Anachronic Ages: A night to remember

Honey Morris gives a detailed review of TAF’s annual GMB take over

A night of spectacle, a night of wonder, and a night of timeless pieces filled the GMB from top to bottom on 17 November. 

Trinity Arts Festival (TAF) hosted yet another fabulous evening in the GMB in collaboration with multiple Trinity societies. This year’s theme “Anachronic Ages” focused on periods in time that are ageless, decades with reputations that will always be iconic and will never change. To begin the night, the TAF committee invited every society down for the opening ceremony. Festival Director, David Yague, took the post dressed in his best toga and welcomed all who were participating in the event. 

He gave his thanks to the committee who helped organise the night and the societies who worked to decorate and fill each room. Once his speech concluded, a classical string quartet began playing, taking the audience back to a time of Greek philosophers and dinner parties. As the music faded to an end, the societies moved to take their positions in the rooms and the night began. 

As the audience walked in, they were introduced to a land of Irish Folklore, with vines flowing from the ceiling and traditional music playing in the corner. The atmosphere danced with tales of the past and brought to life the rich history of Ireland. The room was alive with greenery, and what felt like a bit of magic. 

Following the land of fairies, guests were taken back to ancient Greece where the string quartet sat playing beautifully through the night in the back. In the middle of the room, a long table dawned with decorations of busts and candles, sharing history-filled legends and lore. 

As the audience climbed the stairs, clocks and decorations hung around the stairwell, making the ascent into the ages immersive.

Arriving on the second floor, Renaissance art covered the room from wall to wall. Guests were encouraged to add their own spin to the famous artworks sketched on paper. By the end of the night, the well-loved pieces had turned into a unique representation of how different time periods interact with sketches from today’s time. Accompanying the room, a band played at the front, including a variety of instruments from a violin to an electric guitar. 

Climbing again, now to the third floor, the audience was transported to yet another anachronic age. 

Walking into the 1920’s, the dusky room was decorated in red and vintage activities. Jazz filled the air and guests could gather around and indulge in their own craft making (fitting to the era, of course). Those decorating the room helped bring the theme to life with their outfits of the decade. Pinup dresses and pearls floated around, bringing forth an overpowering feeling of prohibition and secret parties. 

Across the hall, a 1970’s disco dawned the room. Mirrored streamers and disco balls covered the room and a band played in the front, adding a new-age sound to the room. Sound art was projected behind them, bringing another sensory experience to the room. Circus performers walked around the dance floor with hand held props, encouraging guests to try their hand at a new trick. 

In their final climb up the stairs of the GMB, visitors were brought to the future. Inside the melodramatic room, large tapestries were draped from the ceiling, with lights, creating futuristic energy around the room. Throughout the night, time travellers tended to enjoy experiencing the visual effects of the room from the couches placed around the floor.

Descending the stairs and watching as the centuries began to pass by prepared the audience to leave the night of wonder-filled ages. Outside, all those entering and leaving were met with a building layered in colourful lights and a gathering crowd at the door. 

While it was a simple night for the attendees to enjoy, it was no simple feat to host. Planning a GMB takeover required all hands on deck to orchestrate such a smooth event. Booking out the GMB, planning a feasible theme, communicating with a variety of societies and ensuring they are able to attend and work with their partners was all part of the pre-planning for the event. Then, laying out the rooms, handing out wristbands, promoting the event, and covering  all technical difficulties were done the week and day of the takeover. 

TAF brought together societies from across Trinity to participate. Societies that would not be traditionally thought of working together were partnered to create a room for the night! Some of these included the TCD Trad Society working with TCD Botanical Society, and TCD Fashion Society pairing with TCD Juggling and Circus. The amount of collaborations that came from the 2023 GMB takeover is a spectacle of itself. While I was only able to see a fraction of the collaborations made for the takeover, many connections were brought to life to make the event happen!

As the night ended, the music stopped and the overhead lights were turned on, those working the event were brought back to the 21st century. All of the decorations were gathered and carried downstairs as the decades bid farewell to the GMB and a large thanks to TAF for yet another wonderful takeover.