A Conversation with Sir Ben Kingsley

Tuesday 6th, Royal Holloway were fortunate enough to host a conversation with Oscar, Grammy, BAFTA and Golden Globe winner, Sir Ben Kingsley. His talent and popularity was shown in both the waiting list for the event and the number of individuals who brought books and films for Sir Ben to autograph at the meet and greet afterwards.

Despite, his overwhelming success with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and later within the film industry, Kingsley maintained an air of humbleness. Frequently, Sir Ben thanked his early work with the RSC for all the opportunities it provided him with. He then stayed to meet fans and answer any questions he had.

Kingsley’s acting career is immensely diverse; ranging from Shakespeare’s Twelfth night, the psychological thriller Shutter Island, Marvel’s Iron Man 3, his lead role in Gandhi and many more. However, the event hosted by Professor Robert Eaglestone and Professor Barry Langford, both members of Royal Holloway’s Holocaust Research Institute, focused on Kingsley’s involvement in the representation of the Holocaust. The night looked at his roles as Otto Frank in Anne Frank: The Whole Story and as Itzhak Stern in Schindler’s List, amongst others.

The Debate Over Representing the Holocaust

There is significant debate regarding whether it is moral or appropriate to attempt to portray the Holocaust on film. It is possible to accurately depict the horrors experienced? Will it desensitise us to human atrocities? How will Holocaust survivors feel about their stories being retold?

Originally, I too was amongst these skeptics. However, the Conversion with Ben Kingsley event began to reform my opinions. Perhaps with the right production, cast and research it would be possible, and an important tool in reminding forthcoming generations how important remembering the Holocaust is.
For me, the most harrowing part of the evening came from an anecdote Sir Ben told. Whilst filming Anne Frank: The Whole Story, a close friend of Otto Frank surprised Kingsley on set. After watching some of the filming his visitor commended Sir Ben Kingsley for bringing his dear friend to life. It was with the utmost sympathy, respect and caution that Kingsley approached his roles within Holocaust media.

In particular, his close relationship with Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, allowed him to provide an authentic, emotional and personal portrayal in Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story.

Overall, the event was eye-opening and incredibly engaging. I heard nothing but praise for the actor and the event at the reception afterwards.

For further information on upcoming events look on Royal Holloway Holocaust Research Institute’s website or the Royal Holloway events page.

Egham Royal Show Podcasts

Insanity Radio made an appearance at Egham Royal Show on the 28th of August, broadcasting lots of the wonderful live music across North Surrey on 103.2FM. We worked with some brilliant musicians, and are showcasing the performances on our Mixcloud for you to enjoy (if, for example, you weren’t able to make it!)

Watch this space, as there certainly are more podcasts to come!

Royal Holloway Science Festival 2016

Insanity will be broadcasting live from the annual Royal Holloway Science festival from 10-4pm on the 5th of March. It promises to be a fun and informative day for all the family. You can listen into the coverage all day throughout campus, online at http://insanityradio.com/listen or through our new Insanity Radio 103.2FM app available on iOS and Android. Check back here for live updates throughout the day and come see us in the Windsor Building!

Yellow Weather Warning Issued as Storm Imogen Batters Egham

The Met Office have issued a yellow weather warning for wind for Monday 8th February as Storm Imogen hits the UK. The warning is currently described as ‘be aware’, which could mean fallen trees, localised travel disruption and the possibility of debris on roads. There is potential for the warning to be raised to amber level, at which point damage would be expected to be more widespread with structural damage and the potential for loss of power.

Currently gusts are expected to peak at 52mph at around midday, when residents will also experience more heavy rain lasting into the evening. Areas to the south are expected to be hit harder and it has been recommended that people should not make unnecessary journeys and allow extra time for their commute, especially if routes involve cross winds or exposed roads. Because of the potential for tree fall, train users in particular should check before they travel.

This storm comes almost exactly two years after the last severe floods in Egham, but there is currently no flood warning for the River Thames at Staines and Egham. If rains continue as they did on Sunday evening there is likely to be surface water across the area, especially during heavy rain, so pedestrians should wear suitable footwear and cars take great care in driving close to pavements.

Weather updates are provided at the end of Insanity News broadcasts at midday and 7pm on weekdays, and weather warnings will be updated on the Met Office website if required.

Winter Welfare Wednesdays – Working with Age UK

The Insanity Radio Community Team have been working with Age UK Runnymede and Spelthorne this term, to create an exciting campaign known as ‘Winter Welfare Wednesdays’. Its main aim was to combat loneliness in older individuals, especially during the winter months.

