Hi, I’m Wayne. Grew up in Lowestoft, now living in Saxmundham and really enjoying the commute to Norwich where I look after press and PR for performing arts hub The Garage. Juggling that with freelance writing, reviewing and editing for anyone who’ll have me after years as a journalist. Love having honest, fun chats about arts, culture and entertainment.
Your ultimate desert island disc track? Birdhouse in Your Soul by They Might Be Giants.
Who would play you in the film of your life? Easy, Meryl Streep.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why? Not exactly a gallery but The Museum of the Moving Image in London (sadly long closed).
If you could live inside one painting or sculpture, what would it be? Bit of a cheat but the cover of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Imagine the stories.
What was the last book that made you cry, or laugh out loud? The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Literary detective Thursday Next chases a master criminal through the world of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Hilarious and so quotable. Worth it for the line “You’ve got a face longer than a Dickens novel. What’s the problem?”
Hi, I’m Sabrina (she/her)! I’m from Hong Kong and currently based in Norwich after graduating from my MSc in Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology. I love reading, drawing, writing and making music, and I run book and art blogs on the side. I’d like to resurrect my Soundcloud too if I’ve got time… (If I really was a witch I could probably conjure up some extra hours in the day!) I post reviews/bookish chat on my book blog ‘Notes From a Paper Plane Nomad’ and bookstagram and I’m excited to review other art forms too with rrramble, especially as the performing arts is another passion of mine – whether it’s onstage, backstage or in the audience. Pre-COVID, I volunteered at the Norwich Castle Museum, Earlham Library Drop-in-and-Draw and Norwich Theatre Royal (which I do remotely now). Hopefully I can volunteer in person again soon!
Your ultimate desert island disc track? ‘Respiro’ by Sebastián Yatra as it never gets old, even when I listen on repeat. It’s super calming yet somehow energises me too. Bonus points because the song is all about persevering in the hopes of seeing a loved one again, so I guess it would be good motivation if I was marooned on a desert island!
What was the last book you didn’t manage to finish? ‘Feathertide’ by Beth Cartwright – I was really excited for this (mermaids! magic! mystery!), but I sadly couldn’t past about 40% as it was quite slow and I wasn’t attached enough to the protagonist to carry on. The writing style is beautiful though, and this is a debut, so I’m probably still going to check out Cartwright’s future books.
What was the last book that made you cry, or laugh out loud? (or both!) The last book that made me laugh out loud is my current read, ‘Cemetery Boys’ by Aiden Thomas! The dynamic of the budding friendship (romance?) between the first lead (a queer, trans Latinx brujo) and second lead (a ghost that said brujo accidentally summoned) is so energetic and their banter cracked me up so many times.
Have you ever heard a song that feels like it HAD to be written about you? What was it and why? ‘Tomorrow’ by BTS. It’s a very specific sort of connection I feel with the song, now that I’m in my 20s and during COVID lockdown(s). I relate so much to what they rap/sing about: the frustration of feeling stuck, wondering where the dreams of their youth went, the inexorable passage of time and the hope for tomorrow being different/better. My favourite line is probably “This is not a stop, but a momentary pause in your life to rest”, which I think about a lot when I’m feeling demotivated. (If you’re curious about the whole song, I recommend the English translation on the blog ‘muish’s ramblings…’!)
If you could have written one play/novel/poem/song, what would it be and why? Probably the ‘Heartstopper’ webcomic/graphic novel by Alice Oseman. I absolutely love the story, characters and the art – one of my dreams is to create my own graphic novel or webcomic! The way in which Oseman discusses serious mental health and LGBTQ+ topics, threaded together with uplifting messages about friendship, love and hope is something I hope I can emulate one day. I love this comic so much that I even surveyed a number of ‘Heartstopper’ readers before writing a Medium article about the different ways it’s impacted us!
My name is Charlie, that’s about all of which I’m certain.
My parents told me I was born and raised in Cambridge, but I was asleep at the time so couldn’t possibly comment. My childhood was spent stubbornly indoors where my books were. At university I discovered other people do exist, which was rather a blow to my productivity, I got out with a first in English Literature and Creative Writing so everything worked out in the end.
I’m a writer which means I’m a liar. At the very least I try to be an honest one.
Your Ultimate Desert Island Disc Track: Villon Song by Stick in the Wheel
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why? Museum of Modern Art in New York. I have a lot of happy memories from going there as a child.
