Every year, an unpredictable team of first-year Medicine students is charged with the responsibility of producing Med Revue, in what one might call tradition or just a forced bonding exercise. As such, past Med Revues have not built up any high expectations for their successors, relying too often on the uninspiring and easily accessible format of racist and sexist jokes. Thankfully, this year’s Med Revue does a little more than just that.
Snow White and the Seven Dollar Copayment starts with a whimper and ends with a bang. The jokes of Med Revue are not groundbreaking. There are a lot of puns and hit-and-miss medical references, and the premature delivery of punch lines makes the skits drag a little too long. By the third shirtless reference to 300, the audience almost expects to groan to the play on words to Sparta (“This is Barter! / This is Frittata!”).
Where the first act fails to provoke more than a sleepy response through its insipid humour, the second act unexpectedly redeems the show. The energy picks up with the delivery of strong song-and-dance acts that carve their way through the night with crafty, subversive humour. The choreography is exceptional, with the occasional tap dancing and synchronized moves that manage to make the cast look like professional ballerinas in a standout rendition of Swan Lake. A version of Avicii’s ‘Hey Brother’ displays radiant costumes that tempt the audience to relive a game of Mario Bros, and the sperm race in Enrique Iglesias’ ‘Tonight I’m fertilising you’ is amusingly intervened by one female rapper dressed as the Pill. The band also provides musical relief throughout the skits with melodious tunes.
The recurring character of Copayment Man, clad in a blinding bright gold spandex suit, is cleverly employed to point out the obvious shortcomings of Abbott’s healthcare reforms. The only exception to this is the offensive reference to Chinese people as “stupid Communists,” something that could’ve been easily salvaged by even a mild sense of racial awareness. But then again, political correctness seems to be a weakness, if not a blind spot, for most Med Revues.