Review: Revuedo

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The Mark Hillery Arts Centre is once again blessed with the familiar sight of four wooden chairs on an empty stage, about to be brought to life by the wonderful Durham Revue! Their new show Revuedo is filled with punchy jokes, lively characters and imaginative plot lines! With laughs from start to finish, to tie the independent sketches together, a Cluedo-inspired story line opens the show. The Durham Revue dazzles its audience once again, as roars of laughter erupt from watchers!

A new year in Durham means new troupe members for the Revue; to get us all acquainted, the members start by introducing themselves. Their hilarious introductions are a warm-up act of what is to come and set the light and silly mood that is needed for sketch comedy. We then learn the Revue is in a creepy, old mansion. They have been invited to perform their sketch show for the owner, however, they soon discover that the 90-year-old has dropped dead! Convinced he has died in ‘mysterious’ circumstances, references to the game Cluedo are made and the suspicion concerning his death grows.  As ever the show must go on and luckily for us, the Revue begin their wonderful sketches!

Their hilarious introductions are a warm-up act of what is to come and set the light and silly mood that is needed for sketch comedy

Many of the sketches, written by the writing team and Teagan Booker, and the performers, include some familiar faces! It turns out Mary Poppins has become an internet vlogger and Supernanny Jo Frost has been called round to Peppa pig’s house. ’s innate comedic ability sheds new light on our favourite childhood characters. Her presentation of an enraged Pussy Cat, from the‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat’, is laughter-inducing. also brilliantly transforms into any character with her phenomenal accent skills. A highlight has to include her impersonation of Supernanny Jo Frost and when she acts as a salesperson in an advert. These contemporary references and re-imagined stories for beloved characters are fantastic foundations to build a script. The premise itself holds a natural amount of humour that worlds only elevate.

As masters of comedy, some characters did not even need to speak a word to get any reaction from the audience! is an expert in physical comedy as he performs as a rather cheeky mime. He leads the sketch and without uttering a single word brings this character to life. The writers have cleverly created characters that have distinct traits and most importantly, are not similar. Each sketch is fresh and differs completely from the one before. Transitions between sketches include a blackout, a musical interlude of our favourite cheesy hits and eccentric dance moves from performers, injecting the performance with energy. There were some tech issues but they were dealt with professionally, with timely improvisation from performers.

Often sketch comedy can feel segmented, but the return to the central Cluedo premise during the performance gives the piece structure as there is a central narrative. shines as the performers find themselves still unsure as to how the mansion’s owner died. Twinn is a committed performer. He starts and finishes every move he makes with vigour. He steals the show with his definite conviction of the victim’s murderer. It is wonderfully hysterical. The show soon returns to the sketches and Henry Gwilliam, amusingly performs as the most unlikely character, a house plant. As a neglected house plant, Gwilliam showcases his natural comic expertise. His line delivery is marvellous. His pure comedic talent would mean that any line he is given he could make hilarious.

Each sketch is fresh and differs completely from the one before

A highlight of the show has to be a sketch that includes audience participation. It takes courage not only from the audience member but also from the performer and is an expert. Acting as moody and done in co-host on a children’s TV show, Pinter superbly encourages an audience member to generate the sounds of multiple animals as she sings ‘Old Macdonald had a farm’. The farm certainly contains some unusual noises and Pinter’s witty improvisation and ability to also keep the scene on track is a profound example of talent.

Full of original content, Revuedo is guaranteed to make you laugh. The performers and writers are inventive and clear masters of comedy! The performance is highly engaging and entertaining and all involved parties should be extremely proud of what they have accomplished. Nothing short of spectacular!

Image credit: Vivienne Shaw, The Durham Revue

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