Homerton May Ball

LOTTIE UNWIN takes a belated review as an opportunity to make a petition: Homerton College need to back their balls and give the committee a chance.

carol ann duffy catering Charter Homerton Homerton May Ball Lottie Unwin May Week


23rd June 2011, £110

I’ve run a tight ship. 5pm was the deadline for all reviews this May Week and it’s not often been missed. It’s now 3 days after I fell over in the survivor’s photo of Homerton May Ball. I might be a hypocrite and not excused by what I maintain was a unique hangover, but I also find myself in a quandary.

Photographs by Helen Simmons

Carol Ann Duffy wrote in the poem produced to celebrate our Charter that home is in Homerton. Though her sentiment makes me shiver, I do feel a strong affiliation for our little bubble. But, while I, like most of us from south of the railway, want to change the way we are stereotyped, as one ball-goer described, the night ‘was an abomination to the concept of May Week’.

Although I had an absolutely brilliant night, for anyone from any other college there on Thursday night, my heart goes out to you. The choir serenading the intimate queue and a magician who made Jim Carrey appear understated did suggest that May Week’s first sunny evening was going to be something special.

Sadly, for £110 a ticket the evening defined Robinson as the work of genius. The catering didn’t stretch far beyond the fares of Hall’s finest Fast Food Friday. Where elsewhere  this week’s swing boats had felt like an inspired afterthought, here they stood proudly and in isolation in the middle of the field. To name the right price is tricky, but I’d think £30 off and we might be talking.

For the other ninety nine percent of the crowd, there were all the bare necessities for a great time. Booze, served by catering staff awkwardly dressed as monks, flowed till 6 if you found the right place, and the chocolate fountain stayed until eating any more would be a bad idea anyway. Though there was only a silent disco after 2, while dancing around a huge paper mâché tree with a drink in each hand it was hard to think where I’d rather be, and the crowd seemed to feel the same.

As we clamoured round a fence with our one (plastic) flute of champagne (cava) to watch two men dressed as knights duel it was easy to imagine just how Homerton May Ball could be, and here is where my review becomes a petition. Homerton is the only college that ask their committee to buy alcohol from their bar, rather than wholesale or by sponsorship. The maths then becomes simple: keeping us drunk till the early hours costs much more of their budget than anywhere else, and more budget on alcohol is less on anything else.

Does It Offend You, Yeah? as headliner was an inspired choice as a value for money solution perfect for a May Ball, which demonstrates the potential of the committee. What is more, Thursday night showed that Homerton also has the grounds and the spirited students to make a great ball. Kate Pretty, give us a chance.

Food and Drink:

Wow Factor:

Value for Money:

Star Attraction: The booze and banter

Biggest Turn Off: The ghostly atmosphere