Corpus Christi May Ball 2013

FIONA RICHMOND rounded off a busy May Week with a surprisingly good outing to Corpus Christi May Ball.

| UPDATED Corpus Christi denim jesus May Week menstruating octopus ms dynamite Phantasmagoria The Elephant Man

The last night of May Week is a difficult night to hold a ball.

Many people are already one or two balls deep and wondering what reserves they can call upon to conjure the energy to squeeze another in. Two of my party retired early as a result of illness, and exhaustion was written across the faces of many before the night had even begun.

Having said that, Corpus did a great job of finishing off the week with a bang and I for one felt they showed up some of their larger rivals (I’m looking at you, Jesus).

Credit – Jet Photographic

While queuing we were debating whether such a physically small college could contain enough to justify £120, or whether they should just accept their inferiority and only demand the price of a June event. As it happened, we were pleasantly surprised and forced to question our college snobbery. I left trying to find reasons why I shouldn’t give it five stars, and while there were a few, it was definitely better than struggling for reasons to give it any at all (again, what the fuck Jesus?).

Queue entertainment is a great way to get everybody to forget how long they’ve been made to stand around in high heels. Working their way up and down the long line of the queuing faithful were a comedy accordionist (or at least I think it was supposed to be comedy), Denim – who were hilariously taking pictures with every uncomfortable closet homophobe who tried to slink off – and a photographer, catching groups together at their best before they separated off into the maze of the ball to disgrace themselves.

Spontaneity continued into the ball as a barber shop group broke into song and town criers went around announcing acts in other parts of the college.

Food queues moved quickly and there was a decent amount. A possible criticism was that they didn’t try anything special or anything you wouldn’t find at any other ball; I’d had the same pulled pork and falafel at Jesus (although I was made to queue for twice the time at Jesus. I’ll say no more).

The drinks were incredible. The cocktails were great and, call me the anti-LAD, but it was refreshing to see some thought had been put into non-alcoholic beverages when a table of delicious juices and cordials appeared just as I was thinking about taking it easy for an hour.

Although they had superb energy and were great to see running around throughout the night, Denim’s dubious musical ability made their right to hold court somewhat questionable. Going in, I was also worried that the rather small closed tent of the main stage would prove problematic when the headline act, Ms Dynamite, appeared. Luckily when she did (an hour or so late), she was so bad that there weren’t enough people to fill the tent anyway. Problem solved!

On the other hand, having a designated tribute stage was inspired and should definitely become an expected feature of all may balls.

Non-musical Ents were a bit hit and miss. A female dance troupe that performed ballet, tap, and burlesque was good value, along with a great helter-skelter – but I want to know which clever dick thought that a screening of “The Elephant Man” was what every raver wanted. It may have fitted with the theme (Phantasmagoria, which is apparently Latin for a menstruating Octopus), but was a total buzz kill.

Credit – Jet Photographic

All in all, while I could nitpick – the lack of any music upon entering was noticeable, and the programs did take longer than usual to decipher – it was a superb night.

Food and Drink


Wow factor


Value for Money


Star Attraction:

The Booze

Biggest Turnoff:

Ms Dynamite