It’s obvious the cast and crew of this year’s Medicine Revue thoroughly enjoyed creating and performing Med Men.
The energetic song-and-dance acts were the highlights, and a fun, satirical streak ran through the whole show. Plastic surgeons were often subjects of ridicule, from savvy re-workings of ABBA’s ‘Money Money Money’ to Muse’s ‘Feeling Good’.
Ok, so the singing sometimes sounded like Thursday night karaoke, but the lyrics were clever and the moves hard to fault. The final act, a parody of The Lion King’s ‘I Just Can’t Wait to be King’, aptly united swimming, cycling and footy doping scandals under the refrain, “I just can’t wait till we win”.
Choir renditions of serious medical problems were also surprisingly fun and listenable. The solo performances, especially a jazzy take on Macklemore’s ‘Thrift Shop’, put some real talent on display with the help of a skilled backing band.
That said, the comedy skits were hit-and-miss, especially those not related to medicine.
While it was good to see Med Men take on everything from Honi Soit to Google Glass, the political sketches were uninspired and seemed to be there only for the sake of topicality. It’s hard to make Tony Abbott’s moronic summary of the carbon tax, for instance, any funnier than it already is, and Med Men’s attempt to do so fell flat.
Many of the current affairs segments about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, the royal baby and so on were similarly forgettable. The more absurd skits involving clowns, puns and random fiestas were more enjoyable, if only for the fact they didn’t rely on tired caricatures or dated cheap shots.
But hey, the crowd found everything hilarious so maybe it was just me.
It must be hard not to succumb to vulgar shock humour when you study anatomy, and Med Men mostly resisted the urge. Even a skit about tasting urine samples was well timed and funny. Nudity was restricted to a couple of necessities of choreography, including one unfortunate rendering of the Game of Thrones theme using the words ‘bum’ for the low notes and ‘boob’ for the high ones.
The night ended without any major mishaps besides a malfunctioning stripper pole (assuming it wasn’t just an impotency gag), a feat in itself. How a group of first year medicine students found the time put together something as ambitious as Med Men is beyond me.