Inside Wales’ Polish training camp

Posted on June 23, 2021Categories yaqgzozfTags , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Inside Wales’ Polish training camp

first_imgIt was completely different to my earlier taste of cryotherapy, where your head remains outside the pod. Here the dense fog makes it hard to see even a few inches in front of you and towards the end of the two-and-a-half minutes spent at -130 degrees (the players stay in longer at lower temperatures) the exposed parts of my thighs were starting to feel the pain, like an intense pins and needles.Still, once released from the chamber the pain quickly dissipated and we headed to an exercise bike. It’s the same process the players follow as the exercise flushes the toxins out of the system, as well as providing another cardio workout.Field of dreams: the pitch in Spala is bordered by snowAfter lunch, the whole squad headed to the main pitch. It was high-octane stuff, the players not holding back as they switched from skills work to touch games, the intensity always high. The whistle blew after 41 minutes – purposely done to match the average ball-in-play time in a Test – and after a quick breather they launched into an exhausting fitness drill. Players sprint the length of the pitch six times but the run is interspersed with dives onto the ground, making it even more difficult. The fact they’re split into positional groups adds a competitive edge – Leigh Halfpenny was keeping a close eye on Harry Robinson, wanting to stay in front of him, while Lloyd Williams and Justin Tipuric almost made it look easy.There were plenty of deep breaths after that drill but the players were encouraged to stand up and not put their hands on their hips – such body language in a game could give the opposition a boost. Rather than rest, the players headed straight to the gym for weights, chucking medicine balls around like they were beach balls. Then came a spot of wrestling, with wedgies a common side-effect and Matthew Rees ready to give Maria Sharapova a run for her money in the grunting stakes. The day is wrapped up by another round of cryotherapy, dinner and more weights.As Adam Beard, the WRU’s head of performance, says: “When we first came here it was us cracking the whip. Now the culture drives that. This group is so motivated, it’s a privilege to work with them.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Cool runnings: the Wales players get stuck into an intense training session in Poland Pic: Huw Evans AgencyBy Sarah Mockford, Rugby World Features EditorI’D ALMOST forgotten about the flashlight app I’d downloaded onto my phone a few months ago on the recommendation of a friend – but then I hadn’t envisaged that one evening I’d be traipsing through a Polish wood in the pitch black hunting out Wales’ training camp.A select band of journalists had been invited to Spala in Poland by the WRU to see exactly what Wales got up to when locked away in the town’s Olympic training centre. A few minutes after checking into our downtown hotel – or was it uptown? The main street’s only half a mile long! – there was a call to say we were welcome to pop in to see the players doing a weights session.Main street: Spala is a small, quiet town – perfect for the Wales team to escapeThe directions seemed pretty straightforward: right out of the hotel then 700 yards up the road, so off we toddled. Soon, though, the pavement ended, the street lights disappeared and darkness enveloped the area – did we plough on or go back to check we were heading in the right direction? After consulting a local restaurateur, we set off into the wooded area to the side of the road. That’s when the flashlight proved invaluable, helping us to avoid the numerous trip hazards en route.There was a sense of relief when we saw the Centralny Osrodek Sportu driveway and soon we were ensconced in the testosterone-heated gym, watching players pump iron to pumping beats. At one point Bradley Davies nonchalantly picked up a large weight plate with one hand. I tried it (after the players had left of course) and could barely lift it a couple of inches with both hands!Now familiar with the route, the following day we headed to Wales’ base at 6am to watch their swimming session. Lengths and sprinting under water were on the agenda – the aim to keep the players working when fatigued, as they have to in a match.Breakfast was next, followed by specific backs and forwards rugby sessions, and then came the first of the day’s two trips to the cryotherapy chamber. I’d previously tried out the mobile cryo ‘pod’ Wales used during the Six Nations and hadn’t found it too bad, so I thought I’d give it a go. Kitted out in the regulation shorts, socks, gloves, headband and face mask, a pair of white clogs completing the rather unfashionable look, I had my blood pressure taken and headed in.center_img Things eventually come to a halt at 8pm. I’m shattered – and I’ve just been watching. There’s no rest for the players, though. They have to make these conditioning sessions count in the autumn Tests, while I’ll be giving my fingers a workout from the press box.last_img read more

