Having seen Lord of the Gin (the Engineering Revue) on Thursday night, I presumed that the worst of the season was behind me (and even then, Engineering’s sense of irony made it excusable and even, often by virtue of the Twitter feed, quite entertaining). I was mistaken. Like cancer, it seems – for lack of a cure – the only solution is to utterly destroy the problem and hope there is no remission. Never again, Med Revue, for Placebo Royale was worse than cancer.
Far too few of the spoken lines were loud or articulated enough to be intelligible, but given the quality of the writing, this may have been a blessing. Of the jokes that were heard, few elicited much of a response from the audience. This is likely because every punch line could be googled, and then found within the last four month’s worth of 9gag posts. Those that were ‘originally’ written were misogynistic, crass, and all-too dependent on bodily fluids, sexual organs, and shitty euphemisms.
At one point, in an incredibly unsophisticated parody of ‘Let Me Entertain You’, it became clear that the instrumental track used as backing still had the original lyrics in it, and quite loudly. It serves as a neat analogy for the show as a whole. In every instance, the place from which the comedy had been stolen was obnoxiously apparent – between 1945 wordplay, with hospital beds replacing bases, and Carly Rae Jepsen, nothing was sacred and precious little was funny.
In the final moments, and taking a leaf out of the Gestapo’s book, the cast lined the aisles, and made it impossible to leave the theatre at what felt like the natural conclusion of the show, preserving a captive audience as they tarnished yet another fleeting Internet sensation (this time, Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ – the chorus line being insightfully twisted into ‘Sydney Med School Style’).
It says a lot about the quality of a show when balloons, streamers and confetti fall generously from the ceiling and receive nothing so much as a clap from the audience in reply.
In fact, the only thing surpassing the audience’s lack of interest was the collection of abject, miserable faces on stage.
Please, give generously to Médecins Sans Frontières, and get this cohort as far away from theatre as possible.