What was the last book you didn’t manage to finish? Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. I read a sentence so good it made me depressed for a week. I’m still too scared to go back.
What’s a poem you can recite on demand? To a Mouse by Robert Burns.
If you could be inside one painting or sculpture, what would it be? The North Cape by Peder Balke. I love the starkness of the light in his work, and I just dig the sea in general.
My name is Becky and I was born here in Norfolk and have lived here all my life (except for a 3-year stint in Cardiff studying Performance and Media). Like most people I know I missed Norfolk whilst studying and boomeranged back here once I was finished. I am so happy I did! I currently work freelance throughout the Norfolk arts scene and I feel incredibly lucky to do so. I facilitate workshops, write things, and document and support arts projects. I am currently studying to become a qualified counsellor and it’s amazing how much that training is informing my creative freelance work. I am really interested in the interplay between the arts and wellbeing and can’t wait to see how this part of my work grows.
Your ultimate desert island disc track: Shelter by Finneas – No idea why, it just feels right.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight which would it be and why? Natural History Museum. I have been a couple of times and there is always something else to notice.
Who would play you in the film of your life? Florence Pugh. She is awesome and has a great silly sense of humor which suits me 🙂
What was the last book that made you cry or laugh out loud? Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I read it pretty much in one sitting and it’s just wonderful.
If you could have written one novel what would it be and why? I WISH I had written something like the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. The world building is so simple and subtle, you suddenly realise you understand it all without him simply shouting it at you. It’s great.
Hi, I’m Daisy. I grew up trudging through the muddy hills of Dorset & Devon but went a little too far and ended up in London studying Theatre and Film at Brunel University. I still refuse to choose between my two great loves and have gone on to explore stage design and lighting after specialising in alternative film. Now, I’m a helicopter parent of one peace lily (Pickle) and am looking to kick off a career in arts administration after having a few weird and wonderful jobs post-graduating.
Your ultimate desert island disc track:
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack. This version of the song was played as the wake-up music aboard Apollo 17 on their last day in Lunar orbit before returning to earth, thus ending the last manned explorations of the Moon. I think it’d be pretty good on an island too.
What was the last book that made you cry, or laugh out loud? (or both!)
A Laugh and cry! Ghosts by Dolly Alderton, I’m heartbroken letting it go.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why?
More of a museum but the V&A. There’s just so much more than I could ever see in one day, so maybe a day and a night could work?
If you could live inside one painting or sculpture, what would it be?
J.M.W. Turner’s Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway. Oh to be one of the people on a train to somewhere, looking moodily out into the beautiful rain.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
Jack Black. I know he won’t fail me.
Hi, I’m Isaac. I grew up on the Wirral before studying English Literature at UEA. Now I live in Gateshead, where I work for Sage Gateshead and spend my free time circling the drain in the North East cultural scene. In the past I’ve worked as an actor, amateur production manager, and programmes intern for the National Centre for Writing; as well as an onslaught of customer service jobs. I miss both Liverpool and Norwich, but I’m also glad to be away, it keeps me engaged with different parts of the country and challenges me to keep thinking different. I hate confining myself to one thing and like exploring art I might not be familiar with, especially when it’s experimental and crosses the boundaries between disciplines. My dream project is an intersection of poetry and light vandalism.
Your ultimate desert island disc track: Love Bites (So Do I) by Halestorm.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why? The Biscuit Factory: it’s a small gallery, but so interesting and welcoming I feel like I could build a little house inside.
What’s a poem you can recite on demand? Mina Loy, Love Songs ‘XIV’
What was the last book that made you cry, or laugh out loud? (or both!) Boy Parts by Eliza Clark had me laughing out loud a few times. As far as I can remember only one book has ever made me cry.
If you could have written one novel, what would it be and why? Água Viva by Clarice Lispector. The entire reading experience is like hanging out with a friend who’s cooler, smarter, and hotter than you and I’m immensely jealous that I could never write a book like it.
Hello, I’m Olivia! I returned to my hometown of Ipswich a couple of years ago after I graduated from Kingston School of Art, where I studied fine art, which I really enjoyed! Though I don’t currently live in Norwich, it’s great to now be involved with its creative scene as it’s definitely on my radar as somewhere to eventually move to. When I’m not doing my day job as a Gallery Assistant in Colchester, I’m often doing something creative. I love discovering new music and cooking up something tasty (or at least attempting to) but I’m a printmaker at heart and recently, printmaking has become a little bit of a side hustle for me. I’m really into sharing forms of creativity with other people, so I’m excited to see what us rrramble writers get up to.
