The Liverpool Revue

Sat 6th – Sat 13th August 2016


Richard Birch

at 21:53 on 13th Aug 2016



This is one of the most genuinely funny sketch shows this reviewer has seen at the Fringe. The first few sketches fall relatively flat, however; and so an atmosphere of pessimism is soon apparent – if one puts the best sketches first, then God knows how bad the last few would be.

However, this pessimism turns out to be unfounded. The later sketches grow from strength to strength, including a fantastic depiction of a false Rorschasch test – though the viewer can see ‘where the sketch was going’, it proves to be a brilliant comic triumph, with the patient replying that the ink blots are, in fact, a penis. This line between straight up puerile and erudite humour is a close one in this play, however one generally managed with panache.

Another sketch satirises Batman with a similarly perfect balance between crudeness and attention to detail. The voice is brilliantly executed, and this is a strength of the show throughout – the ability to make each actor become their comedic character is simply genius; including a later highlight (and this reviewer’s personal favourite) the impersonation of Mickey Mouse. Part of an extended sketch on the ‘massacre of fictional characters in sketch shows’, this manages to be self-deprecating, aggressively satirising the boom in cheap sketch show laughs and manages to add something to the already length history of sketch shows.

Some pseudo-feminist critique is thrown in to add a bit of gender balance to this admittedly skewed (possibly almost sexist) routine, however this feels as if it has been included as an afterthought – not a crucial part of the performance. Instead, it feels a little cursory. It is nice to see that the cast evidently see the vague issues with their sketches, however it would also be nice to see these elements of equal-minded perspective better integrated.

However, the main thing to really say about this show is that it achieved its main aim. A sketch show wants to make the audience laugh without needing to overanalyse it, laugh without being offended, and laugh well after they have left the theatre. And this it does, excellently. A truly talented comedic troupe.


Kate Nicholson

at 11:58 on 14th Aug 2016



The four comics of 'The Liverpool Revue' are energetic, dynamic but most importantly, funny. Fast-paced with a wide range of original sketches, their group is composed of vastly different comics – the loud, bearded one; the small high-pitched one who constantly licked his lips – working together to establish a hilarious success.

Topical without being overtly offensive, they mock a whole range of subjects; as a feminist, communist or devout lover of Shakespeare, you cannot help but laugh along in recognition as stereotypes are picked apart. New age fads are called into question and even Gillette (yes, the razorblade brand) are not safe. It is enjoyable to see a form of humour that does not masquerade as over-intellectual, but sometimes even resorts to classic slapstick. They know what is funny and fully embrace each individual sketch character.

Their most original sketch is their last, when they address what it even means to be a sketch show character and the vulnerability of being fictional. Original, yes, but a little dragged out. However, it does feature a very strong Mickey Mouse interpretation that makes me question why they have not written in more sketches based on celebrity imitation.

There is another element to the performance which cannot go unmentioned. The crudeness of jokes which perforate many of the sketches is surprising to say the least. Subtly slipped into every other scene, they are easy to miss and often quickly followed up with another joke. It is a shame that the sexual humour does not receive much recognition- it is possibly the least developed joke they have. It would probably be more effective performed to a late-night student audience where the shock factor would be greatly amusing if a couple of pints down.

Overall, there is a constant wave of laughter moving over the audience with a pretty flawless performance. A diverse show which is accessibly, funny and had the audience eagerly anticipating the next joke from start to finish.

Fantastically, it is also part of Free Fringe, so you really have no reason not to see this one.


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