5 reasons to make sure recess doesn’t get short shrift when…

Posted on June 19, 2021Categories yaqgzozfTags , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on 5 reasons to make sure recess doesn’t get short shrift when…

first_imgShare on Facebook Tweet on Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Playing together at school helps children learn. Maskot via Getty Images Please enter your name here Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.center_img By Rebecca London, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz and William Massey, Assistant Professor of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State UniversityOnce children return to school for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic upended everything, they will most likely spend less time on school grounds. And as educational leaders decide how to schedule elementary school students’ days, they see catching students up on math, English and other academic subjects as a top priority.In our view, helping students heal from the stress and trauma of what they have been through this spring is also essential. We are founding members of the Global Recess Alliance, an international group of health and education experts who came together in the pandemic to advocate for saving school recess.We believe that leaving recess out of the school day could hurt elementary school students. Along with our colleagues in this field, we have found clear evidence that children will need a chance to play during recess more than ever when schools open their doors. Here are five main benefits from recess:1. Getting time to playYoung children learn important skills like collaboration and conflict resolution by playing with each other. Physical activity is important for health, but also because it helps children to pay attention in class and learn. Since recess is essential for children’s well-being, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all schools offer recess every day, and that adults not withhold recess as punishment or to make up missed school work.Unfortunately, just 11 states required daily recess as of 2018. And only 15 more mandated any amount of physical activity during the school day. Of states that require recess, most follow CDC guidelines of at least 20 minutes per day, with an average amount of 27 minutes per day for recess.2. Healing from stress and traumaWhen children experience stress and trauma, it’s hard for their brains to support thinking and reasoning. We would expect putting pressure on children to make up for all they did not learn while schools were closed before they’re ready to prove counterproductive.That’s one reason why the American Academy of Pediatrics notes that children will need time to heal from the stress and trauma of the coronavirus pandemic before they will be ready to focus on their studies.Elementary students also learn important life lessons through recess. As they play active games or create their own imaginative activities, they may be getting the hang of controlling their emotions when things don’t go their way, sharing, resolving conflicts and feeling empathy for their classmates. These aren’t just significant on their own. Developing these kinds of social and emotional skills makes children become better learners.3. Overcoming disparitiesChildren of color and those residing in low-income, urban areas have the least scheduled recess in the nation. About 76% of students in elementary school in higher-income families regularly get recess, versus 58% of low-income children.These same children have borne the brunt of the pandemic’s health and economic consequences, with many experiencing food insecurity and other economic hardships while their families struggle to keep their jobs and access adequate health care. Some of these same young people, especially black children, are now reeling from fear and anger in their communities from the police violence and racial injustice that has fueled protests nationwide. We believe that turning to play for healing during this emotionally difficult time will help children shift from stay-at-home to back-to-school mode.4. Connecting with peersWhat children have missed during a period of remote learning and canceled summer activities is being able to see their friends. When they return to school, they may not have seen their school friends for quite some time. They will also come with different levels of ability to control their emotions and outbursts. Based on what we’ve seen in the past, we expect that reducing pressure and providing students with ample time to reconnect with their friends is an important way to transition back to school.5. Spending time outsideScientists have determined that the coronavirus spreads less through contact with others when people are outdoors. Where space is available for outdoor recreation or learning, schools should take advantage. Recess need not involve shared equipment or play structures that could conceivably get infected, but we do think it’s wise for outdoor spaces to be equipped with enough sanitizer dispensers or sinks with soap, so that everyone can quickly clean their hands when playtime is over.This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. TAGSBenefitsChildrenEducationhealthRecessThe Conversation Previous articleFlorida gas prices hold at $2.02 per gallonNext articleFamily foods with a weight loss focus Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Please enter your comment! The Anatomy of Fear Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate last_img read more

