Culture Trip: Everything you need to help ease that Week Two grind

Take a break from your already impossibly large workload with our culture picks of the week

The first week is over and Lent Term has well and truly hit us. Whether you’re frantically trying to remember how to do your degree and already struggling to keep on top of deadlines, or you have managed to maintain your New Year- new term organisational resolve, there’s still plenty of time to make the term your own. Here are our picks for Week Two, these are relatable, comforting, and exciting mixes to help make that Week Two a breeze.

Book: The Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller (2012)

Image credit: Author’s own

Being at Cambridge can sometimes feel like a Greek myth, and Week Two is definitely reminiscent of that feeling of being sent out into battle after a long siege and suddenly forgetting how to fight. The Song of Achilles is a beautiful retelling of the Iliad, focusing on the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles as they navigate war, masculinity and mortality. It is a fantastic embellishment of the original, maintaining epic battles whilst emphasising the love story, and fleshing out underrepresented characters. This is such a readable book, and its coming-of-age arc of fulfilling your destiny should help you feel motivated as you re-find your feet and take on the rest of term.

Film: Matilda (1996)

Image credit: Author’s own screenshot

This childhood classic never fails to make me smile. A heart-warming story of the importance of acceptance, family, and how to make those little American pancakes *plays the pancake song on repeat* This movie is the perfect pick-me-up for when that mounting pile of work gets a bit overwhelming. Plus, who doesn’t want to see Danny Devito in a mustard yellow shirt?!

TV Series: Back (2017-2021)

Image credit: Author’s own screenshot

Although many of us are not *back* in Cambridge, we are now starting to getting back into the swing of things, and so this series – starring Peep Show and the University of Cambridge’s very own Mitchell and Webb – is a great show to get stuck into. Created by Simon Blackwell, an alumnus of Churchill College, this sitcom-meets-psycho-drama is the gripping, funny, and dark story of the reunion of once foster brothers Andrew and Stephen and ensuing competition for their father’s legacy, the local pub. There is jealousy, paranoia, pettiness, and David Mitchell getting explosively infuriated: What more could you want? It’s just 12 episodes, each 30 minutes long, so the ideal length for a quick binge, and both series are available on All4.

Album: Bach: Cello Suites Nos. 1, 5 & 6, Yo-Yo Ma (1983)

Image credit: Author’s own screenshot

When lockdown and academia get a bit too much, and everything seems increasingly impossible, Bach is always there to turn to. His iconic cello suites, recorded by the instrumentalist´s sweetheart, are relaxing and comforting. This is an exquisite album to play to help you focus on studying or to take a quiet moment to de-stress.

Theatre: Richard II (Shakespeare’s Globe, 2019)

Image credit: Author’s own screenshot

Shakespeare’s Globe’s “Richard II” is a brilliant production, cast exclusively with women of colour. Following Richard’s loss of power and identity, it is a wonderful, resonating piece that flourishes under the direction of Adjoa Andoh and Lynette Linton. Andoh herself takes the leading role, and the eagle-eyed Netflix- bingers among us might also recognise her from Bridgerton. So, if Week Two has left you wanting to see a little bit more of the Bridgerton cast, as well as a UK Shakespeare first, then this is the production for you. You can watch it here.

Playlist: ‘Staring at the ceiling in the dark while contemplating every single choice ever made’

Image credit: Author’s own screenshot

In Week Two, things are bound to get chaotic. Your DOS has already forgotten how to unmute themselves on Zoom, you are hoping that you will vaguely remember something from last term, even if it is just your lecturer’s name, and did someone say Kanye and Jeffree Star? Featuring Harry Styles, Lana Del Rey, and Billie Eilish to name a few, this playlist has some great songs to let everything just wash over you. Week Two has thrown us into the full tumult of term, so have a break and be sure to have a suitably chaotic playlist at hand. The playlist can be found here.

That’s it for this week- good luck, enjoy, and we will see you next time for Week Three!

Feature image credit: Rachel Armitage

Related articles recommended by the author:

Culture Trip: Everything you need to keep you entertained in Week One

Eleven films to vicariously relive Cambridge through during lockdown

Nine book recommendations for adults based on the series you (probably) loved as a child