Review of MTS's Production – Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

If ever the Musical Theatre Society needed to recruit more members, this show was the best advertisement it could have put out.  It was a testament firstly to the professionalism and passion with which they approach every production, but even more to the incredibly supportive creative community that they have created.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes the Musical was originally an adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name written by Joseph Fields and Anita Loos. The storyline follows the voyage of two American women on their way to Paris. With a comedic heart, it captures the changing morales of women in the 1940s wrapped in the glamour of the golden age.

In many ways, this was an evening of firsts for me. It being the first MTS show I have ever been to and my first time at Jane Holloway Hall, I was not really sure what to expect. I entered the hall to be greeted by the soft rendition of Edith Piaf’s ‘Non, je ne regrette rien’ expertly performed by the live band on the left side of the stage. For such a small venue this was quiet a surprise, but it was one of many more to come.

The hall rapidly filled with a rich variety of people, from MTS members, to those who simply heard about the show like myself, to parents and friends who have come to support those on stage.

The stage held a minimalist charm, with classic furniture and vintage magazine prints decking the stage. The look came together with blue mood lighting that hinted at the cruise motif.

The lights came on to illuminate the charming girl in naval dress who welcomed the audience with a warm French accent. From this point onwards, I simply had to put down my notebook, and became fully immersed with the show.

An issue faced by many performing arts showcases is trying to eliminate the disconnect the audience may experience toward the subject of the play. In this case this could have been a massive problem as the trials the characters face can seem so trivial.  However this was completely not the case with this show. If anything the delivery of some lines was completely masked by the guffaw and applause of the crowd.

Actors delivered truly stand out performances with powerful vocals that filled Jane Holloway Hall with enchanting music. The comedic timing and actors’ chemistry really sold this musical comedy. It was clear that those on stage, those helping behind the scenes and the musical accompaniment team were just as passionate as one another about delivering the best performances.

By Valentina Mihova

Royal Holloway Science Festival: Insanity Radio Coverage Report

The Royal Holloway Science Festival, an annual event held across campus, was hosted last weekend on Saturday, 7th March. Insanity went to cover the event, and see what makes this festival one of Royal Holloway’s biggest events on the calendar.

There was a vast array of stands from different departments and societies, namely physics, biology and psychology. As well as this, external companies, museums, charities and science-based organisations had stands displaying their area of specialisation. One such stand was the Chelsea Physic Garden, a very old botanical garden in London. They showed us some interesting items from their stall. These included the plant Velcro is made from, some cork and some bamboo. They also told us that paper was originally made by wasps inside their nest. “We’re trying to show the connection between our lives and the natural word” said a representative of the Physic Garden. “We’ve had quite a lot of families visit us, but it’s really a mixture of people”.

Outside the Windsor Building, visitors got the chance to hold a bird of prey at the end of their arm. This proved very popular with both parents and children alike. There were also a number of different food outlets outside, giving visitors the ability to enjoy hot food outdoors in the beautiful spring sunshine.

Insanity also talked to an ambassador for Bloodhound SSC, who are trying to break the current land speed record – a record they hold – and hit 1000 miles per hour in a car. The current record is about 760 mph, and even transatlantic jet planes currently only fly between 650-750 miles per hour. Their aim was to “interest schoolchildren in science and engineering”, stated ambassador Clive. “We’ve got people building K’nex models, and we’re trying to get them to build something that looks like the real car”. Parents and children seemed to enjoy this activity particularly, as once their models were built, they could launch them across the floor via air cannon.

The Geology Society also had a stall inside the Windsor building, which was running a Fossil Trail. “6 different fossils are located in buildings across campus. When children find them, they talk about them, draw them and write the name of the fossil” said stall attendant Rebecca Thompson. “It’s basically like an Easter Egg hunt”.

The Science Festival was not just confined to the Windsor Building. Many activities and stalls were also located in the Bourne Building, where there are functioning laboratories. A stand that was running here was the Medicine Makers, who had a “steady stream of people” coming to inspect their stall. They showed people how painkillers worked inside our body, at the molecular level. Children could build their own model of a painkiller’s chemical composition, then attach it to the long strand of ‘protein’ with the other children’s creations.

