The title ‘The Rose of Trinity’ suggests poise, tranquility and elegance. Yet such a concoction of Hugh Fitzgibbon’s nimble wit, James Kavanagh’s invasive questioning and an ode to the “Huns of the Hamilton” ensured that that was not the offering made at the infamous Monday night RAG Week event.
Mirroring the formula of the Irish institution ‘The Rose of Tralee’, ‘The Rose of Trinity’ was the perfect antithesis to the cringey Kerry glorified lovely girls competition. Thoroughly enjoyable, highly entertaining and completely bizarre were the words which fell from the rowdy crowd’s mouths post the four-hour-long ‘embarrassthon’.
The show dipped in and out of Rose interviews with presenter Hugh Fitzgibbon, raising anxiety levels amongst the variety of societies present, including An Cumann Gaelach, The Phil, SUAS, VDP, VTP, Zoo Soc, DU Players, DU Management Science Society (DUMSS), Trinity Musical Theatre Society (TMT), Q Soc, S2S and the Equestrian Club, with each growing more inebriated as the night rolled on.
The interval was aptly filled with the essential escort competition, and a slave auction hosted by Joel Coussins in his underwear. Notable lots included a Trinitones serenade which sold for €70, a Trinity FM radio show dedicated to the life and times of the highest bidder for €50 and a strip routine lesson by Rachel Skelly for €50 also. The escort competition climaxed with a ‘moo-off’; picture a staring match but for the bovines with Harry Higgins ‘moo-ving’ into first place.
The Roses hoped to charm the judges – Snapchat diva James Kavanagh, College Chaplin Steve Brunn and last year’s VDP President Martha Shackleton – with their quirky and genuinely awe-dropping talents. Highlights included TMT’s Caoimhe Tyndall’s rendition of ‘The Latte Boy’ and Q Soc’s Leo Connell’s spoken word piece ‘I want you so badly’.
Best Talent was awarded to DU Players’ Hannah Crowley’s astonishing George Michael cover featuring a melodica, while ‘Best Sash’ went to DUMSS’ Cathy Caslin.
However, no amount of ironic statements about DU Amnesty International from Fitzgibbon could prepare us for the overall winner of the competition. The prize of ‘Best Rose’ was awarded to SUAS’ Robin O’ Byrne who performed a song she wrote herself about the refugee crisis. The roars of laughter from the audience were hushed to utter silence a mere moment after O’ Byrne’s first note.
‘The Rose of Trinity’ is one of those nights whereby no hungover reenactment the following morning does it justice. It is a prime example of the “you had to be there” phenomenon. Only during this entertainment extraordinaire would you find yourself singing along to ‘Wonderwall’, becoming entranced by the soft porn from the Sugar Club stage and revelling in the finest Sabbatical Election candidate digs at a per-minute rate. And the best bit? It’s just your mates having a laugh.