Your ultimate desert island disc track? You & Me Song by The Wannadies.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why? I would love to return to The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. It’s such a huge place that it’s near impossible to see everything in one visit and I didn’t manage this first time around, so the extra few hours would be pretty handy.
If you could have written one play/novel/poem/song, what would it be and why? No doubt that it has to be ‘Holocene’ by Bon Iver. It’s an incredible song, both musically and lyrically. Listening to it just makes you really appreciate the smaller things; it’s a sincere song about happiness and the importance of staying grounded. I’d love to have the musical talent that Justin Vernon does!
What was the last book that made you cry, or laugh out loud? (or both!) The first book that springs to my mind is Dolly Alderton’s ‘Everything I Know About Love’. The honesty and relatability of some of the events, friendships and relationships that Dolly Alderton recounts throughout the book are really comforting, if not a little too familiar perhaps. It makes for a great read and there’s even a few recipes thrown in for good measure too!
If you could live inside one painting or sculpture, what would it be? Does it count if I choose an artwork that’s an actual house? Because I could definitely live in Grayson Perry’s ‘A House for Essex’. In my eyes it’s a house incredible enough that it could pass as both a painting and a sculpture.
Hi, I’m Alex. I grew up in South-West London/Surrey, moved to Norwich to study English Literature at UEA and currently live in Brighton (for now!). I’m a queer poet by nature and am lucky enough to have been published in A Queer Anthology of Wilderness by Pilot Press, journal Persephone’s Daughters and zine Just Snails, among others. As well as poetry and Rrramble, right now I’m also a website volunteer for the Museum of Transology, which gives me the chance to help support one of my favourite exhibitions in the world.
Your ultimate desert island disc track? Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac.
Who would play you in the film of your life? I think Bex Taylor-Klaus would absolutely smash it (and let’s be real my pool of non-binary actors to choose from is pretty small!)
What was the last book you didn’t manage to finish? Normal People by Sally Rooney! I know so many people love it, but I realised about halfway through that I wasn’t invested and gave up.
Have you ever read a poem that feels like it HAD to be written about you? What was it and why?Alternate Universe in Which I Am Unfazed by The Men Who Do Not Love Me by Olivia Gatwood struck such a chord with me the first time I heard it. It doesn’t quite feel like me already, but more of a call to arms / something to aim for. I still sometimes consider getting the final line tattooed at some point.
If you could have written one song, what would it be and why? Probably Elysium by Bear’s Den, just because I think it’s one of the best songs ever written, and I’d be incredibly proud to have created something so hauntingly beautiful.
Hello! I’m Lucy, a 22-year-old prose writer and occasional poet based in Sheffield. I studied creative writing at UEA from 2016-19, which was wonderful – I loved writing, performing and creative opportunities, and was lucky enough to run the Creative Writing Society. I hope to return to Norwich asap, but for the time being I’m up North, where I’ve been a Waterstones bookseller, short-story fanatic and a performer with the Dead Women Poets Society. I currently work part-time in a primary school, and as an editor with the Society of Young Publishers.
Your ultimate desert island disc track: Short Movie, by Laura Marling.
If you could have written one novel,what would it be and why? The Secret History by Donna Tartt. The feelings, the crimes, the characters, – everything in that book is so well-balanced and gripping. If I’d written that novel I would simply ascend to a celestial plane.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why? The Artemesia Exhibition at the National Gallery in London. I was absolutely dying to see it, but London tier-4ed and ruined all my plans. She was a 17th Century Italian painter, like Michaelangelo and DaVinci, who portrayed canonical women in ways that had simply never been done before: Samson’s Delila, the rape of Lucretia, Judith beheading Holofernes. Radical renaissance? Yes please.
Have you ever heard a song that feels like it HAD to be written about you? What was it and why? You Don’t Want Me, by Margaret Glaspy. I came across the album after a fairly horrific breakup and listening to that song especially felt like having a little friend on my shoulder saying, ‘you are MIGHTY.’ It was magical.
What’s a poem you can recite on demand? The Night is Darkening ‘Round Me, by Emily Bronte. I used to read it over and over because I was so interested in the fact it was unfinished. Or Phainetai Moi/Fragment 31 by Sappho, for very similar reasons.
