Review: Arts Revue 2018
Words by Matilda Alex-Sanders
“Well fuck me gently with a Gold Logie!” cries Judith Lucy…
…welcome to the 2018 Arts Revue. Despite the sugary pink publicity pictures and the title – “The Death of Arts Revue”, there was actually very little in the way of death in this year’s production (with the exception of a teenage Stuart Little – RIP). As with all sketch comedy, this was a colourful mixed bag of lollies. If there was one concept to be discerned throughout, it was the nature of comedy itself (Nanette was duly referenced). Werner Herzog’s dour attempt at stand-up, and a yelping, whopping Bjork in a moulting swan costume were two of the highlights. Also great was a piss take of Noel Fielding’s painful “totes RANDOM” brand of humour – which resulted in getting sucked into his subconscious along with a giant clawed kitten. Scary indeed.
Other goodies were a musical Easter Show number, levitating coffee mugs, an ANZAC looking for a room to rent, a game of heads down thumbs up gone awry and a ‘butthurt dweller’ with concerned parents. Above the action was a screen were short clips were shown at intervals – a sad but sweet natured Street Goth was a big favourite (Rawr xD) and the tacky video effects (for a rapping baby in the womb and a fraudulent doctor’s advice) were glorious – kudos to the cinematographers and editors for your AV work.
The only real black jellybeans were the reliance on coarseness and shock tactics. Usyd so smugly prides itself for its intellectual acumen, and yet so many people are still in thrall of gross out and toilet humour. Also, there were a few too many cheesy Harry Potter gags. But, I must admit, I was in the minority here, because the rest of audience was roaring with laughter, especially the line of guys behind me who very vocally were delighted in everything. Maybe I’m just an old sourpuss.
The cast were all clearly having a ball and never fumbled a line. The set was also an exercise in kitsch fun, replete with bunches of fake flowers, white drapes, fairy lights, disco ball and (very wholesome) a coffin. Costumes, props, sound and lighting were all top notch. Gemma Black and Kate McGuinness did a great job of directing these many diverse elements and putting it together seamlessly. Lastly, big compliments to Kevin Duo Jin, who was a great, goofy presence – especially as the tireless little boy who was always the last one to get picked up from school.
So don’t worry – Arts Revue isn’t really dead, just having a big nap. Sweet dreams till next year!