Insanity Radio were at the event all day, conducting interviews, playing music and broadcasting the news for visitors to listen to across campus.

Written by Alice Barnes-Brown

Interviews conducted by Alice Barnes-Brown, Cheylea Hopkinson and Alika Hagon.

Royal Holloway Science Festival: The Visitors Experience

The Royal Holloway Science Festival is an event held every year for all ages, to open up the seemingly complicated world of science to young minds. For this years, there were many subjects covered on the day, including physics, mathematics, and psychology. There was even a live set up of miniature steam trains, and a falconry demonstration.

As you walk onto campus, you are greeted with crowds and crowds of people getting things to eat, and watching the spectacular bird display outside the Windsor Building. Inside, there are stalls catered to various science subjects.

We checked out the psychology sections and met a couple of friends who’d come to the event together. When asked about their main interest in coming to the festival, Imogen, 14 said “I’m most interested in the psychology, I’m thinking of doing it at uni” and friend Neha, also 14 agreed. “We came here last year, I’m interested in forensic psychology or history.” They were very keen to find out more and learn something new, and research the possibility of taking science on for further education.

Later on we spoke to a mother and daughter, who were sat on the floor building their own K’nex models of the fastest land car. We had a chat about what sort of things they’d already gotten up to, and what they looked forward to the most. Mum, Kate, told us, “We are going to do the methane talk, and the new art explorers talk. I got here super early to get to the front of the queue and get all the tickets. We’ve come every year for about 5 years, it’s amazing and really good.” Honour, 6, also told us about her day. “We went to recognise faces for psychology and I also enjoyed stroking an owl.” As the theme of the day is ‘Discoveries’, we asked Kate what her favourite scientific discovery is, at which point she laughed and said “Probably the washing machine! It gets the work done quickly and then you can go to the library.”

Outside Windsor, there were crowds of people moving towards other buildings, so we headed to the campus hub of science – Bourne Laboratory. As well as stalls greeting us at the entrance, in the depths of the building we found a collection of interesting biology activities, including live bees, arts and crafts and peeking around the gruesome but interesting zoology museum. We caught Harriet, 8 and her Dad just as they were off for lunch. “I love all science” she says, and they both told us of earlier events in the physics department, with the best thing so far being “seeing you spinning on that chair!” which Dad explained was a demonstration on angular momentum.

Our last trip was to the Boilerhouse to see the miniature steam railways. “They have Thomas!” Ben, 7, told us “I love trains, you should really check it out!” We followed his advice, and we saw gatherings of people looking at an impressive model railway in action.

The festival was from 10 am to 4 pm, with Insanity radio playing in all campus outlets, outside of Bourne Library and inside Bourne Laboratory and Windsor building.



Written by Cheylea Hopkinson

Interviews conducted by Alice Barnes-Brown, Cheylea Hopkinson and Alika Hagon.

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News Headlines March 2nd

In local news…

  • Runnymede Borough Council has launched a crackdown on illegal tattoo parlors in the area. This was after an illegal tattoo business was found running from a home in Chertsey. The council received information that a sixteen year old had been tattooed there, even though the legal age for tattoos is 18. Equipment was found throughout the house, and has now been destroyed. Illegal tattoo artists might use unsterilized equipment, which can lead to blood-borne infections like Hepatitis B and C, and in some cases, AIDs. A second investigation has begun at a house in New Haw.
  • The newly inaugurated Bishop of Guildford has expressed his hope for more younger churchgoers at Church of England places of worship across Surrey. Currently, church attendance is skewed towards older people and the elderly, which he believes reflects age segregation in society. He feels confident that the diocese will be successful in attracting more teenagers and young adults, and as a father of older children he thinks it is “very good to be in touch with that generation at home”.

In national news…

  • The IS extremist nicknamed “Jihadi John” allegedly had suicidal thoughts after being harassed by MI5. The West London man apparently stated this in email exchanges with a journalist in 2010 and 2011. After a security service agent posed as a man buying his laptop, but accidentally blew his cover, Emwazi felt “like a dead man walking”.

