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The Edinburgh Revue Show, Opium

Thursday, 25 August, 2011

Plenty of potential

The Edinburgh Revue Show is a product of Edinburgh University’s sketch troupe which performs throughout the year.

The sketches exhibited an interesting array of topics and scenarios and show the broad appeal this group could have, as they ranged from the surreal and macabre to a more realistic, base brand of humour.

Some scenes were devised more expertly than others; one moment each performer assumes the role of a character from The Sims computer game, in an original, punchy little sketch that humanises these computer creations and is delivered with excitement and some great comic timing from Sarah Flocken and Katia Kvinge. Although initially very funny, the sketch got a little out of control as they deviate from what initially made their subject matter funny.

With many of their sketches, consideration for the comic material gets lost mid-scene, although still laugh out loud funny, it begins to lean towards the wrong side of shambolic.

Some scenes had some great ideas as their starting point but lacked the control to carry across the punch line as they lurched a little towards the predictable. One sketch starts out with the group humanising social networking sites and ends with one performer ranting earnestly at ‘another sketch about social networking sites.’ This was an interesting premise to bring to the forefront of contemporary comedy but it might have benefited from a more subtle attack on such notions as opposed to a full on attack. In this instance it might have been more beneficial to show the frustration at such humour as opposed to explicitly explaining it.

Clearly the Edinburgh Revue are a group of performers that enjoy working together and gain a lot of enjoyment from performing which is very comfortable to watch, if they maintain this group ethic they can develop some really great comedy. The direction was slick and the pace was enthusiastic and playful. They performed on a tiny stage and they took to the space very naturally. Katia Kvinge gives a performance worthy of note, with brilliant facial reactions and a humble comic  that persona that exhibits an acceptance when it comes to others taking centre stage which makes for a generous performance. Likewise with Rory Tefler whose wry understated comic persona does not appear as overbearing as some of the others do, incorporating a slow-paced sarcasm which contrasts with the quick changeover time and bouncing enthusiasm of many of the scenes. It seems a shame that well-timed, modest performances such as these were swallowed to serve the needs of some of the Revue’s larger personalities, particularly Will Naamen and Richard Duffy. It would have been great to see Rory Tefler and Katia Kvinge taking on more protagonist roles.

Performed by: Sarah Flocken, Will Naamen, Richard Duffy, Katia Kvinge and Rory Telfer. Written by:  Sarah Flocken, Will Naamen, Richard Duffy, Katia Kvinge and Rory Telfer and Dale Cooper

Directed by: Sarah Flocken, Will Naamen, Richard Duffy, Katia Kvinge and Dale Cooper
Direction overseen by: Rory Telfer

(c) Alexandra Kavanagh 2011

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