Revunions & Friends

Mon 2nd March 2015

reviews

Eleanor Boyer

at 11:06 on 4th Mar 2015

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What better way to welcome the newly-reopened Winston Theatre in the SU than with a night of collaborative comedy? This show certainly lived up to the hype, leaving many gasping for air and at least one of the performers distinctly trouserless. I overhead a loud snort at one point which I can only assume was positive feedback.

The stage was shared between the Oxford Revue, Cambridge Footlights and the Bristol Revunions, in what was (very loosely) staged as a comedy battle for the best laughs – ‘all in the name of collaboration’. The effect was more of a variety show than a competition but worked very well nevertheless. Oxford’s four-man troupe was first up, and despite the possible hurdles of a home crowd, were the quickest to win over the room. Their combination of ludicrous slapstick (within 30 seconds one of their number was reduced to a fetching pair of chequered underpants) and genuine comedic flair, they had the crowd in tears (of laughter!)

Two representatives of the well-renowned Cambridge Footlights were next, and seemed to take a few minutes to warm up the room. Their first sketch fell slightly flat once the audience had worked out the joke underpinning it, and realised that half of this joke was a thick east London accent. However, they quickly came into their element with some incredibly original sketches that played on the pure ridiculous while hilariously impersonating anything from palmistry to Nigel Farage.

The home-grown Bristol Revunions took to the stage to wild applause and whooping which, along with the performances by Oxford and Cambridge, certainly set the bar high. Unfortunately, overall the undoubtedly talented Revunions seemed slightly less polished than the other groups, and their sketches sometimes dragged with a tendency to reiterate one joke within a sketch. The performers, however, were excellent. Will Pope had the audience in hysterics with his deadpan humour, and Louis Dawson Jones was spectacularly versatile yet uniformly hilarious. One of the best lines of the show had to be their description of an American film: ‘Breath-taking: it literally makes you want to stop breathing’.

Although by the end the performers seemed to have forgotten it was a competition, I left the show with pleasantly aching ribs, a certain amount of smug satisfaction for not having sat in the front (you have been warned) and a feeling that a little competition is perhaps not so bad after all.

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