SIX: “An unstoppable goldmine of talent”

SIX by Marlow and Moss, , Writer – Toby Marlow, Writer and Co-Director – Lucy Moss, Co-director – Jamie Armitage, Choreographer – Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, Sets – Emma Bailey, Costume Designer – Gabriella Slade, Malvern Theatres, 2019, Credit: Johan Persson

If the ex-wives of Henry VIII were to form a girl band, they’d be SIX – an unstoppable goldmine of talent.

The musical returned to Edinburgh, where it made its debut at the Fringe Festival in 2017.

Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, the show’s writers, add to the history lessons we got in school by going into details of the wives by making them the focal point of the story rather than “just one word in a stupid rhyme”.

Taking song styling inspiration from Beyonce and Adele, SIX focuses on if the wives formed a girl group.

The musical explores the stories of how the wives ended up with Henry VIII, and how they ended up divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.

The Spice Girls’ infamous girl power feminist angle plays a strong part in the concert-style musical, as there is a heavy focus that there is more to their story than being a wife to the king.

Catchy pop hits make you want to dance along, which contributes to the atmosphere that you would find at a concert. This is thanks to the backing band The Ladies in Waiting, who are on stage with the queens.

It turns the pop musical into a full-on concert spectacle, complete with elaborate dance routines.

The standout performance of Anne Boleyn (Madison Bulleyment) brings the fun-loving and sarcastic performance of ‘Don’t Lose Ur Head’. Adding to this, the sassy one-liners about losing her head throughout the performance certainly make for the show’s biggest laughs.

With a running time of 70 minutes, shorter than most musicals, it makes for a more consumable show for everyone.

The Edinburgh team behind Scotland’s first electric Formula 1 car

HWRacing at Heriot-Watt University is the first team in Scotland to develop an electric Formula style car.

The university’s team compete annually at the Formula Student competition in Silverstone, “The Home of British Racing”, against universities from around the world.

The competition is for student engineers to design, create and build a single-seat racing car and allows students from around the world to work at industry standard for motorsports.

Currently, the car is still in the design phase with the motor, which currently can reach speeds of 150 mph- though will raced at a much lower speed, and chassis completed, but with just under 180 days until the summer competition, the team are confident they will be finished designing within the coming weeks.

HWRacing have designed and created the car (Credit: EN4News)

The switch to the electric model was about the learning experience according to project manager Craig Hamilton.

“In industry and racing as well, there is a bigger move to electrification.” Hamilton says.

“We’ve moved onto electrification to better prepare our guys for going into the automotive industry with experience of hybrids and electric vehicles. They’ve got fundamental experience that they’re not going to get anywhere else.”

Making Formula style  cars is not an easy or cheap thing to do. The students do receive money from the university, but a lot of the finance comes from sponsors, with more of them coming forward now that the team are going electric. Craig Hamilton estimated that it will cost £55,000 to develop the entire car, yet the cost is being offset by bigger interest from sponsorships with the team going green.

On top of the difference in the mechanics between internal combustion, “the car is going to be heavier, it’s just a fact” Hamilton told EN4 News, yet they say it not one of their major concerns.

Speaking to the team technical director and driver, Ewan Smith, there is excitement within the team for being the first team in Scotland to make the shift, but there are high expectations with the electric car, as in theory should be faster than combustible engine.

“There’s definitely a bit of pressure on my shoulders to sort of be the ones representing Scotland’s shift to electric.”

HWRacing is not the only university to consider the electric approach, with both Edinburgh and Strathclyde planning on going electric in future years. In other international competitions similar to Formula Student, combustible engine cars are planning on being phased out for electric by 2023.

Edinburgh brothers break world record by rowing across the Atlantic in 35 days

Three Edinburgh brothers have become the fastest trio to row across the Atlantic Ocean, beating the previous record by six days.

Lachlan, Ewan and Jamie MacLean completed the row from La Gomera to Antigua in 35 days, nine hours and nine minutes, and as well as being the fastest to row the Atlantic, they are also the youngest trio to do so.

The three brothers finished third overall in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, beating several teams who had more members.

Ewan MacLean, the oldest brother, said: “This was, without doubt, the defining experience of my life. It was incredibly difficult, but the way we came together, the way our bodies and minds coped with every single challenge, will stay with me for a long time.”

The brothers celebrate after smashing the previous record by six days. (Photo Credit: BROAR)

The three of them had to overcome seasickness, battery issues, dehydration, and storms in order to complete the journey.

