NewsRevue

Thu 2nd – Mon 27th August 2018

reviews

Ella Kemp

at 23:16 on 18th Aug 2018

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There seemed to be some kind of universal confidence as the lights went down for 'NewsRevue'. Filling up Underbelly’s prime George Square venue, viewers settled in for a festival staple. Four performers took to the stage in music to dissect and mock the news, with everything you hate and love to have a little chuckle at.

It must be said - performers and viewers in Edinburgh tend to belong to a broadly, overwhelmingly white, somewhat liberal demographic. So a sharp, musical production that flatters the cynically woke viewers who watch Have I Got News For You religiously is almost sure to go down a storm.

There’s undeniable musical and physical talent at play from these performers, offering engaging satire on everything that everyone is tired of hearing about in the real world. But instead of offering a subtle dig at the painfully obtuse politics of those deemed incompetent or ridiculous, 'NewsRevue' only indulges this.

Donald Trump and Theresa May are the stars of the show - not metaphorically, they return across the sketches, met with stolen laughter and cheeky laughs. But it felt unexciting to simply physically mock those who are verbally mocked in the headlines - by pulling a funny face.

Imagination and creativity allows the best sketches to shine. A dig at keep cups and a song about plastic in the oceans offer a pantomimic thrill, but gargantuan ridicule about Russian news reports and an easy push against right-wing politics feels somewhat cheap. Pop songs offer an ideal fabric on which 'NewsRevue' sews its modern contempt. But it’s not enough to say out loud, with a funny face, how something is wrong, without offering much creativity in doing anything about it.

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Georgina Macrae

at 10:07 on 19th Aug 2018

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“World Cup football – England thought that it was “coming home”, but even if it did, they'd have no cabinet to put it in!”

Recent headlines served on a shiny comedy platter: “Let’s play Brexit, the game where nobody wins!” Shiny being the operative word, for each sketch or song cover is polished, right down to the condition of Theresa May’s wig, and Jeremy Corbyn’s trowel.

Unsurprisingly, Trump features in the show – but by singing about his tweeting habits, the piece avoids being too predictable. The sketches are all short and snappy, too, so there’s never much time to get irritated or bored when the joke isn’t for you – mixed reactions seem inevitable in a news-related show. Somehow, this team keep the audience laughing through all the stereotyped impersonations. Probably through a clever ordering of longer and shorter sketches which retains energy.

The songs are the highlight of the show, because they are used well as relief from various impressions of political figures, and as humorously-blatant nods to different popular topics. Right from the start, putting nuclear warfare into the catchy ‘It’s Raining Men’ tune is clear, amusing and engaging. And the glamorous, “Hollywood Blows”, is suitably cringe-inducing.

“Here’s my ice-bucket challenge!” “That’s so old. Don’t do that. Anyway, ALS is cured now...” a smart song about smart-phones. Using old and new headlines to pave a road with all sorts of news in it, this show conforms to main-stream opinions of most headlines and political figures, but does this very well. The transparency of these sketches are key to their success. This sold-out show attracts a more middle-aged audience, who love it.

And don’t forget about, “Brexit: The Game with No Winners.”

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