Revue Lawded On Opening Night
Words by Riley Treisman
I have never seen a Law Revue before, and as an arts student who gets most of her political education from Buzzfeed News, I was curious to see how many political references would go over my head. To my pleasant surprise, nothing was too obscure for me, save perhaps the choral arrangement “Ode to Administrative Law”. I’ll admit to googling “South China Sea politics” on the way home to try and understand the nuances of a certain performance by Xi Jinping, but my ignorance in no way subdued my enjoyment of the lively number.
Law Revue 2018 is a circus carnival of dancing dictators, petty politicians, corrupt church officials and annoyed assistant directors. Directors Lucy Lester and Tom Davidson-McLeod have an eye for detail which, although perhaps lost on me, attests to their commitment in producing quality political satire. The show opens with a number sung by a gleeful Peter Dutton, “Oh I Just Can’t Wait To Be PM,” (which could not have arrived at a more opportune moment), and the directors have allegedly been changing the opening voiceover each night to keep up to date with the political situation.
While the other revues I’ve seen took place in Reginald Theatre, the cast makes of the larger space of York Theatre with grace and expertise. Groups of students clustered onstage allowed three skits could be performed in rapid-fire succession, and recorded videos such as Prudence Wilkins-Wheat’s too-real spoof “Unlearn Prospects” gave the audience a refreshing pause from more vivacious numbers. Music and Singing Director Sean Perry offered seamless transitions through upbeat instrumental tunes such as “Superstitious” and the much-loved “Mr Brightside.”
As anyone in showbiz knows, nothing goes right on opening night, and the interplay between voiceovers and actors was clunky at times. I also feel as though some kind of underlying theme or narrative could have created a more unified show (I, for one, was ever-so-slightly disappointed the International Man of Mystery himself was nowhere to be seen).
Even so, as the lights go down, what remains in your memory is the immense energy of the cast. Whether cavorting in lions’ manes or decked out in denim and fluoro legwarmers for the lesser-known 1985 classic “Flake on Me,” they make you thankful you listened to your yellow-hoodie-wearing friends on Eastern Avenue.