The Nutcracker: a Laidlaw Social event at Royal Opera House

A blog post about our Laidlaw Social event in December 2020.

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December 13th, a windy Saturday, it was two weeks before Christmas when some of our Laidlaw scholars eventually met each other outside of the screen. Rushing to enjoy traditional Christmas treat, we escaped into the warm fireside glow of the Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker at Royal Opera House.

With the help of Lord Laidlaw and MR. David Spinola of ROH, we were able to enjoy The Royal Ballet’s sparkling production of The Nutcracker closely under strict standards of social distancing and hygiene. No matter you are a new or experienced audience, this glorious performance would transcend you into a wonderland and make you feel the magic of this most Christmassy of ballets. Bringing us the best wishes towards the new year, it was such a refreshing and comforting moment after the long-term second national lockdown.

Yes, the most desirable tickets! Central front lines!

The performance was definitely incredible, leaving all of us in a swell of emotion, a sense of awe. After it, we finally had time to introduce ourselves to each other and had conversations. Even though we are all from different colleges, we immediately felt like friends, for we shared the great memory of being part of the Laidlaw Scholarship. People were talking about their colleges and interesting points about their summer research. Thanks to the Laidlaw Foundation and the Laidlaw teams of different colleges, everyone had a great experience with the first summer research fellowship under such an uncertain period. We were also in the excitement of the upcoming summer programs.

Laidlaw Scholars in ROH

I am aware that COVID-19 has brought much grief to many people, but it also reminded why we are here – we are here to lead global cooperation and devote ourselves to the public good, so we human being can better deal with issues which need worldwide collaboration like this global pandemic. We were from different colleges all around the world, and we had the possibility to save human beings from conflicts and build a better world together. It may sound naive, but we still have time to get mature, to make the impossible possible.  Thanks for Laidlaw Foundation to bring us together and help us on our way to success. It was a great honour to meet all these beautiful young souls who are meant to change the world one day. Such a pity that we did not get to know each other better this time and many of you Laidlaw scholars did not get the chance to join us! Hope to see you guys soon in the summer summit to have a better conversation.

Outside of ROH

Joshua Zhou

Laidlaw Scholar, UCL