Robinson May Ball

NANCY NAPPER CANTER almost runs outa puns in her review of Robinson May Ball.

Adam Riches nancy napper-canter red planet Robinson May Ball the correspondents


Red Planet

15th June 2012, £85

Robinson College doesn’t have to try very hard to look like a red planet.

Given this, the themed decorations were surprisingly ineffective. What I can only assume were intended to be Martian rocks bore too much of a resemblance to small, squat pigs to be evocative of the pinkish orb, and the ‘rockets’ looked unintentionally if pleasantly like oversized crayons. But none of this detracted from my enjoyment of the night. Given the budget and setting, Robinson had a great atmosphere, and the delightfully lit gardens provided a charming space for a May Ball.

The food was variable. Alien Eats provided us with pizza over-zealously topped with goats’ cheese. Seriously, these were hefty wedges of cheese. Other Martian beverages included one of The Tab’s old favourites, Pussy, and some excellent falafels. For breakfast, pain au chocolat and instant coffee turned out to be the best 4.45am meal I’ve ever had, despite being accompanied by a literally dated cover of ‘Friday’ from The Brass Funkeys. In the early morning light, even Rebecca Black’s asinine lyrics couldn’t dampen my (caffeine-induced) high spirits.

Organisation was a bit disappointing. I queued for 25 minutes for a cinnamon and apple crepe, which, being a crepe, could only ever have been anticlimactic. Not only were we denied seats at ‘off limits’ empty tables, but the Shisha was broken, a lot of the booze ran out by around 4am, and I overheard irate hog fans complaining that Outer Space ran outer hog roasts in just half an hour. And while Outer Space ran outer hog, venues often ran outer space. When our aching feet rendered the queue for dodgems too exhausting, at 2am we found ourselves watching Abba Karaoke at the comedy stage simply because we were guaranteed chairs.

The Ents, however, were great. Comedy headliner Adam Riches was a particular hit. Riches’ is a coconut-in-the-crotch kind of humour, to coin a phrase – it wasn’t my thing, but he had lots of (Pussy-induced?) energy, and the audience rollicked at his swing-ball propelled gags. In his wake, the Footlights were their usual witty selves, and a less expected pleasure came in the shape of Stanley in Heaven at the 3.30-4.15am on the Alternative Stage. The guitar duo provided a nicely mellow atmosphere that rendered their occasional mess-ups endearing rather than irritating. And the Ella Funks – who proved better than their name – served a funkin’ ellava good soundtrack to the daybreak.

But The Correspondents were the highlight as the headline act. Magnetic front man Mr. Bruce beguiled men and women alike with his charisma and superbly elastic limbs. Watching him dance in his Steampunk-esque tails, waistcoat, and knee-high socks was mesmerising. I can’t get it out of my mind and I’m not even going to try.

Despite its flaws, Robinson turned out to be a great Martian ball.

Food and Drink:


Wow Factor:


Value for Money:


Star Attraction: The Correspondents

Biggest Turn-Off: Disorganisation