Commerce Revue 'a synergy of extremely talented individuals'
The Rise and Fall of Bliss Industries (no pun – in case you were still looking for it) certainly was a show like no other. The energetic dance numbers, whimsically nostalgic skits and top notch costuming had us all drinking the Comm Revue kool-aid. Strategic differentiators and innovative user-based experience models placed Bliss Industries on Forbes’ Top Companies list, however KPIs suggest that it was far from a perfect show.
The production captivated audiences from the beginning, with cast members wandering the foyer of Seymour Centre pitching business ideas and networking the hell out of the crowd.
The enthusiasm and commitment of the whole cast were a credit to the entire production. Dramatic gesticulation, accents, and rather impressive vocals helped to pull the show together. Props go to Sasha Meaney for bringing her fabulous voice to her Liza Minnelli meets Lady-who-invented-Boost-Juice character. Emily Boyd and Dominic Scarf also rounded out a beautiful, but truth-be-told unfunny, closing number.
The costumes were a fabulous addition to the visual humour of the show by costume designer Katie Thorburn - particularly the large inflatable penis costumes. Unfortunately, their five second stage time was slightly short-lived.
One thing was for certain, the crowd were there and ready to be entertained. With open minds, each skit seemed to go down with varying degrees of success, with the exception of at least 4 minutes of nothing but fart jokes. Penis humour? Not enough. Fart humour? Too much.
Honorary mention goes to Tom Waddell for managing to induce belly-laughter from the entire audience with almost every one of his impersonations - particularly Eddie Mcguire in the most divisive and controversial episode of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and Steve Job’s unimpressed son Hans Jobs . And heads did roll when King Henry VIII made an appearance on Wife Swap.
The use of a screen and filmed sketches pushed conventional boundaries, and were executed well. Blake Cunio and Ellie Jones made you feel just uncomfortable enough with their tongue-in-cheek (and lord knows where else) mockery of on screen sex scenes.
As conceptually brilliant as the ideas were, and as committed as the cast was, there were several moments when these two brilliant forces didn’t work as harmoniously as they could have. Post-intermission, the comedy started to become lackluster. So naturally, an odd, but totally necessary, dance number was thrown in to revitalise the performance once more. Thus reminding all revue makers that when in doubt, just twerk it out.
There is only so far you can go with commerce-related humour (what did the accountant say before he left the boardroom?... “Well I guess I’ll calc u later”), forcing the cast to look to their day-to-day lives for inspiration. And what did they find? An existential baby, a soul-sucking demon, a coked-up CEO, and a suicidal lunchbox snack.
A SWOT analysis seems like the appropriate way to review a Commerce Revue.
Strengths: Choreography performed with 10/10 enthusiasm with a core competency of vocal talent opening and closing the show.
Weaknesses: Skits that were conceptually gold, but often fell short in execution.
Opportunities: Introducing Mr Stringer Cheese as a brand ambassador for the integrated marketing campaign with a hero’s journey narrative arc.
Threats: Science Revue may be performing right next door on the same nights, but Commerce Revue will likely overcome this product competitor by buying out the entire Seymour Centre.
The 2016 Commerce Revue, directed by Georgia Britt and Jack Savage, can only be described as a synergy of extremely talented individuals working their way through an absurd show where anything is possible. It’s something you need to see for yourself. Don’t miss closing night tonight at Everest Theatre, Seymour Centre.
Commerce Revue: The Rise and Fall of Bliss Industries is currently being performed at the Seymour Centre until August 27th. Tickets are available here.