The Happiest Revue: Orange is the New Blackboard, the 2015 Education Revue

Emma Balfour might just send her kids to school after all

Emma Balfour might just send her kids to school after all

The Education and Social Work Revue takes out the prize for Best Pun Title with Orange is the New Blackboard but it also takes out the prize for Happiest Revue. It was nothing but cheerful, adorable sketches about characters that were played earnestly and with so much joy. Every single castmember was having the time of their life—and that really sold the show. There were a lot of sketches with silly punchlines that would have been grating were they not been performed by that cast. There was nothing smug or presumptuous or self-conscious about this show; Education Revue taught me how to love simple, fun sketch comedy again.

Stand-outs this year were the best Shrödinger’s Cat sketch I’ve seen, a fun bit about the four micropigs of the apocalypse, a great Animorphs sketch, and a scene where the whole stage was inundated with robots asking the customer to please place item in the bagging area. Shakespeare, George R R Martin, and God all killed extra characters out of frustration at their fans, Batman’s sexy Robin did a sensuous bend and snap, and the band played a mashup of Sandstorm and Never Gonna Give You Up and looked damned pleased with themselves as they did it.

The revue got slightly edgier with a recurring kindergartener running for student representative who continually complained that “the other candidate didn’t even cost that”—clearly producer Cameron Caccamo’s well of bitterness at the state of Sydney student politics isn’t running dry any time soon. A strange but sweet moment punctuated the show when a castmember sang an earnest song in dedication to her dog, complete with modern dancers and a slideshow of the dog. I asked the head writer for an explanation: the dog, I was told, was a really great dog. But the best sketch of the night ended on the punchline “Axe Body Spray: for when you accidentally treat a woman like a person,” and that ought to be enough to inspire FOMO.

I had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs at Education Revue. It really made me glad that its cast will one day be teachers.