Review: Oxford Revue and Friends


Oxford REvue Writer's Retreat 03Ladies and Gentlemen, the fiery host Naz Osmanoglu presents you the comedy dream team – that is the Oxford Revue, the Durham Revue and the Cambridge Footlights – for a night of sketching fun. Energy, absurdity and hilarity are the keywords; ever wondered what would happen at a super-power interview, what could happen if one of the power puff girls was called Boris, and what actually happened at Hadrian’s Wall? The answers were revealed, and this Russell-Group of Universities has gained a first for comedy.

With the accompaniment of the ULU Big Band from the University of London, this night of student sketch partying definitely left you hungover, not from too much smoke, but joke. All three companies are diverse and successful in their choice of comedy; firstly, Durham after a slightly slow start, chose twists on conventional scenarios, such as the surgery’s waiting room and the classroom, with particularly strong performances from Sam Kennerly, who frequently featured as the intrusive ‘Boris’, and the remarkable facial expressions of Simon Gallow. However, as well as the individual talents, the entire cast’s ability to multi-role is one to most definitely commend.

Secondly, the Oxford Revue displayed an extravaganza of bizarre, punning humour. The script scenarios were original and rib-tickling, and the cast played up to their roles excellently, from a fire ranger to a Roman Centurion; the performers were both elastic and electric. Also, a notable set of impressions from George Mather must be congratulated, especially the flawless and unflinching one of a German soldier and another of a lewd David Attenborough.

Last but certainly not least, the Cambridge Footlights: as much as the Oxbridge rivalry that runs through my veins makes me want to deny it, the Cambridge trio was something to behold. The smallest cast of the show, they performed the biggest, and the most excellent variety of comedy. It was constantly engaging, fast-paced and witty, not to mention the impressive use of stand-up which made me gape in my seat.

I want to thank the Oxford Revue and Friends, the ULU Big Band and the audacious host Naz, for bringing such a high-standard of comedy to the Oxford Playhouse. They most certainly all deserve a round of applause.

PHOTO / Barney Iley