After their cables were damaged by seawater and the sub, resulting in no music, podcasts or audiobooks for the final 20 days of their voyage, the brothers found entertainment in their bagpipe, harmonica and ukulele.

The trio are also trying to reach their fundraising target of £250,000 for Feedback Madagascar and Children First.

Managing Director of Feedback Madagascar, Jamie Spencer OBE, said: “Ewan, Jamie and Lachlan are an amazing team; it seems like there’s nothing they can’t do.”

And Ewan has expressed interest in trying something similar in the future: “Who knows what comes next. We’ll be eyeing up other oceans.”

Latest controversy in ‘cruelty-free makeup’ adds to growing confusion around the ethics of beauty products

The UK spends over £3.2 billion on cosmetics every year. Cruelty-free makeup is one of the biggest areas of growth in the industry, with over 1300 brands being cruelty-free. Surely more and more brands making the effort to be more ethical can only be a good thing?

Cruelty-free makeup, in basic terms, is makeup that does not test on animals. When it’s said like that is sounds pretty simple, yet issues surrounding it makes it more complicated.

Depending on who you ask, people have different opinions on what classes as cruelty-free. Some brands like “Urban Decay” are cruelty-free, but the company that owns them – the parent company, “L’oreal”, is not. Some people believe that because of this “Urban Decay” is not cruelty-free, while others will argue it is as the brand does not test on animals.

The latest controversy involves cruelty-free makeup giant, Charlotte Tilbury, whose sales have reached £100 million, has been found to have “pop-up shops” in China. This is an issue because China the one country in the world where animal testing is mandatory.

The company has found a loophole, where they can showcase their products in beauty stores, but the customers can not purchase them in-store, they have to do so from an overseas website. This causes an issue because the products may still be tested on animals as testers, and makeup application is done in-store, which may happen if the Chinese authorities receive complaints on the products.

Charlotte Tilbury’s PR team was contacted for comment, but EN4 News is still waiting for a response.

The controversy ties into a bigger issue, which is the lack of transparency in the cruelty-free makeup industry. Many makeup brands try to avoid the question or try to trick people into thinking that brands don’t test on animals when they do.

On top of the increasing list of cruelty-free products, vegan makeup is on the rise. Vegan makeup means there are no animal-derived products in the make-up, lipstick is commonly made with beeswax, for example, but a vegan lipstick would be an animal-friendly alternative. However a brand can be vegan, yet still test on animals.

Photo Credit: Elise Kennedy

Cruelty-free brands can be identified but a rabbit logo that internationally is known as a cruelty-free logo, some brands use unofficial rabbit logos which can confuse consumers into thinking that the product is cruelty-free when it is not. This does not mean that if a brand does not have a rabbit logo on its products, it is not cruelty-free.

To help this there are websites such as Leaping Bunny which have full lists of makeup brands that have been officially verified as cruelty-free.

See below for a list of some of the many brands which are cruelty-free:

Photo Credit: Elise Kennedy

Jeremy Corbyn lauches Labour General Election Plan

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn released his General Election campaign in Battersea this afternoon.

Corbyn has made some key promises to try and win over voters. EN4 News has listed his key campaign points:

  • Brexit will be done in six months

Corbyn has said six months into winning an election he will have the Brexit negotiations sorted with a people’s vote so the UK can “leave with a sensible deal or remain”. Which Corbyn says is not a complicated issue. Corbyn wants to deliver “real change” that he said Britain needs.

  • NHS is “not for sale”

Corbyn claims that Johnson has a “sell out” deal for the NHS that will copy an American corporation style health system, with big drug companies being in control of the healthcare and drug manufacturing. Corbyn said that the NHS is “not for sale” to Trump or to anyone else.

  • Public Ownership

Corbyn said he would put rail, mail and water in public ownership, taking it away from “Tory donors and shareholders in tax havens.”

Corbyn reiterated promises that he already made a few weeks ago when launched his campaign, promising a £10 an hour minimum wage for over 16s and free childcare for those with children aged 2-4 years.

Corbyn made jabs at his Tory counterpart, Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying that they are going to “fight dirtier” during this general election.  Corbyn said that he going to take on the people the Conservative Party likes to protect by going after “tax dodgers”, “dodgy landlords” and “big polluters”.

The Labour leader finished his speech by saying its “time for a change,” leaving people wondering what Labour’s next point of action will be.

