Friday night was the first of five culture nights at SSP13 with UK, Norway, Japan, Canada and Germany taking centre stage. UK was selected first to kickstart the culture nights.
UK representatives went for an Austin Powers influenced introduction in “swinging London” sixties style to highlight a remarkable period of music, glamour and culture with an all-round comedy piece.
Richard Passmore started with a bog-standard, serious talk on the UK, suited up; introducing the four nations which make up the UK and our Head of State, Her Majesty The Queen… how she likes to go horseriding, hanging out with celebrities (notably ‘James Bond’) and jumping out of helicopters (stunt at London 2012 Olympics). Dong-dong-dong went the bells of Big Ben for “tea time”. Richard sat down with a newspaper, drinking a cup of tea and then the rest of the UK representatives entered in style with me taking on the ‘Austin Powers’ persona down the stair way while the others danced alongside. Richard looked at us in a stern manner (as the police officer does in the Austin Powers sequence), we all paused, and then Richard joined in to carry on dancing sixties style.
As it was such glorious weather, we thought we’d highlight the summer period with the song by Cliff Richard and the Shadows, “Summer Holiday”.
In typical “British” style, the rain set in, so we took shelter in a pub – host for a pub quiz to the audience, based on British culture. Rounds included British food, sport, Cockney rhyming slang, London UndergRound (see what we did there?) and some old and bizzarre laws and policy in the UK. For instance, did you know:
Under the terms of a bye-law it is illegal to “Jump” the queue in the tube ticket hall. Any person directed by a notice to queue shall join the rear of the queue and obey the reasonable instructions of any authorised person.
Also, MPs are not allowed to wear armour in Parliament:
The 1313 Statute [Coming armed to Parliament]: The Act forbids the wearing of armour by members of Parliament when attending in the House and has never been repealed.
Source – http://www.britainexplorer.com/curious-british-laws.html [accessed 9th July 2013]
And, we asked the audience the all important question – “William and Kate will have a baby this month, but will it be a boy or a girl?” Almost unanimously the audience voted for a girl.
Each country was expected to host a small table of refreshments with a small budget for food and drink from your respective country. With many thanks to Prof. Chris Welch for bringing some over, we served Pimm’s with lemonade and mixed fruit with the very British strawberries and cream in Wimbledon season style. We also supplied some Scotch whisky in anticipation of Andy Murray’s victory (Go, Andy Murray!).
Rotes Pferd (Red Horse) (German Song)
Oktoberfest Song Prosit Karaoke (German song)