£100,000 loan from Venturesome for Arch

Posted on June 16, 2021Categories yaqgzozfTags , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on £100,000 loan from Venturesome for Arch

first_img  28 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Tagged with: Charities Aid Foundation Funding £100,000 loan from Venturesome for Arch North Staffordshire-based charity Arch, which provides support and accommodation for homeless people, has received a £100,000 unsecured loan from Venturesome, the social investment arm of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).The current credit crunch has made it difficult for Arch to get the funding necessary to meet the rise in the number of people needing their services.Linda Thomas, Chief Executive of Arch, said: “Today, more and more people need our help and the money required to meet that demand is becoming increasingly scarce, so it is a massive help to receive this investment from Venturesome.”John Kingston, Director of Venturesome, said: “Communities all over the UK need charities like Arch. We are really pleased to be able to offer them this investment at a time when more people need them. Arch isn’t alone: recent research by the Charities Aid Foundation shows that 72% of charities have seen an increase in demand for their services because of the economic slowdown.”www.cafonline.org/default.aspx?Page=6903 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Howard Lake | 1 November 2008 | Newslast_img read more

Annie Moreton to join The Good Agency

Posted on June 16, 2021Categories yaqgzozfTags , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Annie Moreton to join The Good Agency

first_img Howard Lake | 19 September 2014 | News Before Save the Children she worked at Greenpeace for 12 years. As Marketing Director there she introduced face to face fundraising to the UK, and developed high value individual giving. She also spent 10 years as a consultant with various charities.She starts at The Good Agency, which works with charities to develop effective fundraising strategies and plans, on 6 January 2015. Clients include Cancer Research UK, BLESMA, Concern, WaterAid, NSPCC and MS Society. Annie Moreton AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis2 Tagged with: Consulting & Agencies The Good Agency Annie Moreton said:“The Good Agency works with a fascinating array of causes, and I’m really looking forward to adding my strategic experience and practitioner skills to work with clients such as WaterAid and Cancer Research UK. I’ve worked with many members of The Good Agency team as a client, and I’m hugely looking forward to being part of the team and making more good things happen.” Advertisement Annie Moreton to join The Good Agency Annie Moreton, Deputy Director of Individual Giving and Legacies at Save the Children, is joining The Good Agency as Associate Director, responsible for leading the agency’s fundraising work.She will join the integrated planning and strategy team, working with Dan Dufour, Head of Brand and Nicole Parkinson, Head of Social and Content.Moreton has over 25 years’ experience of working in the voluntary sector. At Save the Children over the past five years she has helped achieve substantial growth in individual giving, leading on major projects including the annual Build it for Babies capital appeal and the move to a better CRM system. She successfully initiated a match funding bid, doubling the income from the 2014 Christmas appeal.  47 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis2 About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.last_img read more

Chancellor talks enrollment increase, DEI initiatives and campus connections

Posted on June 13, 2021Categories yaqgzozfTags , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Chancellor talks enrollment increase, DEI initiatives and campus connections

