02.06.14 — Journal

Ruddigore & Rent

So, here’s the (severely delayed) followup to my last blog post, in which I’m gonna have a quick overview of LUU Opera Society’s “Ruddigore” and Devonshire Hall’s “Rent”! Sit back, relax, listen to this very song and excuse the total lack of specialist thespian knowledge…


So almost a month ago, on the 7th May, I and some graphics friends (Izzy, Charlotte & Rhea to be exact) went along to see Leeds Uni Union’s Opera Society‘s performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Ruddigore”, which was showing at LUU’s Riley Smith Hall, in which fellow designer Emily was playing the starring role!

I must admit that I was a bit apprehensive about going to see an opera – I was only persuaded to go along when Emily promised that it was a comedy and would make me giggle.

Even then I was still wholly unconvinced as to the need for opera, but I decided to go along and try something new, half-expecting hour upon hour of unintelligible yodelling and boredom… but how wrong I was!

Emily gets married!

I shan’t regurgitate the storyline, but let’s just say that it was hilarious, and I was told that I could be heard laughing from the audience up on the stage… (sorry, Em!)

The cast were all fantastic, I couldn’t fault the singing at all – and coupled with a hilarious strolling and some questionable dancing by Em’s boyfriend, it was an absolute treat, and well worth the pittance that I paid to go and see it! I know I’ll be there to watch next year’s performance – and I have to congratulate Emily for convincing me to go along, and of course the whole cast of Ruddigore for rousing my appreciation of opera. I also have to congratulate LUU’s Backstage Society for their tech work on the show!

The only regret I have was not taking more photos. The above one is the only one I managed to get, but if you want to read more about it from Em’s perspective, and check out a few more photos, she’s written a fabulous blog post on her own blog about it here. Go check it out!


My next tidbit of culture was a trip with Izzy and her flat to see Devonshire Hall’s performance of “Rent”, at Canal Mills, a renovated space which is sometimes used as a club venue, but whose funky decor provided an opportunity to take a few photos…

Canal Mills' lighting fixture
The very bare-bones toilets

So, after encountering the above interesting sign, we headed in and were greeted with a fully-rigged stage in the centre of an old warehouse!

The stage is set

The performance was amazing – I was blown away by the sheer amount of talent that could be cooped up in one Halls of Residence! The singing, dancing and acting was impeccable, and the storyline kept me wanting to know more – which was why I was especially annoyed when I managed to get myself locked out of the theatre during the interval – hell, only I could manage that.

After being saved from certain death by Martin, who let me back in, I managed to get in and watch the second act, and take a few more photos after having learned my lesson after Ruddigore…

The cast of Rent

In the course of a week, then, I managed to get out and see two amazing performances. It was such a great experience, one which I hope to replicate over and over again in the future, and I can only thank all those involved in each performance for putting on a couple of fabulous shows!