The Oxford Student Revue is the equivalent to a pick-and-mix bag
containing the finest fizzy cola bottles alongside some mouldy cabbage.
was expecting to find a solid set of comedians equivalent to, say,
the mediocre humbug, but The Student Comedy Revue at the Oxford
Playhouse turned out to be a bizarre mix of the best - and unfortunately
the worst - laughs in town.
show opened with a jubilant compere, James Wilton who was sharp
yet at ease. The
audience, most probably haunted by the same fears of 'amateur stand-up'
as I had been, visibly perked up.
Oxford Student Revue
opening comics, from Cambridge Footlights and The Oxford Comedy
Society, were on the stage of the Oxford Playhouse for a reason.
were generally able to keep us sniggering while coping with hecklers
(although the jokes about PMT from one nervous character were met
with some very stony female faces).
the sketches by Not The Oxford Revue were remarkable - well-observed,
brilliantly executed and, most importantly, very, very funny.
was an interesting shift in comic medium that guaranteed to keep
the audience's attention - quick-paced live dialogue cut to pre-recorded
film footage which was followed by, for example, the soliloquy of
a giant pea.
most effective were the short but clever skits, like the bemusement
of a man idly spitting in the street when faced with an enthusiastic
passer-by's totally believable 'No, that's lovely, really really
nice, wow! Can you do that again?'
success lay in the ability to observe common topics such as first-date
embarrassment with originality, confidence and great wit.
would be well advised to check out the Not The Oxford Revue's full
show, 'Sometimes I Enjoy Laughing', on at Oxford's Burton Taylor
Theatre during the week of June 2 as we
were comedy putty in their hands.
the same cannot be said for The Oxford Revue's new show 'The Lost
Laugh'. At best, the effect was one of pseudo-intellectual density;
at worst, pure tedium.
the biggest laughs of the whole play were gained when, with every
scene change, an increasing number of desperate figures could be
seen scurrying through the darkness to the haven of the exit.
there were many good cast performances, the script proved rarely
refreshing and often obscure. Long scenes and cryptic plot links
didn't help matters.
the evident attempt to produce a modern 'comedy of manners' can
be admired, the only real point to make is that 'The Lost Laugh'
did indeed lose any sense of comedy, the plot and, crucially, their