 

 

Trump’s Impeachment: How Does Impeachment Work?

Listen to Neil McGlashan and Elise Kennedy talking through the impeachment process in America. With Trump’s inquiry just starting and the first vote on how the inquiry should proceed getting underway, they discuss Trump’s ongoing inquiry while looking back at previous Presidents who have faced impeachment.

 

See below how Trump’s impeachment inquiry is playing out in comparison to Bill Clinton’s, Richard Nixon’s and Andrew Johnson’s:

 

International News: Lunchtime Headlines Thursday 24th of October

Catch up with the latest International news with our International News Editor Elise Kennedy.

 

 

 

 

The Chilean Protests Explained

Chile is currently facing the country’s worst violence in almost thirty years, with protests in major cities against the high cost of living and inequality. The Chilean President, Sebastian Piñera, has declared a state of emergency in the country and some parts have been issued with curfews.

Throughout the week the protests have turned violent between police and the public, with police using tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets against protesters. Reports say 18 people have died since the start of the protesting last week.

Looting of supermarkets and burning of petrol stations have been frequent throughout the protests. The majority of protests have been calling for the resignation of Piñera

What started the protests?

The protest started as a student-led demonstration against the rising public transport fares.

The Chilean government announced earlier this month that metro fares would rise by 3.5% during rush hour.  This provoked high school students to jump the barriers at the metro stations promoting it on social media using “#EvasionMasiva”, which led to viral videos on Twitter showing the students jumping the barrier.

As fare-dodging increased, metro stations closed and police tried to stop students by force.

 

Are metro prices the only reason they’re protesting?

 

No. The inequality felt between lower and middle-class Chilean’s are the main reason for the unrest.  Growing frustration with increased living costs, low wages and pensions, lack of educational rights and a poor public health system. The increased metro prices were merely the tipping point.

 

What has been the government’s response?

 

  1. The government has since reversed its plans to increase the metro fares.
  2. President Piñera has met opposition leaders and called to raise the minimum wage from $413 to $482 per month.
  3. The President has also called for a slight tax raise for low-income families and an increased tax rate on anyone earning over  $11,000
  4. The Chilean government responded to the protests by deploying armed soldiers and police into the streets- the first time it has been done since the end of the Chilean dictatorship in 1990

Video courtesy of Harrison Brown’s Instagram Story Highlights from hblifelens

 

 

EN4 News spoke to Harrison Brown from Glasgow who is currently travelling in South America and witnessed the protests in Chile:

 

Harrison: We are travelling for 2 months around South America!  We were staying at my friends, he lives on the main street where it was all happening so we saw everything from there and when we were walking around. We got tear gassed about 5 times, we saw the riot police guarding metro stations etc and they chased us down some streets at some points. I think the protesting has gone too far, there are ways of getting your points across without violence, the police are just following orders. I think that the riots will have to cause change, if they don’t, unfortunately, it’ll just get worse rather than better!

Corbyn outlines Labour’s election plans on Brexit, education and the environment

 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has set out his party’s election plans, including promises on sorting out Brexit, scrapping tuition fees and making the environment the forefront of Britain’s future.

Speaking in Northampton on Thursday, Corbyn started his speech by calling out Prime Minister Boris Johnson, claiming that having a Queen’s Speech with a general election looming was a “cynical stunt” by having Her Majesty deliver a “pre-election party political broadcast” for the Conservative Party.

Under a Labour government, Corbyn’s top priority would be to “get Brexit sorted.” Corbyn said it was time to stop letting the politicians make the decisions and let the people have a say in what happens.

Within three months of being elected, Corbyn said Labour would have a sensible deal with the EU that includes a new customs union, a close single market relationship and “guarantees of rights and protections,” that also “respects the Good Friday Agreement.”

A plan to stay within the EU is also on the table.

After six months under a Labour government there would a vote so the people can choose whether to take the deal or remain in the EU. Corbyn says that the Labour Party “trusts the people to decide” what is best for Brexit. He claims that a no deal is a “race to the bottom in our rights and protection” to get a deal with US President Donald Trump.

Corbyn also promised to scrap University tuition fees with plans to have a National Education Service that provides free education for “everyone throughout life”. The Labour Leader passed comment about the previous Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government saying that they “saddled a generation of young people with a lifelong debt burden.”