It involved members of the Community Team having a natter with older individuals, talking about their experiences as well as looking ahead towards future goals they would like to achieve. They also gave strong advice to individuals who are facing a lonely Christmas. These interviews were then broadcast on the Community Hour (Wednesdays, 6-7pm). You can listen back to these interviews any time on our Soundcloud and Mixcloud accounts:

www.soundcloud.com/insanity-community

www.mixcloud.com/InsanityRadioCommunity

I would like to personally thank all the team here at Insanity Radio for making this campaign an exciting and heart warming experience. I would also like to thank Age UK Runnymede and Spelthorne for all their help in bringing this campaign to life. Finally, I would like to thank all the individuals we interviewed: you are all radio stars and are welcome back any time on Insanity Radio!

— Jon O’Shea – Head of Community Outreach

Dyslexia Action Community Workshop

Over the past five weeks, the Insanity Radio Community Team have worked with a group of individuals from the Egham branch of Dyslexia Action, a charity which supports individuals with literacy and numeracy difficulties.

They took part in five workshops based on aspects of radio, including News Broadcasting, Event Management, DJing, Producing and Planning a show, and finally presenting a show on Insanity Radio 103.2FM! You can listen to their shows via the link below:

www.mixcloud.com/InsanityRadioCommunity/insanity-radio-community-present-dyslexia-actions-radio-shows

We are proud to have worked with Dyslexia Action, and huge congratulations goes to all involved!

— Jon O’Shea – Head of Community Outreach

Interfaith Week: 13th-20th November

Friday 13th November saw the beginning of Royal Holloway’s Interfaith Week with an Interfaith breakfast hosted in the chapel. The earlybird students who attended were treated to free food, including adorable little loaves of bread, as well as a chance to mingle with students of all faiths and overall organisers, Chaplaincy and Faith Support.

There are a number of faith societies at Royal Holloway and in the spirit of Interfaith Week they came together for Soc Swap. Each day a different society ran an event for all, designed to show other students something about their faith. It began with Sikh Soc sharing their beliefs on heaven and hell, aided by the organisation ‘Basics of Sikhi’. Monday and Tuesday evening saw open prayer sessions from both the Chaplaincy and Hindu Society. Catholic Society welcomed author Joe Glackin for their murder mystery evening combined with games and a question and answer on their faith. On Thursday evening the CU hosted a Grill a Christian event with three local church workers answering questions from the floor about all kinds of topics from sex to suffering. The final event came from Islamic Society, who opened the Muslim Prayer Room on campus for ‘pray and chat’. The week also saw the return of Jewish Society, who flyered across campus, getting to know those who were interested in Judaism.

The Chaplaincy also ran further events, including a talk on Pilgrimage and the Faith Spaces tour. Running all through the week was the opportunity for people across campus to share what faith is to them. Thanks to a whiteboard and a camera over 40 people took part in the project with the photos available on the Chaplaincy Facebook page.

You can read more about the week from the Chaplaincy blog at https://rhulfaith.wordpress.com/2015/11/27/interfaith-week-2015/

By Beth Carr

interfaith week

Insanity Radio commits to working with Mary Frances Trust

At the beginning of the academic year, the Insanity Radio Community Project, with the support of the Insanity Radio Production Board, launched an initiative to focus our fundraising efforts throughout the 2015 – 2016 academic year. As part of this, we encouraged members of Insanity Radio to put forward bids for charities that we would commit to supporting. We received bids from many presenters and members of the community and the charities that were proposed were carefully considered. After a few weeks of running this initiative, we are pleased to announce that we have come to an agreement about who we will be supporting during this year.

Today, we are proud to announce that we have reached out to the Mary Frances Trust, a mental health charity based in Leatherhead and we will be showing our support to them in future with events which can include (but aren’t limited to) marathon broadcasts, fundraising within the local community and fundraising events on campus.

The Mary Frances Trust offers a variety of services for people suffering from consequences of their mental ill health. Some of the services they provide directly and other services are being provided by, or jointly with, their partners. All of their services are designed to support people’s wellbeing and help them on their way to recovery.

After the decision was made, Insanity Radio Assistant Station Manager, Conor Ryan said “it’s such a wonderful charity, and such a wonderful cause. We look forward to working with them in the future.’

If you’d like more information on the Mary Frances Trust and what they do to support the local community, please go to their website.

Welcome to the new Community Page!

Here you’ll find articles about our wonderful community activities.

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