In Royal Holloway news…

  • Royal Holloway has launched an online campaign to tackle voter apathy in the run-up to the election in May. The campaign, named #VoteBecause, aims to encourage students to use their right to vote. Participants include students, lecturers and alumni, who all hold up whiteboards with various reasons to vote written on them. Many feel it is important as this year is the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta’s signing, stressing the need for individuals to hold rulers to account.

And finally, the weather outlook for today…

  • A beautiful sunny day today, with temperatures varying between 5°C and 7°C.


By Alice Barnes-Brown

Egham Traffic Light Collision

Surrey Police have made an appeal for witnesses or anyone with information regarding a collision on Saturday 24th January, just before 9pm on Church Road.

A silver Subaru Forester reportedly left Church road before colliding with a set of traffic lights outside Egham’s newly opened Waitrose. According to witnesses, the driver and passengers fled the scene.

A Surrey Police spokesman has commented; “Members of the public reported that the vehicle driver and several other occupants had run from the scene of the collision prior to the Police attending the location.” He continued, “The vehicle was recovered and debris was cleared from the road and surrounding area shortly after 10pm.”

No one has come forward regarding this collision as of yet, but “Officers are carrying out further enquiries to establish the circumstances surrounding the collision”


Lori Murphy


Headlines for January 21st

Police are searching for a teenager who has been missing since Sunday
• Police say that Brooklyn Sutherland, who is 14, could be in the Staines or Esher areas
• She has been missing since 5pm on Sunday where she was last seen in Kingston.

An aid-worker returning from Africa was tested for Ebola at East Surrey Hospital
• The aid worker was brought out of the back of an ambulance, cocooned inside a sealed plastic container on a stretcher after landing at Gatwick airport on January 16th.
• Precautions were taken as the patient may have been exposed to the virus while helping victims of Ebola in Sierra Leone

A man has died falling from a multi-storey car park in Woking town centre
• Paramedics and an air ambulance crew were sent to the scene in Victoria Way at around 12.10pm last Wednesday afternoon
• The man was pronounced dead at the scen

By Kelsey Pringle

Hostel Closed after Rat Infestation Reveal

By Rebecca Selby-Heard


Runnymede Borough Council decides to permanently close a hostel for homeless people in Englefeild Green after a rat infestation was found.


The 23-unit council-owned hostel on St. Jude’s Road was closed and evacuated after rodents forced young families out.


The building was used as a house for homeless families, often with children, awaiting council accommodation.


Families were moved to emergency accommodation after treatment for rats at the site proved useless. After families captured evidence of the rat infestation on mobile devices the council finally moved the families into emergency accommodation.


During a meeting of the council’s housing committee last Wednesday, officers said they had been made aware of the infestation. They went on to explain that they were conscious of the issue, particularly that the invasion had been growing effecting rooms on upper floors, since November.


However, it was rumored from ex-tenants that the issue had been raised earlier month before attention was finally given.


“The council did come out and said they would get on top of it but nothing really seemed to get done.” Exclaimed one single mother who had been staying at the hostel after living in multiple bed and breakfast’s.


“It wasn’t as though the council was not trying,” she said. “They baited them and you could smell dead rats until we complained and they baited again but I do not think they really realised how bad the infestation was. The rats were bold as brass.”


“They seemed drugged up from the poison, docile, running up the stairs. Someone would bang the door and they would slowly turn their heads. Pretty much everyone in there had children. Students added their rubbish bags and litter from people leaving next-door newsagents… There was a permanent food supply for them.”


The single mother, who wished to remain anonymous, moved out to alternate accommodation in November.


Pat Hollingsworth, Runnymede Borough Council’s head of housing, confirmed that all residents at the hostel had been informed that they were treating and baiting for rats.  However, when the infestation drastically escalated all residents were moved to alternative temporary accommodation in November. This was due to health and safety reasons.


The hasty decision, though made for valuable health and safety reasons, comes as yet another blow to the amount of temporary accommodation available in Runnymede. Addlestone prepares itself to loose more temporary accommodation units this month resulting in a loss of nearly half of its available places for homeless families.


