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Browsing: Arts & Culture

On the fourth of January 2019, National Trivia Day, nobody expected this historic, surprising, and actually very unasked for tweet, courtesy of Pottermore’s official Twitter account, J.K Rowling’s official post-book source of content for her Harry Potter series. “Hogwarts didn’t always have bathrooms. Before adopting Muggle plumbing methods in the eighteenth century, witches and wizards simply relieved themselves wherever they stood, and vanished the evidence. #NationalTriviaDay” This tweet caused volumes of internet scorn, from incredulous fans who never wanted to know such a detail, to an outpouring of despair-filled memes. No-one wanted to know this, and yet Rowling chose to bless…

At most festivals, that inceptive splosh of rain is an unwelcome incidence. Contrarily, at Green Man, a curtain of drizzle before those majestically noble Brecon Beacons is gorgeously aesthetic. Admittedly, this wonderous spectacle didn’t abate the merciless deluge. But it did distract me from my damp socks. Following recent years of relative radiance, the festival’s 17th outing was probably due some weather worthy of watery wellies and muddy macs. Though, no matter the volatility of the British skies, you’ll never be short of warmth at Green Man. It’s exuded by all who loyally flock to dwell in the verdant valleys…

The annual UniBrass contest returns to Bangor University on 8th February 2020, marking 10 years for one of the largest Brass Band contests in the UK. University brass bands from around the country will be welcomed to Bangor to compete across two sections; the Trophy and the Shield. Full details about the contest and the venues will be announced in due course. The UniBrass Organising Committee are hoping to make UniBrass 2020 “the biggest contest yet.” The contest began in 2010 at Lancaster University. It was also held at the University of Warwick in 2014, and in Yorkshire for two…

Seemingly mundane personal documents can weave a rich history between a person and the world around them. The archives and special collections are celebrating a Year of Discovery during 2019. The aim is to present “inventive individuals, adventurous Welsh men and women and new exciting resources for researches in the Archives”. As introduced in the previous issue of Seren, the Archives are in the process of acquiring a new collection titled “The Paget Papers” and are helped by myself, an undergraduate intern, to process the new accession. As three months have passed so far, I want to talk about a…

By Jamie King This semester has been the most inventive yet for Bangor’s English Drama Society, with all three plays in their lineup breaking out from the usual confines of the John Phillips Theatre’s proscenium staging to create a diverse array of theatre for the decent crowds they’ve drawn. The culmination of this programme is the noughties black comedy The God of Carnage, a translation of French playwright Yasmina Reza’s Le Dieu du Carnage – a one-act burst of middle class couples behaving badly, as Veronica and Michael (Roseanna Lovell and Lewis Wilson) welcome into their home Annette and Alan…

By Jamie King “There’s no keys to hold between her fingers. There’s no friend to call to make sure you get home alright. There’s no silenced headphones or self defence classes. We are at his mercy, weakened by lack of food, sleep and sunlight. We are the wilted flowers, the gardener’s hand lingers above ready to pull us from the ground.” In the exact centre of the worst nightmare of anyone who’s walked a dark street alone with a hundred Netflix serial killer shows spinning in their head, or a hundred Disney princesses snatched away and locked in towers –…

Every spring for three years, the Bangor Musical Theatre Society has arrived in Pontio to bring in their main show of the year. Looking back to Fame (2017) and High School Musical (2018), the previous Pontio shows have paved the way to family-friendly feel-good musicals. The auditorium full, we have grown to expect flashy group songs, sentimental solos, lovably humorous chorus characters and at least two confetti cannons in the finale. However, moving from the American high schools to Ancient Near East is no easy feat. Joseph is the brainchild of Tim Rice’s penmanship and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical mind,…

Imperator: Rome, the newest grand strategy from Paradox Interactive, was released on the 25th of April. At the time of writing, it is the 26th of April, and I have logged 12 hours in the game. So, without further ado, a review. What is familiar? As always, loading up a Paradox grand strategy for the first time results in overwhelming confusion-but this is a universal experience in these games- if you are new to the genre, I recommend watching some gameplay before jumping in, unless you are a bastion of patience. On the other hand, for someone who has played…

