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March 2004
The Oxford Revue Presents Funny Guy
People Laughing
Was it all smiles at the Burton Taylor Theatre?



Funny Guy by The Oxford Revue.

The Burton Taylor Theatre

March 3rd 2004

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By Harriet Mancey-Barratt

There's a feeling I often get when reading reviews that someone doesn't have a lot to say about a group, so resorts to simple and straightforward abuse of the band/theatre company/touring midget circus.

Unfortunately, I couldn't quite think of what else to do after seeing the Oxford Revue's Funny Guy. Simultaneously bland and irritating, the Revue's second show of the year merely left me rather cold.

To be fair to the Revue, there were some passing moments that made me chuckle. These tended to be the shorter, tighter skits, such as the 'random baptism' with a manic-eyed religious fanatic running around the stage splashing Evian at passers-by.

Generally, though, much of the humour depended on mocking very posh people, namely the public-school, netball-playing students of Cambridge University. That's not funny if you're very, very posh yourself and attend Oxford, then it's just a comedy show without a lot of comedy.

The fact that much of the material consisted of potentially self-referential wit could have worked in the Revue's favour. However, the direction didn't often allow this to be developed. Where it did, the result was some witty observations of Oxford life, complete with alcoholic tutors and over-eager literati.

On the whole, though, Funny Guy put me off any further Revue productions. A pity, since, with a little more work, the clever ideas could also be hilarious. Until then, despite realising how harsh this sounds, steer well clear of anything bearing the name of the dreaded Oxford Revue.

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