first_imgWorld Oceans Day shines spotlight on marine plastic pollution Facebook Twitter Linkedin ReddIt Campus NewsAdministrationNewsCommunityTop StoriesChancellor talks enrollment increase, DEI initiatives and campus connectionsBy Alexis King – October 16, 2020 1337 Alexis King Alexis Kinghttps://www.tcu360.com/author/alexis-king/ printChancellor Victor Boschini spoke to TCU News Now about his concerns and optimism for the university’s enrollment numbers. Despite the challenges related to the pandemic, TCU saw a total enrollment increase for fall 2020. Overall, the number of students for fall 2020 stands at 11,379, an addition of 355 students from 2019.Boschini said he believes the main reason for the increase goes with TCU’s mission, which “values on students and the connections among the campus community.”“I think people were so eager for those connections and wanted to come back to campus, which made the numbers go up,” said Boschini.When it comes to spring 2021, Boschini said his fear is that students will not want to return back to campus until the pandemic has passed.“I hope students will come back, but with everything going on, I just don’t know,” said Boschini.Read more: TCU announces modified spring break, condensed semester to reduce travel The chancellor added that TCU’s long-standing financial aid initiative is another reason enrollment numbers increased for the fall. TCU added $65 million of financial aid for students this year, and Boschini hopes it will “carry us through the spring semester.”Among the 355 additional students this year, 265 were undergraduate, and 147 were graduate students.Looking ahead Looking ahead to fall 2021, the chancellor said he hopes campus life will be back to normal. When asked what steps TCU would implement to maintain the enrollment increase, Boschini said DEI initiatives “play a role in increasing numbers across all demographics.”“We’re going to have to intensify those initiatives because the enrollment that is out there does not reflect the enrollment we have,” said Boschini.TCU holds a population of 29% non-white students, and Boschini said TCU plans to “develop better recruitment strategies for those students to get a great education because they’re out there.”For more information on enrollment increases, click here. Twitter Mada: How one app is helping you pick what to wear ReddIt Alexis Kinghttps://www.tcu360.com/author/alexis-king/ + posts center_img Previous articleWhat we’re reading: US approaches 8 million COVID-19 cases, presidential town hall recapNext articleHoroscope: October 17, 2020 Alexis King Alexis Kinghttps://www.tcu360.com/author/alexis-king/ TCU News Now 3/24/2021 Alexis Kinghttps://www.tcu360.com/author/alexis-king/ Facebook Linkedin Alexis King is a journalism major with a minor in digital culture/data analytics from Plano, Texas. Alexis hopes to to work in entertainment news after she graduates. Alexis enjoys traveling and spending time with her friends & family. TCU News Now 2/24/2021 Minority students talk about election results RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR TCU places second in the National Student Advertising Competition, the highest in school history Welcome TCU Class of 2025last_img read more

A5 monies must stay in North West – Eastwood

Posted on May 27, 2021Categories yaqgzozfTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on A5 monies must stay in North West – Eastwood

first_img Pinterest Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH By News Highland – May 24, 2013 Pinterest Previous articleDonegal & Tyrone name teams for SundayNext articleDiesel smuggling needs an all-Ireland response – Harte News Highland Twitter Google+ LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton Facebook Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this week Facebook Three factors driving Donegal housing market – Robinson center_img WhatsApp NPHET ‘positive’ on easing restrictions – Donnelly WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News A Foyle MLA says any attempt to divert A5 money into Northern Ireland wide projects would be a further betrayal of people west of the Bann.The SDLP’s Colum Eastwood has voiced concern at Minister Jonathan Bell’s comments that money originally allocated to the A5 road project could be redirected towards the construction of Shared Education campuses.Mr Eastwood says the A5 monies should not and must not be regarded as a cash reserve for any and all Departments to feed off……………[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/colme1pm.mp3[/podcast] A5 monies must stay in North West – Eastwood Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published Google+ Twitterlast_img read more

OTR reports says PSNI gave John Downey comfort letter in error

Posted on May 27, 2021Categories yaqgzozfTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on OTR reports says PSNI gave John Downey comfort letter in error

