The group is feeling the difference, and the dynamic is changing. Naturally no one year is the same. As Mod aptly puts, it “changes dependent on the people in the group, this group is completely different from last year.” Weinstock has remarked on her job as President as being “equally challenging as it has been rewarding.”
Joining the Revue seems have a pretty profound impact on the way each member goes about even day-to-day activities. Maskell remarks, “I think about life differently nowadays; I will instantly be thinking about how I can turn something into a sketch.” Weinstock concurs that she also can’t help herself. “I can’t even have a normal conversation anymore, because something will happen and I will think ‘that could be a sketch’, I have to write it down.” Maskell does however note the downside of his alternness to sketch inspiration, being that his friends have been keen to make suggestions. “Now my friends are catching on, and are like ‘Is that a sketch?’ at many situations, I have to just tell them no.”
Not all sketches make the cut, and all Revue members have memories of having suggestions shut down. Robinson’s ‘Illuminati’ sketch was immediately shot down, but as he explains the concept of “the illuminati trying to destroy the world in bad ways, they upped the pollen count so people with hayfever would suffer” Weinstock begins to see something in the sketch idea. Other sketches which haven’t made the cut were Harper’s ‘Dementors’ sketch, Shires’ ‘Bond Girls Anonymous’ sketch, and Weinstock’s ‘Die-in-air’ sketch. However, perhaps amongst my favourite is Middleton’s ‘Anagramlet’, a version of Hamlet about Shakespeare definitions.
‘Gigglebox’, their new show, is full of the sketches which have managed to make it past each other’s gruelling scrutiny. Afraid to give too much away they, they let me into a little of the sketches but swear me not to release more than the sketch titles. From what I can gather, ‘Bear Grylls’, ‘Seashells’ and ‘Shots Fired’ could become some real favourites.
They await their next show with anticipation. Maskell explains that “it feels like we’ve been doing a lot of theory and now we’re putting it into practice.” Mod has a particular fondness for the whole process, especially the opportunity to perform. “The shows is so much fun to watch, and we bring in loads of different people from different walks of life who wouldn’t usually go to the theatre.”
‘Gigglebox’ is on at The Assembly Rooms Theatre, Durham, on Sun 24 January and Sun 31 January. Book your tickets here.
Photograph: Isabelle Culkin