach the end of my second year, the three main Oxford goals – gaining a first, a spouse, and a Blue – are slipping further out of my grasp. Seeing as the first is pretty much a write-off I think croquet is quite possibly my only chance of ticking off the other two. So, I suppose I’d better give it my best shot.

By Lily Jones

May Day

Coming up in a few weeks is May Day, a unique Oxford event for which celebrations have occurred for over 1000 years (Slagel, 2020). The festivities mark the start of spring, and the coming of summer with a general atmosphere of festivity permeating the city. Events on May Day itself start at 6am with the choir singing from Magdalen tower, but celebrations continue through the morning with traditional Morris dancers in Radcliffe Square and the procession of a garlanded ox, to jazz band and sol samba performances (Healey, 2022).

Though the day occurs on May 1st, it is common for students to stay up through the evening, acting as an unusual end to a night of clubbing at Atik or O2, or following on from the Somerville-Jesus and LMH balls. This May Day also falls on a Sunday, allowing both students and Oxford residents to take part in the revelries. May Day is in fact particularly special in this regard, as an event in which both town and gown are united in celebrating, and in which traditions unique to the city of Oxford are venerated by all.

The physical May Day events have been cancelled for two consecutive years as a result of Covid-19, meaning it is a celebration the majority of Oxford’s undergraduates have never experienced before. Consequently, excitement is higher than ever this year, with the 2017 record of 27,000 spectators expected to be eclipsed (Slagel, 2020), so it is certainly not something that should be (or can be!) missed, and I urge all readers to join in the celebrations. Up the may!

By Isabella Elliott

The Oxford Medieval Mystery Cycle

Saturday 23rd April 2022, St Edmund Hall, 12:00pm – 17:00pm

Admission: Free

I stumbled across this intriguing albeit slightly strange event in a random Modern Languages faculty email, and the phrase ‘Medieval Mystery’ caught my attention. The premise of the event is a sort of theatrical retelling of the story of mankind with a series of plays performed by groups of Spanish, French, Italian, and German students and a number of MML lecturers around St Edmund Hall. As the faculty website states, “at noon the chapel bell will ring for Creation to commence in the Old Dining Hall. From there the story will unfold, with the Old Testament being acted out in the Front Quad and the New Testament in the churchyard around St Peter-in-the-East.” 

Although a slightly bizarre concept, these plays were a very popular form of drama in the Middle Ages– and what is more Oxford than desperately trying to hold onto tradition. If you enjoy theatre or story-telling and wish to fill a Saturday afternoon, this could be an ideal way to experience something a bit different as the audience will be asked to move around the college to see the various groups perform. Combining multilingualism and the medieval experience, this event could be the ideal way to start off a fun-filled Trinity. If your aim this term is to adopt a ‘say yes to everything’ mentality then look no further. Everyone is welcome and the event is free of charge.

By Elena Buccisano

Artwork by Wang Sum Luk

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