Being a cast member of another revue has meant that I have seen a lot of this year’s revue season. They all have a few things in common; they’re in the Seymour centre, they run for a few nights at the end of the week, people’s parents come to see the show, and they have fancy programmes on glossy paper.
Engineering revue is a one-night affair at Manning. I’d never been before, but I’d heard it was a great chance to get pissed and heckle completely naked strangers. Sounds awesome.
We turned up right on 7:30, only to find most of the best seats were taken. We took a seat on the edge, where the curtain marred our view of the live twitter feed (“tweet your heckles!”), causing much frustration and many heckles (the verbal ones) before the show even started.
The revue itself was pretty terrible, as I expected. Some kind of loose Lord of the Rings parody about how Engineering students now like gin more than beer? I don’t know. I couldn’t hear much over the sound of people yelling. I did like Frodo’s hairy feet though, thanks to the tweeter that alerted me to them.
As predicted, most of the jokes (that I could hear) involved alcohol, and were sexist, racist and/or homophobic. The live tweets were no exception, largely thanks to “@CommRevueRulz”. I get that comedy is about parody and pushing boundaries, but for it to work you actually have to be funny. Oh, and you also have to not steal sketches from other revues.
The songs were mostly well written, with the One Direction parody “Only Girl in Civil” a highlight. The double-tribute to the Royal was boring, and it would help if the engineers could a) hold a tune, and b) remember the lyrics to the songs they’ve written. Having them on screen really only works when that’s what you say.
The best part of the show was the parody of the Hitler’s Downfall video about the engineering societies. The timing was fantastic, and it was actually quite funny. And the nudity was pretty great too.
Despite (or perhaps because) of all its faults, I had a fantastic time at the revue. There’s something to be said for heckling at naked people while you down a cider on a Thursday evening. I just hope that next year they manage to focus on something other than beer or the fact they haven’t been laid in a long time.