first_imgNews Twitter WhatsApp 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Pinterest Google+ Facebook Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North OTR reports says PSNI gave John Downey comfort letter in error Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry A report released today into the so-called ‘On the Run’ letters has described the system of dealing with the letters as a “messy compromise”.The reports author, Lady Justice Hallett said there was a lack of strategy and structure but not a breach of the law.It’s believed 200 Republicans were given the letters – which told them they weren’t wanted by the police.The inquiry was set up by the British Prime Minister after the collapse of the trial of Donegal man John Downey – who was suspected of involvement in the 1982 Hyde Park bombing in London.Police in Northern Ireland mistakenly told Downey in 2007 that he was no longer being sought by Scotland Yard.In her report today Justice Hallet painted a picture of an unprecedented, flawed system.She said only those suspects against whom there was insufficient evidence to prosecute should have been given “letters of comfort,” she said, but police and prosecutors made independent decisions in a system that seemed to have no framework.John Downey, suspected of the Hyde Park bombing, should not have received a letter, she said. The error was the fault of the Police Service of Nothern Ireland, who spotted it in 2008 but did nothing to rectify it.Justice Hallett confirmed there are two other cases where letters were sent out in error in a scheme which was kept quiet but not deliberately obscured.It is unclear what now happens to those suspects who received letters of comfort but it is thought unlikely that they will be rescinded.center_img Previous articleLohan cutting out sober buddies from LondonNext articleAction Group trying to determine extent of potential mica problem in Donegal News Highland Pinterest WhatsApp Twitter Google+ RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Facebook By News Highland – July 17, 2014 last_img read more

Slain Chicago police officer John Rivera targeted because he was Hispanic: Police

Posted on May 18, 2021Categories yaqgzozfTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Slain Chicago police officer John Rivera targeted because he was Hispanic: Police

first_imgamphotora/iStock(CHICAGO) — Two men have been arrested for the murder of Chicago police officer John Rivera, who was ambushed and gunned down hours after finishing his shift this weekend, authorities said Monday.Rivera, 23, was targeted because he was Hispanic, according to police.The killing unfolded early Saturday morning after two of the three offenders were in a fight on a party bus, said police.Accused shooter 24-year-old Menelik Jackson and another suspect — whom police are still seeking — “were involved in a dispute with a group of Hispanic men,” Eddie Johnson, the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, said at a news conference Monday.“In an act of cowardice, Mr. Jackson went to get a gun to settle this petty dispute, which resulted in him murdering the first Hispanic man that he came in contact with,” Johnson said.At that time, Rivera was leaving a club with another off-duty officer and several friends, police said. As Rivera and his friends got into their car, three suspects approached their car and one suspect fired multiple rounds into the car, police said.“When shots were fired, Rivera leaned over and shielded his girlfriend with his body from the gunfire,” Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted.Rivera was shot and killed. One of Rivera’s friends was also shot and wounded, police said. It appears he will survive, Johnson said Monday.Hate crime charges are possible, Johnson said.The suspected gunman, Jackson, had once applied to be Chicago Police officer, but during the application process, he was arrested during a polygraph test for a background check for committing an armed home invasion, according to police. A judge put Jackson on probation, said Guglielmi.Jackson “once thought he had what it took to wear a Chicago police star,” Johnson said.But instead he allegedly committed the “ultimate disgrace” in “an act of cowardice,” said Johnson.Jackson and his accused co-conspirator, Jovan Battle, 32, each face one felony count of first-degree murder and three felony counts of attempted murder, Guglielmi said on Twitter. Jackson also faces charges of resisting police, he said.Guglielmi tweeted, “Cooperating witnesses, 18th District’s strategic decision support center, cameras and license plate reader technology which allowed us to enter the plate of the gettaway car into a database, led police to the shooters car on south side and ultimately, his apartment.”“It’s just a shame, this kid, 23 years old, had his whole life and career ahead of him, and he gets gunned down senselessly,” Johnson, the superintendent, said at a press conference Saturday. “Right now, I’m disgusted.” Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Evictions firm to offer landlords and agents £100 mediation service to avoid court

