Review: Vous-Revue (haha!)

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The Durham Revue’s Vous Revue (Haha!), performance was a triumphant debut into the new year, creating a wonderfully energetic atmosphere that had the audience in stitches. Centred around an impromptu Eurovision performance, The Revue took to the Mark Hillery studio in a blackbox stage, making brilliant use of the intimate setting to completely immerse the audience in the performance. They stayed true to the Eurovision theme through sporadic interjections from the lively and witty compères/co-presidents, and Teagan Booker. I can only imagine they must feel immensely proud of this show.

This self-proclaimed ‘Eurovision Saga’ certainly left the audience impressed with the performers’ sharp script-writing skills, superb characterisations and, at times, uncanny impressions of famous actors. The cast’s comedic flair shone throughout the show. Amongst the set, a clear audience favourite was the ‘Valencia’ sketch; charmed the audience with her hilarious depiction of an underhanded and passive aggressive guest at a friend’s gathering. Her nonchalant delivery of, “It’s giving…” before following up with a delightfully funny violation of another character created a brilliant dynamic between herself and Alannah O’Hare. These two were some of the standout performers of the show, consistently delivering effortlessly funny one-liners and helping keep up the pace of the show.

The cast’s comedic flair shone throughout the show

Another particularly strong sketch was the Harry Potter Sketch, in which and took to the stage as Voldemort and Harry Potter. Besides the unsettlingly similar resemblance Twinn bears to Daniel Radcliffe providing its own element of comedy, the premise of the sketch was simple but effective, satirising the character of Harry Potter being but an immature schoolboy as he makes sex jokes during a duel with Voldemort. Redman’s farcical flair made for a wonderfully exasperated Voldemort, and the physicality of her characters was an unfailing highlight throughout the show. Twinn matched this brilliantly with his boyish energy, the two acting as a lively duo onstage.

The writing of this show was inarguably clever, shining through in particularly witty classical references including Pandora opening a TooGood2Go box and a couple asking for a Medium in a clothing shop. This being said, there were times that the sketches leant too heavily on overplayed Durham Student jokes that, albeit funny, lack originality. Additionally, there were moments when some accents felt rather out of place in the show, and that coupled with moments of corpsing from the cast, resulted in some feelings of awkwardness for the audience. Particularly the Banksy sketch which suffered from some questionable Yorkshire accents that detracted from the potential wit of the sketch. A similar issue presented itself in the section featuring audience interaction, which felt like an addition only there for the sake of being able to ‘tick a box’.

The writing of this show was inarguably clever

The Buckaroo sketch was slightly predictable in nature, but this did not detract from the main comedic elements. must be applauded for his outrageously funny mannerisms as a distressed horse, with his physical comedy simultaneously unsettling the audience with his intense shaking and slobbering and leaving them gasping for breath after fits of laughter. ’s physicality was also a standout, perfectly capturing the mannerisms of each character he played, which was particularly amusing in his sketch as a signet ring bearing lad on a night out.

The night ended with a wholesome Eurovision-style point tally which resulted in a victory for The Durham Revue. I was lucky enough to have accidentally sat in the seat that had the ‘Eurovision trophy’ hidden underneath it (although it took a moment to find due to some coats burying it), as The Revue closed their night off with a much-deserved celebration amongst the troupe. A massive congratulations must go to the cast for this thoroughly enjoyable and light-hearted show, and I would absolutely recommend that anyone looking for an uplifting evening make sure to get tickets to one of their next performances!

Image credit: The Durham Revue

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