Hi, I’m Saskia. I was brought up in south-west London, until I moved to Norwich to study English Literature with Creative Writing at UEA. Norwich has really provided me with a sense of community, both from the incredibly active arts scene and also just all of the people I’ve met, whether on my course, in one of my favourite bookshops (ahem, The Book Hive) or in a coffee shop. I’ve been a part of the Young Norfolk Arts Collective for the past year, I’ve been twice featured in the UEA Undergraduate Creative Writing Anthology, and this year I am also publishing my first zine called Word Vomit, designed to celebrate first draft poetry. I’m really into celebrating flawed things and fighting back against the need for constant perfectionism in my work. I’m also obsessed with food writing and would love to make some sort of essay collection-cookbook hybrid in the future (I love risotto, and I love talking about how much I love risotto to anyone who’ll listen).
Your ultimate desert island disk track: Tickle Me Pink by Johnny Flynn.
Who would play you in the film of your life? Being extremely generous to myself, I’d have to say Jessie Buckley. In part because I just love her, but also because we have a similar hair colour, and I think she’d nail my generally quiet and awkward demeanor down to a T.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why? I’d love to go back to the Viking Museum in Oslo. I first went with my family about six years ago, and it was so magical—the museum was really small, but the main attraction was this massive viking ship in the main hall. The museum was also in the middle of nowhere, and surrounded by, what seemed to me at the time, an insane amount of snow. I’d love to just sit in there overnight and make up stories about what might’ve happened onboard when the ship was in use.
What was the last book you didn’t manage to finish? Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. I was so excited to read this (I bought the second book as well because I was sure that I’d love it) given how much I’d enjoyed the film, but the book really brought out my inner creative writing critic; there was just too much telling and not enough showing! It was very fun, though, and I’d recommend it to anyone not cursed with a low tolerance for in-depth descriptions and adverbs.
Have you ever heard a song that feels like it HAD to be written about you? What was it and why? Oom Sha La La by Haley Heynderickx. It’s a song about feeling self-doubt and then finding something positive to put that negative energy into, and in this case that’s deciding to grow a garden. It’s a candid and slightly chaotic song, which I think sums me up quite well. I’ve only got one houseplant to my name at the moment, but I’m working on growing my family.
A hearty hello to one and all, I’m Dan! Born and bred in Colchester, I went and studied American and English Literature at UEA…and have been in love with Norwich ever since. My degree gave me so much – beautiful friendships, a broader appreciation of literature and even a year abroad in America (the place of my drag debut I might add!). I love to read and I listen to music constantly, but performing will always be at my heart. Having experience under my belt working with Attitude Magazine, I love the chance to absorb any and all LGBTQ+ culture. May my wit be sharp and opinions be well founded!
Your ultimate desert island disc track: Kill The Lights by Alex Newell & DJ Cassidy with Nile Rodgers.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why? Hands down, it would be the Victoria & Albert Museum. A gorgeous building with an endless number of things to look at and appreciate. However, the main reason is so I could try on all the historical fashion; strut through the halls in a 1930s garment under the pale moonlight.
What was the last book you didn’t manage to finish? I can never leave a book unfinished, but the one I’ve found the hardest to get through was Brideshead Revisited. Having enjoyed The Great Gatsby, I was half hoping Brideshead would offer something similar. However, I found it to be a little too starchy and old England for me. I pushed through because it was a birthday present from a friend, but I guess I just like my 1920s/30s to have a lot more decadence and debauchery.
If you could have written one play/novel/poem/song, what would it be and why? Probably The Inheritance, an absolutely beautiful play by Matthew Lopez. A mix of humour with raw emotion, its discussion of the HIV/Aids Crisis and the lasting impact it’s made on the LGBTQ+ community throughout the generations is heart-wrenching. I’d love to have written it, but it’s also a dream to perform as part of its cast one day.
What was the last book that made you cry, or laugh out loud? (or both!) The last book that made me laugh out loud…and nearly have a little cry, was Camp by L.C. Rosen. An LGBTQ+ YA novel, it was filled with so many cute yet cringey moments I just can’t help but having a giggle over (or even a mini conversation with myself out loud haha). As for the crying, it was just so wonderful to read something so inclusive and that covered such important topics about gender, sexuality and identity.
