EFR - Reviews of Cream

Cream

Mon 10th – Fri 28th August 2015

reviews

Genevieve Cox

at 11:09 on 14th Aug 2015

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From the outset of the Bristol Revunions sketch show Cream, which consisted of flashing lights, upbeat music and hip-hop dancing that effectively established a comic atmosphere for the audience to relax into, a fun ambiance was immediately established. This was successfully maintained throughout the performance through a wide variety of acts and themes that ensured a ranging appeal for different audience members, no matter what their interests.

From a parody of Titanic offering the opposing perspective of the iceberg’s captain, to foodie puns featuring Uncle Ben, Betty, Mr Kipling, Papa John and “exceedingly good” jokes, humour was consistently distilled. The multi-talented cast employed a plethora of alternative techniques to evoke comic farce, conveying wit and humour through their use of accents, different voices, witty mimes, facial expressions, reactions and responses, displaying an admirable attention to detail throughout. Their interpretation of well-scripted sketches served to enhance the comic foundation provided by the intelligent writing, making the show easily accessible and a joy to watch.

There was some audience participation, intermittently. This was not employed as successfully as it could have been, however. Some of the involvement appeared pointless, more of a comic convention than anything else. There were some seemingly pointless and irrelevant jokes within some individual sketches and an occasional sense of sketches being strained, over-scripted, and thus false and artificial, causing comic loss as the audience was left wondering where the punch-line was.

Yet, a few irrelevant and less successful sketches are naturally bound to occur in any sketch show – especially one that attempted such wide variety of themes and techniques. Therefore, despite the occasional failure, this comedy sketch show by the Bristol Revunions was ultimately a success, providing fantastic humour, lots of. It is definitely worth watching whilst in Edinburgh for a slice of the Fringe Life, a glimpse into sketch-show comedy, and an indulgence of the lighter side of human nature, shifting away from severity with an inevitable focus on humour and fun.

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Ed Grimble

at 11:18 on 14th Aug 2015

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Forget the Footlights, it’s all about the Revunions in this highly entertaining and clever sketch show. Packing more of a punch than a pint of the county’s finest scrumpy, these six young comics put on a show that, although a little inconsistent at times, holds itself firmly aloft even amongst the comedy juggernauts that populate the Fringe.

Sketch shows can, unfortunately, often feel a little disjointed. Disparate segments are clumsily segued between and the audience is left a little disorientated as we are forced to play catch up to the skittish minds of the onstage comics. It is here that the Revunions show their class. Recurring themes and characters, as well as several well delivered ‘meta-sketch show’ scenes depicting six bumbling comedians trying to get through their performance, give the audience points of reference and stability. They result in a show with constituent parts that are strongly bound together, rather than appearing as a nebulous series of fractioned sketches that fall clumsily one on top of another.

With an ensemble of half a dozen, there is no room for weak links and each player must fulfil his or her role to a high standard lest the performance slide into mediocrity. Barring one or two fumbled lines and mumbled syllables (which do unfortunately stunt the momentum of certain sketches, if only momentarily), the troupe do extremely well. Jimmy Graham’s impeccable timing and viciously dry wit are the perfect attributes for a show as well-crafted and as littered with wordplay as this. In a show containing a number of sketches that lasted for only a few lines, and as such are often built around a single pun or wisecrack serving as comic lynchpin, Graham does not disappoint. Nicholas Fairclough is a sterling foil to Graham, his style of comedy a charming blend of preposterous ranting and bewilderment.

Even if a few of the sketches missed the mark, the show proceeded at such a pace that flat jokes were quickly forgotten, and laughter was soon ringing around the tightly packed Caves again. Indeed, the one hour running time of show seemed just a quarter of an hour too long, and perhaps a shorter performance would have resulted in only the best of the group’s material being shown. Nevertheless, these West Country comics have delivered a show of a very high calibre.

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