General Meeting

That time had come again for all the brains and bodies of Royal Holloway to meet again in that ever so changing SU Main Hall, which so many of us know and so many have forgotten, or would rather choose to forget… Despite all that, we had all gathered there to bring change to this university and change is exactly what happened. After an incredibly slow and drawn out start, things were finally being discussed and questions were being thrown, some almost what seemed to be arguing, to our Senior Leadership Team and they had handled themselves in a calm and appropriate manner.

Throughout the hours, the tension appeared to rise somehow as motions were given and then many motions failing. It seems the confusion on the room allocations is still awry and people need to tell the officers when and where it has happened. Despite many bodies within in this university and the plethora of personalities within every society, we are only allowed 16 rooms for rehearsal purposes. Another key point is please have your motion formed before approaching the ‘court’ as there is nothing to discuss if nothing is formed … A fair point and therefore I did also oppose such motions.

All in all it seems we are, still in debate about many things HOWEVER, there is a silver lining through the darker shades of grey, we are going to increase library resources. Ideally, we are looking to ‘encourage’ the university into paying for this and also to increase maintenance grants. This caused a surprising controversy within the room and they were asked to be silenced but nonetheless, we all came together and united, not un-like Braveheart and passed this motion.

The next meeting is on the 3rd March. There was cheering and celebration at the fact that the GM finished inside the 2 hour guillotine!


By Raheem Mir

Horley Attack

Horley Attacker Convicted – By Lori Murphey

On the morning of Thursday, 19th December 2013 police were called to the Court Lodge estate in Horley at around 9:45am after drug-fuelled 26-year-old Anthony Lloyd forced entry to into two properties and assaulted their occupants.


The first property contained 43-year-old Julie Lawson, who Lloyd assaulted causing serious facial harm which required corrective surgery. The court heard of how he continued to beat Miss Lawson until she struggled to breathe, at which point he beat her around the legs using a metal canister. In his state of psychosis, Lloyd threatened to saw his victim in half with a machete before leaving her property.


Minutes later, Lloyd proceeded to the home of sleeping Harry Craig, who he attacked leaving him with multiple fractures to his face and jaw and brain injuries which required emergency surgery. Mr Craig recalls losing consciousness, but noted the “wild manner” of Lloyd during his frenzied attack.


Lloyd left the scene before officers arrived, however he was caught and arrested later that day.


After a week-long trial at Guildford Crown Court in September, last week Lloyd was convicted of two counts of causing grievous bodily harm and sentenced to twelve years imprisonment for his crimes. The sentencing was six years for each assault, to be served consecutively.

Bears Day


Whether you were dragged along to the games by an enthusiastic friend or were keen to see The Bears for yourself, you couldn’t deny the surreal team atmosphere on the pitch this Wednesday. With cheers being heard all the way from the Hub, the sports centre sure made lots of noise for our home team!


And for all the right reasons, as our very own rugby, volleyball, netball and table tennis teams did not lose a single game. With over half of the games won over the Wednesday afternoon, the RHUL Bears showed great promise for the start of the new season.


Yet, something very peculiar happened that day. Although the RHUL Bears are famous for their netball and rugby team, on this particular match day, the lacrosse field was where it was at! One of the biggest crowds of the day gathered to watch the Mens 1st division battle it out with Surrey’s best.


The 60 minute match captivated students from all walks of student life at Royal Holloway.  Paul Geerligs, a third year Classics & Philosophy student, spoke at length about the game of lacrosse and the community it promotes both within the players and its fans. In fact, even spending the time which should have been dedicated to ‘writing dissertations’ for his course, was worth sacrificing just to hang out with fellow admirers of the sport.


Lacrosse, which was a real underdog just last year, was favoured by spectators over more conventional sports like football or tennis. ‘They really get into it’ said Andrew Arnold, an international masters student, ‘It’s a really friendly, warm and inviting sport where people really get hit.’  From the cheers of the subs waiting to get on the pitch, to injured players who came to support the team none the less, the evidence of this statement could be seen all around the field.


So, if you’re looking to meet new people or just get into the team spirit, don’t miss out on the chance to see the Bears this Wednesday at the Sports Pitches around campus. Go on! You’d be mad not to!


By Valentina Mihova


Insanity Radio News Correspondent