Preview: Disenchanted

By Imo RolfePalatinate’s talks to Durham Revue’s president, Charlotte Whistlecroft, on the revue’s upcoming show ‘Disenchanted’. 

 

 

What’s ‘Disenchanted’ about this show?

The title.

 

A review left for one of your fringe shows claimed it was an ‘Entertaining show. As with most revues a bit hit and miss, but overall worth seeing.’ – do you think having ‘hits’ and ‘misses’ are part of any comedy experience? or is this something you’re working on?

Describing a show as ‘hit and miss’ has, unfortunately, become a kind of go to response when reviewing comedy because comedy can be incredibly subjective. Everyone has a different sense of humour. This is what’s so challenging about sketch comedy; you want to appeal to as many people as possible, but it’s inevitable that people are going to find certain sketches funnier than others. That said, it would be ideal if every sketch was a hit and I hope everyone who comes to see our show enjoys the whole thing!

 

Do you think your comedy is particularly geared towards students, or is it ‘fun for all the family’?

The Revue generally likes to keep their material as wide ranging as possible. If you can make people laugh without relying on jokes that only appeal to one demographic (for instance, students) it’s usually a much stronger set. However, at the same time, we love performing at the Assembly Rooms because of the student audience and we tailor some of our sketches to fit this. The Revue are lucky to perform in so many different venues throughout the year, so it really gives us a chance to produce a wide variety of material which hopefully everyone enjoys.

 

Your longer sketches have had mixed reviews – how do you come up with them? And how do you strengthen them after their conception?

Longer sketches can be more challenging to write but also more rewarding to perform. You don’t just go on stage, say a joke and get off; but allow a scene to develop and can really push for where you want it to go. Quite often we’ll come up with a sketch which may start off short yet when we go through it we find that there’s room to add more jokes and it’ll change into something much longer. However, we always make sure we don’t make sketches unnecessarily long.  After we’ve written a sketch, we’ll always go through it and if we think a line doesn’t add anything to the sketch, then its cut. It’s also great to balance longer sketches with the shorter ones as it changes the pace and keeps the show varied.

 

Best one-liner?

From the show? That would be telling. Although a line that always cracks me up is just “so heavy.” You’ll have to come to the show to see why!

 

How did you find your new recruits for this year? And why did they especially stand-out?

We held auditions pretty much straight after the Returner’s Show in October. This year we had so many strong people auditioning it was fantastic – it took us so long to pick! We’re really happy with our newbies: Andrew Shires, Ambika Mod and Mike Bedigan. They all have distinct writing styles yet perform really well together. Andrew just has to talk and I laugh, Ambika can do one of the best deadpan faces and I’ve ever seen and Mike’s a born comedian. They’re all great additions to the group and I can’t wait to perform with them all for the first time.

 

Where will you go from here? Will this be the show you take to the Fringe 2015?

We’ll keep writing new material all year. Our show at The Gala in February with The Cambridge Footlights and The Oxford Revue will contain different material to this show and we’ll write new sketches for The Edinburgh Fringe as well. The Edinburgh show is normally a compilation of the best sketches we’ve written throughout the year.

 

Do you think you’ve improved on last year’s show?

We’re always hoping to improve and write the funniest show possible. The Revue is constantly changing as people graduate and we get new members. This year has a different style to last year which is inevitable as we have different people in it. It’s different to last year, but still just as funny.

 

Who inspired you when you were putting this show together? Any comedians in particular or just life experience?

It’s helpful to look to the professionals and see how they do things, but mainly we get our ideas from bouncing ideas of one another. At rehearsals we’ll sit down and think ‘what’s funny?’ and then just go from there!

 

Jack Whitehall or Miranda?

Over Christmas, three different members of my family on separate occasions said I reminded them of Miranda, so I guess it will have to be Jack Whitehall.

 

You can see Disenchanted at the Assembly Rooms, 8:00pm 15th – 17th January.

 

Image: Imo Rolfe

 

 

 

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