Reviewing the Revue: Cut the Mustard

Entertainment

“Do you mind if I hop on the ‘jam’-bus?”

The two current presidents of the Oxford Revue, Georgia Bruce and Jack Chisnall, invite us into an evening of ridiculous, awkward, yet cleverly-crafted hilarity, keeping us entertained before their big break in music on an Icelandic TV-show, about to be broadcast live.

As a first time ‘Revue reviewer’, I was both excited and apprehensive about my foray into student comedy. However, from my very entrance into the dark interior of the Burton Taylor, I was greeted by the fresh-faced larks and infectious energy of Jack and Georgia, all my anxieties subsiding into, quite frankly, fits of laughter.

With a performance style reminiscent of Mitchell and Webb’s rapport, this comedy duo masters a mix of ironic candidness and awkward sarcasm, showcasing a natural flare for engaging closely with the audience. The fantastic partnership of Jack and Georgia, fuelled by their complementary styles and shared ease in comic timing, was made complete by the skilfully crafted material of the show. The sketches played both against audience expectations, to hilarious effects, but also upon a comedian’s very process of writing, as if testing out new material, employing abrupt twists of topic and sudden injections of multimedia visual and sound effects to the audience’s mirth. They seamlessly switched between song and sketch, showcasing the pair’s ‘future hits’ and utilising an array of instruments, various harmonicas appearing as if from nowhere.

If Peep Show became a musical, it would be something very close to this. Particular personal favourites include ‘Great Britain is still great…Britain’ and ‘GCSE Française’… Comedy talent aside, these two seem to have a flare for song writing, their snappy lyrics complete with corny (yet also skilful) harmonies and well-placed ‘ohhs’ – and plenty of them.

If I had to complain about anything I’d say that the characterisation and personal history of the duo’s personas was a little inconsistent in a show pertaining to strain away from the looser style of a sketch show, but the comedy gold facilitated by these deviations made up for this ten-fold… enter Jean.

One thing’s for certain, Cut the Mustard has definitely convinced me to go see more student comedy at Oxford; this show deserves to have a full house for the rest of its run, don’t let it pass you by! If you want an evening that’s “cooler than rapper music, beanie hats, and key rings” then look no further…

 

The Oxford Revue’s Cut the Mustard will be on at the Burton Taylor Studio until Saturday 9th May, at 9.30pm.

 

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