When I tell people I’m off to prison, I normally get a confused look. In fact, I go to prison pretty regularly – usually once or twice a week – and I’ve been going for the past year and a half. But rather than serve time for some crime I’ve managed to keep secret, I go to serve tea and toast, chat to visitors and play in the ‘jungle’ (aka, the play area in the visits room).
When I came to Durham, I think it’s fair to say that I wasn’t in great shape; physically or mentally. One of the greatest experiences I have had during my two years here at university has been the opportunity to take part in sport. It has helped me not just personally, but also in working towards my degree in Natural Sciences.
One of the most exciting developments at University College over the past few years has been the Durham Castle Lecture Series. Using the spectacular 14th Century Great Hall as a venue, speakers from a range of fields have delivered a series of lectures which have been incisive, outspoken, informative, and at times, electrifying. I’ve been lucky enough to play a part in organising these lectures, and it has been hard work and hugely rewarding in equal measure.
I have always been enchanted by the magic of John Keats’ poetry, and loved every minute of adapting his romantic The Eve of St. Agnes for stage. With the beautifully gothic Durham Cathedral and Castle greeting me as I walk out of lectures every day, gathering inspiration for the setting was no challenge! The opportunity offered by Durham Drama Festival to have my play performed, celebrating both Durham’s beauty and Keats’ words, seemed almost too good to be true. My first play We All Fall Down had been performed as part of DDF 2013, and I had loved every minute of writing, casting and rehearsing. Taking part in DDF for a second year running looked to be equally inspirational.