Posted on May 7, 2021Categories yaqgzozfTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Evictions firm to offer landlords and agents £100 mediation service to avoid court

first_imgSister organisations Landlord Action and the Property Redress Scheme have joined forces to offer an evictions mediation service will enable landlords and letting agents to gain possession of properties more quickly.The service costs between £100 and £600 depending on how far down the line tenant and landlord or agent go.The new jointly-offered service is timed well – the evictions ban ended yesterday as the judicial system re-opened for possession hearings.An expected 20,000-strong caseload now threatens to engulf County Courts across the UK, potentially delaying hearing dates.Ministers and the Judiciary have been lobbying landlords and agents hard to attempt mediation before turning to court evictions in a bid to stop courts being overwhelmed.Landlords who use Landlord Action to serve notice on their tenants and start the process of eviction can now choose to simultaneously use the Property Redress Scheme’s mediation service to come to a resolution outside of court.Through the service the landlord and tenant can come to an amicable resolution over rent and repossession and can then choose if they want to formalise the agreement in a legally binding document. This will set out what happens if either party breaks the agreement.“This is a unique and innovative offering,” says Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action. “Now that the courts have re-opened, there is going to be a huge backlog of cases for them to deal with.“This means most landlords will have to wait longer to get their properties back, on top of the new six-month notice periods. I think most landlords will be waiting between a year and 18 months to get possession through the courts.”Find out more.Read more about tenancy mediation services.Landlord Action PRS scheme Paul Shamplina evictions September 22, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Evictions firm to offer landlords and agents £100 mediation service to avoid court previous nextRegulation & LawEvictions firm to offer landlords and agents £100 mediation service to avoid courtLandlord Action and the Property Redress Scheme have joined forces to stop disputes over unpaid rent ending up in court, where they could wait 18 months to be resolved it is claimed.Nigel Lewis22nd September 202001,234 Viewslast_img read more

Be My Baby

Posted on May 3, 2021Categories yaqgzozfTags , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Be My Baby

first_imgReview by Frankie Parham Evidently February is the month when everyone is up the duff.  While a teen-flick about pregnancy, Juno, is raking in the box office profits, Katie McGettigan has directed an equally triumphant production of Amelia Whittington’s Be My Baby.  Set in 1964, we follow the progress of nineteen year-old Mary Adams (Alexandra Hedges), now in her seventh month of pregnancy, unmarried and forced by her prim mother (Frances Rose) to live in a private hospice. Despite the unsympathetic Matron (Camille Watts), the dreary institution has its comforts: Mary befriends three other inmates, similarly all heaving their literal and emotional burdens. Dolores (Crissy Taylor) is the lovingly dappy northerner, contrasting with the sombre Norma (Helen Harvey) and brutally honest Queenie (Jenni Payne). Together, they discover the realities of their positions; they are helpless in a world where money, husband and home are to be their concerns. Love doesn’t come into it.  In the bland setting of Exeter’s Saskatchewen room (however exotic that name might sound) you really get the sense of some drab ’60s institution for badly behaved girls. Hedges, ceaselessly quivering with nervous naivety, brings an infective enthusiasm to her character, creating a foundation for the play to stand on. Similarly impressive are her three fellow “sinners”: Harvey is a brilliantly restrained Norma, allowing her angst to gradually increase to the point of madness, while Taylor is consistently genuine for all her childish idiocy. Payne probably has the hardest job as the predictable cynic with a soft centre, but she brings credibility to the role. Ultimately, she draws the most pathos from an audience that has already had its sympathies sucked up by all the others: from the beginning, the shocking reasons why each character is there are slowly revealed. Even Watts’ Matron, who runs the place with the cold sobriety of a Nurse Ratchet, eventually exposes her pitiable suffering with particular subtlety.  For a man’s world, the play is refreshingly deficient of any male roles. A guy would have a lot to live up to with this cast, since Katie and her gang have truly shown what Oxford drama is all about. Seizing occupation of an abandoned classroom, borrowing some theatre lights and probably using their own clothes, the girls – unlike their ’60s counterparts – have done it their way. How things have changed…   4/5 7:30pm Wed/ThursTurl Street Arts Festival: Saskatchewen Room, Exeter Collegelast_img read more