Corbyn also has detailed environmental plans for a Labour government. Starting with promising better public transport as the “public transport network is falling apart just when the climate emergency means we need it most.” Corbyn said “radical action is needed” to keep the global temperature at manageable level and claimed that the Conservative government’s plans for reaching net zero emissions by 2050 is “too late.”

The Labour Party is “is fully signed up to a Green New Deal”, Corbyn said, and they are already working closely with trade unions and the scientific community to develop “radical climate targets in the world”.

Corbyn added that working to reduce the emissions for the “Green Industrial Revolution” would create “hundreds of thousands good, skilled jobs across Britain.”

There is no sign of a general election date being set at the moment but Labour has already started putting in the groundwork for it.

 

Key Labour Promises for the General Election:

 

  1. Raising the minimum wage to £10 an hour for everyone over 16
  2. To build 1,000,000, genuine affordable home in 10 years
  3. Reduce full time hours to 32 hours a week in 10 years
  4. Free childcare 2-4 year olds
  5. Free bus travel for under 25s

 

Interview With La Monde Journalist Eric Albert

 

PM Boris Johnson addresses Parliament on new Brexit Plan; Ireland, Europe respond

By Elise Kennedy

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has addressed Parliament on his new Brexit plan focusing on his plan for the Irish backstop.

If the UK is to leave the EU without a deal Johnson says that all parties would be responsible for a no deal. 

Johnson said that staying in the current Brexit extension period after 31 October would be leaving the UK in a “prison of existing positions”, which he said he wants to get out of.

Repeating the Conservative party conference  mantra of “Get Brexit Done” was a strong feature of his address, which was a large part of the conference from earlier this week.

His plans to change former Prime Minister Theresa May’s Irish backstop plan with a “potential regularity zone” which would mean having no custom checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Boris Johnson said that is should be voted on in the Northern Irish Assembly after the UK leaves the negotiation period. This is in hopes to sustain the Good Friday Agreement.

The Prime Minister said that he wants to move attention to more domestic issues including the NHS and education.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party  said that the deal is “reckless” and its not “credible”. Saying that it attacks the “rights and standards” of all UK citizens, adding that the Prime Minister is trying to “shift the blame” to the whole of Parliament for not reaching a deal.

Saying that the plan to scrap the Irish Backstop, that Theresa May had in her original Withdrawl Agreement,  would negatively impact Northern Ireland’s small businesses and therefore the economy in Northern Ireland. Corbyn stressed that Northern Irish businesses needs are protected, in the new deal.

Corbyn argues that by extending the negotiation deadline would allow  time for “serious negotiations” and if we leave on 31 October with a no deal would damage UK living standards.

Johnson argued that staying in the negotiation stage is not an option as stating in this phase would “incur another billion pounds to stay after 31 October”.

Johnson ended his rebuttal to Corbyn by saying that it is a “good basis for a deal”.

The response from Northern Ireland

The Prime Minister of Nothern Ireland, Leo Varadkar, says Johnson’s Brexit plan “falls short in some aspects.”

Speaking at press conference in Sweden with the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofvan, Varadkar insists there should no custom check points, and he is “reassured” that Boris Johnson said there would not be any, contradicting what was said in a proposal from the UK government yesterday.

The Northern Irish Prime Minister clarified his aims when it comes to Brexit: “Our objective is very clear we do not want to see any custom posts between north and south” which were all abolished in the 1999 Good Friday Agreement, and he wishes that it stays that way.

The Swedish Prime Minister also said at the conference that “Sweden stands with Northern Ireland,” when it comes to the issues regarding Brexit.

The response from Europe

The European Parliament has said that Johnson’s Brexit proposals are not “even remotely” acceptable, when it comes to the Irish border issue.

In a press release, the members of the Brexit Steering Group say that the latest proposals “do not address the real issues that need to be resolved, namely the all – island economy, the full respect of the Good Friday Agreement and the integrity of the Single Market.”

This falls in line with what Varadkar and Northern Ireland’s response.

The European Parliament added that they are still open to explore all options as long as they are “credible, legally operable, and in practise have the same effect as the compromises found in the Withdrawal Agreement.”

Donald Tusk, President for the of the European Council, has said that he “unconvinced” with Johnson’s plans and he fully supports Ireland.

While the Irish Europe Minister, Helen McEntee, while speaking at Dublin Port said that Ireland does not feel under pressure to change their key objectives which includes “protecting the Good Friday Agreement, to prevent border infrastructure on the island of Ireland, protecting the economy and the single market, and Ireland’s place in it.”

 

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