The Oxford Revue: Wasted

Thu 2nd – Mon 27th August 2018

reviews

Claire Louise Richardson

at 21:10 on 7th Aug 2018

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This sketch show comedy by the Oxford Revue was charming and endearing, yet simultaneously drab and wooden. It had some sketches that could have been pushed further to find some deeper, detailed, dynamic content, and it lacked any really cutting humour. Overall, it needed more characterisation and more distinction, and some prospective talent was perhaps 'Wasted'. The Fringe is full of the wickedly hilarious and wildly creative, and while this is neither of these, it is great if you have an hour to fill for some classic, friendly student comedy.

If anything was distinctive, it was that the cast of five had a very limited range and rather annoying quality of humour, in their generally theatre, film and literature related sketches. Their three states of being tended to be bored, confused or absent. Many of the jokes were reminiscent of an adolescent attitude in their focus on sex and genitalia, and the matching Oxford Revue T-Shirts, coupled with this immature humour, provided all the nuances of a GCSE drama spectacle. More props and some costumes could have helped to develop some personality.

Towards the end the players started a sketch about Titanic (they called it ‘Tit’-anic – I rest my case) which they commenced by stating that they would be about to embark on some improvisation. This was actually a gag, which was a disappointing lead. I did, however, really chuckle when Jack retorted in demand of ‘paint me like one of your French girls’, that no, he was on holiday, and out of working hours. ‘If you were a banker, would you ask me to bank you like one of my Swiss banks…?’

My favourite sketch came right at the end, when two of the actors parodied the stereotypes that campaign for the environment. They pretended to be campaigning to turn back the clock, eradicate continental drift, and restore the great Pangea, torn apart by the tectonic plates. We had to awkwardly link arms with our neighbours and shout ‘For Pangea!’ However, many of the (initially quite large) audience did not make it to this part of the performance, because they had already left – which was a shame, as the latter sketches were the best.

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Ella Gryf-Lowczowska

at 09:19 on 8th Aug 2018

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Oxford University’s finest thespians don’t waste a second of their allotted performance time at the Fringe. Their sixty minute series of uproariously funny comedy sketches is so thoughtful and engaging that it truly does feature something to tickle everyone. These seasoned comedians have earned their stripes (or tartan) for sure.

I had barely finished transferring my weight from the floor to my chair when the vast empty stage before me was suddenly filled to the brim with big personalities. Two lively ladies opened the show with some deliciously shrewd gags and between them they established a ridiculing repartee with a randomly selected audience member, Pedro, perhaps at the expense of his own amusement, though certainly to the benefit of my own. There was no danger of boredom as the sketches were dynamic and executed with wry professionalism. At certain times I did feel as though what was unfolding in front of me was just some unabridged intra-college banter. But given the wit of their gags, I was happy to eat my figurative popcorn and enjoy the show, especially during the deliciously crude sketch of Prudence’s boyfriend sauntering away to euphemistically ‘lick the back’ of her father’s stamps, after her efforts to introduce him to her father resulted in a homoerotic awakening in the latter.

Each sketch superseded its predecessor with lightning speed. At times this made the performance feel rushed, as if the cast were all too eager to just get through the performance and onto the gin bar across the road rather than focus on the present moment. That said, the cast should not be criticised for their incredible enthusiasm, nor for their dedication. “Wasted” was written by its own cast, which meant that the political themes which feature in this absurdist comedy were enacted with genuine sincerity as it is those issues that are affecting our generation. For example, the students’ plea to unite and campaign for ‘Pangea’ was a comically hyperbolic take on the very real need for environmental campaigning.

Overall, the enthusiasm of the all-student cast and the hilarity of their absurd sketches will leave you thoroughly entertained. Clearly, the prestige associated with The Oxford Revue is well earned.

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