St Cuth’s sporting spirit
Tania Forichon – 2nd Year, Law Student, Captain of Cuth’s Women’s Rugby Team
Some of the players in the opposing team look like they would never hurt a fly but I’m still getting butterflies in my stomach. I look around and see all the Cuth’s girls staring at me and waiting for my “thumbs up” to the referee to start the game. Despite having played competitive sport from a young age, I still feel abnormally nervous about representing Cuth’s in the weekly fixtures. Being a captain is really difficult… but so fulfilling!
Captaining the Cuth’s Women’s Rugby team this season has been an extraordinary experience. Being separated from the previous Castle-Cuths combined team (‘Cuthle’), and having to recruit an entire team nearly from scratch was daunting but I was surprised by the number of people who showed an interest to play rugby for Cuth’s this year (and the numbers keep growing). This even triggered a Hatfield player to declare that she felt horrified by the fact we had so many subs and wanted to puke. That’s us – instilling fear and showing our strength through numbers.
On the pitch, we have proven ourselves to be a force to be reckoned with as we have maintained an unbeaten streak up to now! However, this is by far not a personal achievement but a team effort as the constant dedication of both the girls and our indispensable coach, Will, has been the recipe to success. Off the pitch, there is ample room for banter and brunch. We truly embody the Cuth’s spirit of liveliness and are always loving Cuthbert’s instead!
Theatre at St Cuth’s
Rachel Tan – English student, Producer of Cuth’s Drama Society’s production ‘The Events’
What does a producer actually do? This is one of the most common questions I get asked whenever I mention that I produce for student theatre in Durham. Producing is a flexible and diverse role, it is mainly administrative – scheduling rehearsals, scouting for stage locations or sourcing for costumes. However, it also places emphasis on creativity – I come up with a vision for promotional material, decide on how to brand or market a show and even design or hand-make various props!
It has been truly fulfilling to work with various companies in Durham Student Theatre (DST), delivering shows from script to stage and transforming a simple raised platform into a theatrical realm, if only for a few nights. Cuth’s Drama Society (CDS) is a relatively new addition to DST. In the past, we have usually focused on light comedy and farce, so I was extremely intrigued to take on ‘The Events’ by David Greig, a hauntingly emotional piece about the aftermath of a mass shooting event. The play is intense, steeped in the complexities of trauma and propelling audiences through moments of tender wistfulness and apprehensive discomfort. It was pretty exciting to bring this performance to the Cuth’s community because the play saw such an enthusiastic response from students and staff, even though no one knew what to expect! Each night audiences left stunned, shifting from nervous silence into heated discussion about the controversial issues that were raised.
Yet this was also one of the main challenges in terms of marketing the show – I was uncertain about how to sell tickets to a play that does not only seek to entertain, but rather provoke and even disturb. It was with the generous support of the Cuth’s community and other colleges, especially Cuth’s JCR that we managed to sell out beyond capacity on the last night! I am extremely lucky to be working with a theatre company and college community that are willing to experiment and take on new experiences, responding receptively to different genres of drama.
CDS’ focus on collaboration also enabled us to draw on a wide range of talent within and beyond the Cuth’s community and it was the brilliant work of directors and actors that brought the show into fruition. To top it all off, ‘The Events’ has just been selected as one of only 16 plays to feature in the National Student Drama Festival 2018! CDS is off to a pretty exhilarating start this year and I am so proud to be a part of it.
Charity Fashion Show
Jenna Chick – 3rd Year English student, Vice-President Of St. Cuthbert’s Society’s Fashion Show Committee
College fashion shows are something that feels very special to us as a university, and it was a privilege to bring this tradition to Cuth’s. The fashion show was a wonderful way to celebrate as a college, bond with other year groups, display the amazing organisation and creative talents of our exec, and all the while raise money for a wonderful cause; Children North East. Like many of us, studying in Durham was my first time living in the North East, and in choosing to support this particular charity and liaising with them, I’ve felt like I’ve made a real difference to something that really matters to the people I’m surrounded by every day.
I have been involved in charity on a university level since starting at Durham, and spend much of my time serving on the exec for Durham University Charities Komittee (DUCK). However, Cuth’s is very close to my heart, and it was an honour to be able to bring what I’ve learnt in DUCK to contribute to a college event such as SCSFS. I don’t think I could have contributed to the show as I did without keeping the values of inclusivity and positivity being a part of Cuth’s has taught me front of mind during the whole process. Putting the show together was such a rewarding challenge; no day was the same. Whether I was contacting the charity to update them on our progress, sprinting around Newcastle picking up auction prizes, or co-ordinating the male swimwear walk, every task led the executive committee and I to be increasingly confident, organised and efficient.
But, aside from the skills I have learned, it’s an experience I will remember for the friendships we all made. Like any Cuth’s society, the fashion show brought people together; I was able to reconnect with people I hadn’t seen since first year, as well as making friendships with first and second years I know will last. SCSFS was an intense, weird and wonderful experience and I am ever-grateful to Cuth’s for its continuing support of the event. “Organising Cuth’s fashion show this year was one of the highlights of my Durham experience thus far.”
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