After the mass cancellations of 2020, Womn’s Revue was back with a bang on Wednesday night. The energy in Reginald Theatre was high with anticipation before the opening number, which broke out in style complete with high ponies, pastels and Tamagotchis on a set straight out of 90s birthday dreams. In the opening song and dance, Womn’s Revue promised us a very ‘noughty new year.’
The comedy started subtle and simple, gradually becoming more daring. The performers weren’t afraid to sometimes get gross, and the appearance of toilet humour was an oddly refreshing aspect of the show, done in a way that didn’t feel cheap.
Sketches featuring the Neighbours boardroom, Y2K panic and flip phones all tapped into the nostalgic theme of the night. Womn’s Revue acknowledged the irony of this sentimental longing for a decade that most performers and audience members barely experienced. Perhaps that was why the highlights of the show focused on topical issues, transporting the audience to Bindi Irwin’s delivery room, the set of Riverdale, a guided tour of Circular Quay and Queen Elizabeth’s new Youtube channel. At times, the rhythm of the show seemed to go completely off the deep end, like in the ode to communism before intermission, but the confidence of some clearly veteran performers kept the audience right alongside them.
The millennium New Year’s Eve theme could’ve been better woven into the show, as each reference to the midnight countdown functioned less like a theatrical motif and more as a jarring reminder of the theme itself. The reciprocal energy that Womn’s Revue established with the audience could’ve been better harnessed so as to truly sweep us back in time and feel part of a real party. Nevertheless, this dynamic invigorated the later performances in particular, as the audience reacted with love and support even during the flatter sketches. Particular props should also go to the choreography, which was well-organised without coming off as too polished.
After a long break, Womn’s Revue 2021 offered a sweet, carefree night that celebrated bold performance and comic ability, at just the time in the semester when we all needed it. The costumes, writing and sketch sequencing showed evidence of the care and attention that went into putting this delightful show together. This was my first Womn’s Revue — it won’t be my last.