Hellooo I’m Yangdzom! I was brought up in the depths of West London, lived in a boarding school in West Sussex, and moved to Norwich for university where I studied English Literature with Creative Writing. Being so in love with London, I came back and have since focused on being an artist who makes paintings and embroideries, mainly of animals or animal-headed humans. I’ve always loved reading, writing and creating art. I don’t view these hobbies as a form of escape; instead I see them as something that enriches our lives and our world. Fun fact: ‘Yangdzom’ is a Tibetan name, loosely translating to ‘good luck to all sentient beings’.
Your ultimate desert island disc track? Le Freak by Chic of couuuuurse. One of the best disco tunes ever made, and always gets me dancing!
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why? It would probably have to be the Natural History Museum, since I’ve always had a deep interest in the story of life on our planet. As a little girl, I loved the marine reptile fossils, so I’d be pretty content camping out by them for the night.
What was the last book you didn’t manage to finish? I always like to finish a book, so it’s the one I’m currently reading. It’s called The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. I’m only about 200 pages into this 973-page book, but so far it’s been a good read. Would definitely recommend, especially if you fancy learning about some non-Western philosophy!
If you could have written one novel, what would it be and why? Oooh, Life of Pi I think; it was the first book that made me want to actively learn about other religions since the main character is a practising Hindu, Muslim and Christian. I remember thinking how harmonious that was, and so I read the Bible and Qur’an over the next couple of years because of Life of Pi. It would be great to have written a novel that inspires people to learn about diverse beliefs!
If you could live inside one painting, what would it be? Probably one with cats, to be honest. Can’t live without ‘em. There’s this fancy painting by Henriette Ronner-Knip of a cat and her four kittens gathered curiously around a violin. They look like they’re having fun so I wouldn’t mind joining them.
Hi, I’m Amy! When not working the 9-3 teaching assistant life, I like to dabble in the ‘arty’ world – although I do wonder whether bingeing the sitcom ‘Community’ can really be considered ‘cultural’. One day, I not so secretly hope to take over from Lauren Laverne as radio 6 breakfast presenter, although she would be sad to miss waking up to her dulcet tones every morning, as she’s truly an audio legend. I’m super excited to be joining the rrramble team, and get writing about the things that make life enriching.
Ultimate Desert island disc track? September – Earth, Wind & Fire. It’s a timeless disco track, and if I’m going to be stuck on an island, I want to at least be able to while away the hours having a good boogie.
What was the last book that made you cry, or laugh out loud? Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman. It grapples with some big themes like isolation and loneliness in our contemporary society, which makes it a pertinent lockdown read, but it’s ultimately life affirming and joyful – the kind of message to help get us through these strange times.
Have you ever heard a song that feels like it HAD to be written about you? Tom Rosenthall’s’ Big Pot of Hummus’, simply because I’ve never heard a song be able to express so eloquently my most purest of loves for the greatest of dips.
If you could live inside one painting or sculpture, what would it be? The portrait of the Fat Lady, from Harry Potter.
Hi I’m Ruby. I’m a third year Scriptwriting and Performance student at UEA and have lived in Hellesdon which is just outside Norwich my whole life. I think that Norwich has an amazing arts scene and one of the nicest things about staying here to study has been sharing this with the friends that I have made at uni from all over the country. I have worked at the Norwich Theatre Royal and have volunteered with the National Centre for Writing, Young Norfolk Arts Festival and the Norfolk and Norwich Festival for several years and love keeping up to date with all the funky arty things that come in and out of the city!
Ultimate desert island disc track? Islands in the Stream by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. It always reminds me of summer road trips in America when I was little, back when my grandparents lived in Florida.
What’s the last book or film that made you laugh, or cry (or both)? The new Pixar movie Soul had me a bit weepy. I love how it kind of explored positive nihilism for children, and not putting pressure on yourself to find a purpose, that life is just supposed to be enjoyed for whatever you make of it. It was also super funny and had me laughing a lot as well, nothing better than a cat body swap!
What’s a poem you can recite on demand? As a former moody high school literature gal I can pretty much recite Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath. I used to constantly listen to her collection Ariel on audiobook so I know those poems pretty well. The last verse still gives me goosebumps, and I think “I eat men like air” would look badass on a t-shirt.
If you could live inside one painting or sculpture, what would it be?
Almond Blossom by Van Gogh always makes be feel so peaceful and happy, I also really love Cafe Terrace at Night, you just want to jump inside them.