ECWS ‘Would I Lie To You?’ RAG Event a Huge Success

LAST week, Aberystwyth’s fabulous English and Creative Writing Society held their annual Raising-and-Giving event, a ‘Would I Lie to You’ competition in aid of the mental health charity, Mind. The event also included a hugely successful raffle – with prizes generously donated by various businesses around Aberystwyth – and a cake sale, contributed to by the attendees.

The main attraction followed the same format as the popular BBC comedy show, in which two teams share ‘facts’ about themselves and the opposing team has to decide whether the person is lying, or telling the truth. Playing to a packed room in the Students’ Union, the contestants on this year’s panel were split into the following teams: Dr Louise Marshall, head of the Department of English & Creative Writing, supported by Dr Natasha Alden and student Mikey Jones, and popular English lecturer Malte Urban, leading his young team of students, Chloe Clarke and Dan Davies. As ever, ECWS President Alex Hubbard took the helm, acting as Aberystwyth’s very own version of the beloved Rob Brydon, without the Welsh accent the crowd expected and hoped for.

The game started with a story from the fresher of the group, Chloe, who stunned all with her rousing – and entirely accurate – rendition of the introductory speech of Star Trek, and her remarkable lie about having a full-sized cut-out of Spock in her kitchen. Chloe’s strong start for Team Malte was later undermined by one of the weaker performances of the night, with Dan’s tale of getting lost in the bogs in Borth. Poor Dan fell victim to sharp, targeted interrogation from the enemy, as well as an unfortunate tendency to repeatedly say that he couldn’t remember basic details of the story. Malte himself came forward with one of the best-loved moments of the night – dressing up as the medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer in an attempt to trick Team Louise into thinking that he really dressed up as Chaucer to give a lecture.

Louise’s team held up significantly better against the questioning from Malte’s team, and Natasha scored them their first point when they refused to believe that she really got the lowest possible mark on an Oxford University scholarship exam. The team also got the honour of playing the coveted ‘This is my…’ round, in which each team member claims to know the special guest, Merrick, and Team Malte has to guess who is telling the truth. For Mikey, Merrick was an old family friend who was thrown out of the Socialist Party for being too left wing, describing Merrick as being like “if you took Marxism and gave it flesh”; for Natasha, he was a friend she met at a Buddhist retreat; and for Louise, he was a friend who she used to take sandwiches to when he was participating in a year-long protest against the building of a bypass through Newbury.

The unrivaled highlight of the night was in the closing round, during which Louise, with her story about being part of the national hornpipe dance team (none of the audience or panelists knew what that is either, don’t worry) graciously stood up and gave everyone a demonstration of the traditional sailor’s dance, to the embarrassment of her daughter, who was in the audience.

By the end of this incredible evening, neither team had won – the score was 3-3 – but the students had found out new things about their lecturers and been able to interact with departmental staff in a way that is rarely possible. The event had raised a whopping £144.50 for Mind. Along with the book sale at the start of the year, ECWS have thus far raised an astonishing £348.45 already this year, and the momentum is only set to continue as the year progresses. Keep raising and giving everyone, even after R.A.G month!

ECWS are holding a series of events up until the Christmas holidays: the Christmas dinner is on the 3rd of December (get in touch with Kat Anstice or Dan Davies if you haven’t already secured your place and meals); the next ECWS social is on the 21st of November (it’s a joint social with the archery lads – Nobles vs Merry Men!). There’s always a range of weekly events running, as well as larger events such as workshops, poetry readings, and the ever-popular open mic nights, so keep an eye on the Aber English and Creative Society’s Facebook page. And as ever, many thanks go out to the wonderful ECWS team for pulling together an amazing night of laughs and entertainment!


For more information on Mind, check out, pick up their fliers from the SU, or email at  [email protected].