There were a number of genuinely funny moments in this year’s Education Revue, Waiting for Gonski: Lachlan Burn’s pseudo-Marxist-feminist-anarchist reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar; Zara Stanton’s ukulele rendition of ‘The Bare Necessities’; and a chorus of plastic-aproned tuckshop ladies breaking down to Ke$ha’s noughties nightclub classic, ‘TiK ToK’.
But, unfortunately, it seems that this year’s directors weren’t kidding when they described themselves as “clutching at an ever-diminishing stockpile of school-related humour” in their promotional material. Every genuine laugh that Ed Revue elicited was preceded-and succeeded by long stretches of awkward (occasionally squirm-inducing) silence, sporadically punctuated with heckles from a number of intoxicated Union Board directors. A lot of the skits took far too long to crawl towards their punchlines, and even more tried to stretch vaguely funny jokes far further than they were capable of sustaining. A potentially funny one-liner about being “saved by the bell”, for example, was dragged out into a three minute miniature soap opera that still only had one funny line, while an attempted Backstreet Boys spoof made the wannabe satirists look even sillier than their subjects. Meanwhile, a skit about Redfern station was poorly executed and had some (possibly inadvertent) dubious race and class connotations.
To give credit where credit is due: the set design was elegant and striking, the tech crew did well, and the song-and-dance numbers were enthusiastically, energetically executed.
Overall, these future teachers still need some schooling in the fine art of live comedy; an A for obvious effort, but a pretty average mark for the stuff that really matters.