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2016 Queer Revue Review – “This show is fucking fire”

Jayce Carrano has the review

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Last year, Queer Revue was described as one of the most “genuinely hilarious works of 2015”. That cannot be said this time around… but only because it’s not 2015 anymore. Directed by Will Edwards, Queer Revue 2016 (entitled Egalité, Liberté, Firing Squad) showcases some of the most phenomenal talent in the ranks of USyd comedy.

The performance begins the moment you enter the theatre to be greeted by a kneeling prisoner and militants brandishing pink AK-47s. Then you notice the magnificent set itself: an enormous socialist throne built from more milk-crates than you’d find in the average Melbourne café.

Without spoiling too much, Cory Bernardi serves as a primary character. This was a fantastic choice – after all, Cory is the man who wrote a book called The Conservative Revolution and described a pro-queer student protest as showing a “disturbing lack of tolerance”.

The sketches hit pop culture in all the right places; touching on chain emails, Game of Thrones, Jerry Springer, and Old el Paso. Some sketches could have benefited from a tighter movement to their punchlines but most got there with good timing and left us wanting more.

While a few pieces were a little too bizarre and fell flat, most of the absurd sketches – I’m looking at you, Mike Wazowski – had everyone in stiches.

The politically charged sketches were just as funny as the others and rarely felt like a surprise sermon. One of the sassier moments poked fun at Wom*n’s Revue, whose directors had to remove a controversial sketch from their final night.

The show was raunchy, with at least one gratuitous dildo, but it shouldn’t scare off too many people (leaving aside the unwarranted claim that Jon Snow is a boring character).

The cast was diverse, well practiced and a pleasure to watch. Sometimes they delivered their lines while the audience were still in hysterics from a previous gag, but there are worse flaws than underestimating how long you need to pause for laughter.

Particular kudos goes to the wildly energetic Tom Mendes, improv aficionado Grace Franki (and her mum), bouncing stage presence Harriet Jane and a brilliantly versatile Tim Doran. Credit is also due to Harry Winsome for perfectly delivering the saddest and funniest line of the whole show.

The big finale had more twists than an episode of House of Cards and involved Lizzy Blower giving a rousing version of “I Will Survive”. My only criticism here is that the singing and whirlwind choreography made me wish there were more musical performances throughout the night.

Arise ye workers from your slumbers, arise ye prisoners of desire, applause for Queer Revue still thunders, this show is fucking fire.