Gaz Thomas, 36, is a local from Llandudno Junction who started making games as a hobby in 2008, while studying at Bangor. His website, freegames.org, is now the first-ranked free games site in the United States, and his most popular creations can be found embedded in over 14,000 others. Sitting at a little table in a lunch-rushed Bangor café, he told Seren how he got to this point. How did you get into game design? “I spent 7 years in Bangor University as a student. I was doing electronic engineering, and then I started doing a biochemistry PhD, and I…

Moving Stories of Anglesey and Gwynedd is a student-led project intended to inspire curiosity about different languages and cultures, and to encourage people to get involved in learning languages. CALL FOR YOUR STORIES, ANECDOTES AND THOUGHTS Topics can range from anything related to language and culture – what being bilingual or multilingual means to you, how this affects your identity, how languages influence the way we see the world, and how this perspective might change when you learn another language. How do the languages you know differ from each other? How are cultures reflected in languages? Or, do you have…

The Bangor University Archives and Special Collections are tightly tied with local heritage and cultural history, especially in terms of the many great landed estates of North Wales. This includes taking care of sizeable estate records. Indeed, the University is home to a staggering amount of collections from Welsh estates like Baron Hill, Mostyn, Penrhos, Penrhyn Castle and Plas Newydd. Most recently, the department has received a new collection from the Plas Newydd in Anglesey. The estate, dating as far back as 1470, has stood in the bank of the Menai Strait near the town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyll and housed historical…

Introduce FilmSoc for us? Film Society is a collective of students who make short films together. We also hold socials through Bar Uno, our sponsor, and Pontio which allow us to appreciate film through quizzes and screenings. What challenges and rewards are involved in running a society like FilmSoc? We believe the challenge leads to the reward, making and helping others make film is a challenging prospect. It takes time, patience and commitment, so learning to organise schedules is key. However seeing how that turns out is always a reward, we’ve created some amazing films and we are so proud…

We all hear about Varsity and the AU going to cross-university competitions and such all year long, but what about societies? Last week, Bangor English Dramatics Society (BEDS), together with Keele University’s Drama Society, organized a full day event in John Phillips Hall, hosting workshops and an evening showcase. “The Keele-Bangor collaboration was the first of its kind, and we were unsure what would happen,” said Briony Collins, BEDS’s Writer’s Group Coordinator. “We were met with nothing but confident and generous people who led us through some fantastic workshops and an exciting showcase.” The workshops were run by different people…

One of Ireland’s finest acts “Villagers” kick started their tour of the UK in Bangor’s very own Pontio, supported by the ethereal musical artistry of Leila Moss. They began their set with “Again” from the RTÉ Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the year 2018 nominee “The Art of Pretending to Swim”. Otherworldly electronics delicately paired with folk-like sounds from brass instruments and acoustic guitars were a breath of fresh air. Moody lighting and dry ice made the whole experience seem celestial. Frontman Conor O’Brien brought a level of intimacy between himself and the crowd with his performance of “Hot…

On the 5th of March, just in time for international women’s month, the Women’s Prize for Fiction announced it eagerly anticipated longlist. The list consists of 16 books from all corners of the world, they all are written in English. The list is made up of well known as well as new authors, seven of these are debut novels. It also contains last years Booker prize winner, a previous winner and a non-binary transgender author for the first time in the prizes 24 year history (with permission from the author). The judges who picked these books included Professor Kate Williams,…

…is pretty fun. I figured I’d start the article by getting to the point. I suppose I’ll elaborate a bit, tempting as it is to chuckle, hit save, and put this in a side column. Pulsar is a developing game which throws five players onto a spaceship in an open galaxy and tells them to swim. It normally follows this up by swiftly drowning them- and then you learn that it uses permadeath. The permadeath is a pretty regular customer at the beginning. The main disadvantage of the game is that you really do need a full team of friends…

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