Funny, well crafted sketches? A geuninely endearing cast? Satirising rather than celebrating misogyny ? This is not the Med Revue I know and usually hate.
Pulse Fiction was mostly delightful, often brilliant. Driven by a battery of skits that ranged from the incredibly clever to the very very dumb (I truly mean this as a compliment – a sketch about Curtin University Medical Society, aka CUMsoc was just *kisses fingers like Italians in pasta ads*), the show effortlessly glided along for two enchating hours. The sketch about a doctor prepping for a prostate exam was a masterclass in suspense, escalation and subversion – reflective of a production that was carefully and cleverly thought out. The recurring characters (one of whom was a ‘cum-raptor’ which is hands down my favourite revue character of all time) were used expertly (which is admittedly an odd word to describe a ‘cum-raptor) and the ability of the writers to transform the standard Med Revue tropes into fresh, funny skits was really impressive.
Too many sketches progressed unnecessarily beyond the punchline and the political satire was pretty dire but all in all, there were more than enough great sketches to keep the show chugging along nicely.
The band wasn’t the most technically impressive, and the song choices were a bit lacklustre but they were full of energy and the bandmaster played a bassoon which he kept air-fucking so who the hell am I to bad-mouth them? Likewise, the musical numbers weren’t particulalry funny (with the exception of the RENT parody about stealing patients’ blood), and too safe – but they chose big, bold tunes (Lion King, Mulan, Queen etc) which had enough oomph to keep you interested.
The whole cast were committed, endearing, with solid comic chops (also, wtf was it a cast requirement for all the dudes to be jacked as hell?), but special mentions must go to Gabriel Gurieff and Emily Jenkins who had the audience in the palm of their hands every time they were on stage.
The directors Will Cook, Chinthuran Thilgararajan and Nelson Martoo have steered one of Sydney University’s oldest traditions back towards the light and should be incredibly proud of the intelligent, playful and genuinely loveable show they produced.