Christmas Party with Uni of Derby’s Creative Writers!

Little Red Riding Hood drawing

It’s nearly Christmas and my uni course breaks up next week. Every year they throw a Christmas party. We bring our own food and drinks to share amongst the other students and the lecturers but the Lecturers bring things too. Just probably not what you’d expect. 

Christmas at Uni

I know many courses and Societies celebrate Christmas. They get together at the local pub, have a few drinks and a meal. All fun… but no course has their Christmas party quite like we do in Creative Writing.

All but two tables are pushed to the back of the room. The remaining two are placed on their sides. 

And the room is turned into a theatre for… can you guess? Sock puppets! You didn’t guess did you?

I know what you’re thinking. Sock puppets? Why sock puppets? Random, right? But it’s not just any sock puppet show… each performance is addapted specifically for the semester.

It’s like our lectures got together, thought about what the students were learning about and add as many references as they could to that, but in a fun and hilarious way. Wait… they did do that!

It’s all about the point of reference folks!

 Previous Sock Puppet Shows

During my first year, it was a sock-puppet version of Little Red Riding Hood or rather, Little Red Hiking Sock. Complete with a wolf—who admittedly wasn’t a sock, but who cares!

It was hilarious. Not to mention, our lecturers looked as if they were enjoying it themselves …. or maybe they had some encouraging boost?

We’ll never know.

I have to say there is something great about the sock puppets, you can really lose your imagination in them. The hand really does start to look like the head of a weird creature made out of wool, and the characters become alive and believable. I think perhaps because the story has been around for hundreds of centuries and because we have such imaginative lecturers. They are teaching us Creative Writing after all.

We’ve not only had Little Red Riding Hood, but Godot and Medusa too. Each show has a script full of footnotes and bibliographical information, so the voice-over usually says ‘see this book….. ‘ right in the middle of the theatre, breaking the fourth wall of the show, and I don’t know. I just find it amazingly hilarious. Judging by the rest of the audience, so do they. 

It’s just memories that I’ll never ever forget. I love my course and my lectures!

This Year’s Christmas Party

I cannot wait to see what this Christmas Party is going to do for the Sockpuppet theatre.. I’m still upset that I missed the Doctor who one that was held before I studied at the Uni, they apparently had a Darlek!

Now, as much as I love the sock puppets (they are literally the only reason I attend the party) there is a bunch of food we all buy for it, so we all contribute to the party.

So sometime this week, I am going to get a two litre sized Vimto or Coke (coca-cola), just to make sure there are enough non-alcoholic drinks there for people like me. I choose not to drink alcohol so I like to be safe and make sure I have something to drink while at the party.

I’ll also be taking some cakes to take to the party. But that’s not the best thing. Nope… the best thing is that I get out of my 5-9 lecture early. Yay! Nothing wrong with the module… just the time… I get hungry at that time.

Open mic

We have the option to read one of our poems or stories, and this year I’m thinking of plucking up the courage and reading a short, almost fairytale-like story to not only my year but the years below me. It’s one that I was trying to turn into a longer sci-fi piece but struggled with.

I’ve been developing it and I think it would be perfect… only I don’t think I’ll be brave enough… I could really do with some of Harry Potter’s Liquid Luck.

Anyway, here is the story, just imagine the actions:

There’s a girl – about yay high who had never seen words before. So she had never learned to read or write. She lived in a world where words and stories are spoken by machines.

One day, this girl was in her garden – she was digging until she hit a worm-ridden shoebox.

Inside were drawings from a child, and letters written in red crayon. But she couldn’t read them. So what did she do?

She began asking questions but no one knew how to read either. Until she met an old woman who claimed that she could read the letter and promised to read it to her for a price. She wanted the child to go into the woman’s garden and find a rare flower that has red and gold petals.

So the girl agrees. The witch takes her down the cellar, through a door and up different steps into a garden. The witch pushes her through and slams the door. The girl looks at the garden. Now she realises the trick. It’s a maze.

The little girl wonders through the maze hitting dead end after dead end without finding a red and gold flower.

And that is it, for now, I’m going to try and add more, give it a proper ending but I hope you enjoyed it. I’ll tell you how it goes next week.

The Pub

On the other side, after the theatre, we always go to the local pub have a few drinks (soft for me) and chat some more – it’s a great time and makes all the work we have done worth it.

I think the sock puppets are unique to the creative writers because you know, writers are crazy 😉

Thanks for reading

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