Making a splash: 2018's Wom*n's Revue
WORDS BY BIANKA FARMAKIS
2018’s Wom*n’s Revue summed up the beauty of feminism and sisterhood: close-knit intersectional friendships, girls empowering girls, and a whole lot of skits that made every wom*n in the room sit back and say, “oh God, SAME”.
Running on the theme “School Splashtacular!”, the revue opened with a nautical number, sporting a diverse, energetic cast of wom*n all clad in a wide array of ‘fish themed’ costumes. Was this a tongue-in-cheek allusion to vaginas being ‘fishy’? Who knows, who cares. The sheer love and infectious adoration these performers had for one another was enough to hook you in.
And so began the ‘reel’ of comedy skits – some of which were sea themed, some school themed and one or two actually about fishing. Plus, the skit about a gynaecologist being able to guess your star sign, relationship status and family tree all by checking out your pipes confirmed my deeply held belief that the vagina is the window to the soul.
While every skit was well executed, punchy and as synchronised as an Olympic swim team, at times the choice of content felt too eclectic, making stark jumps in types of comedy and subject matter a touch too disjointed for a seamless laugh fest. Often the songs fell flat, with covers of pop classics too similar to the original to boast any unique comedic value. The audience-engaging “We’ve got our shit together” though was a perfect example of how music is best executed in revue’s – original, extremely relatable lyrics, a simple beat that sounds like a pre-recorded Garageband tempo, and two performers that knew how to bounce off each other and their audience’s energy in the best way possible.
Despite some skits lacking comedic potential, particular and clear crowd-favourites were partitioned well, featuring several times throughout the show. Best skits ranged from the Cheezel eating, ‘simply depressed’ skit, which was among one of the more relatable, to the ensuing romance between ‘Let it Rip’ radio presenters, Alex and Jess, desperately into each other – leaving the audience on edge of whether they’ll end up at the school dance together?
As we begged the question, the final instalment of the skit led us to the closing number, which, regardless of whether you enjoyed the full two hour show or not, made you leave the Reginald Theatre absolutely in love with every wom*n who performed. Abbey Lenton’s choreography shined in the final number, as each performer’s glittery ensembles swayed to and fro in a visually orgasmic display of energetic student comedy. My hat goes off to costume designer Allie McGowan – the sea of effervescent nautical critters was gorgeous, although I still don’t know what half of them we’re meant to be (like that purple thing with the eyes?).
However, the unity the wom*n showed in their final number was more than just in-time dancing and harmonised vocal work, but a genuine friendship that’d been established throughout the cast. The performers had the kind of in-sync friendship you find when you’ve needed to desperately borrow a tampon from a random stranger in a bathroom, had your hair held when you’re throwing up the Sunday afternoon rosé on the walk home, or adjusted the bra strap of your best girlfriend to help her get the puppies perfectly on display. I applaud Directors Rachael Colquhoun-Fairweather and Harriet Lugsdin for their ability to tie together a show and cast in such harmony.
Even though the Wom*n’s Revue season is over now, you couldn’t have gotten a ticket to it anyway as it sold out – and justifiably so. I think any performance as infectiously uplifting as this one deserves a full house to soak in the abundant energy and lust for life each wom*n had in her performance.