I expected Science Revue, as one of the giants of the faculty revues, to deliver a solid night of formulaic sketch comedy. And it was. The two hours were an even amalgamation of politics, sexuality, and nerd and pop culture references with a consistent strike rate. Science Revue 2015 was all about delivering exactly what you expected so you walked out with a mild, bubbly smile on your face.
Directors Davis Murphy and Tim Anderson definitely took advantage of their cast’s experience as performers, putting them in scenes that required skills they already had: Luke Tisher as an abundant caricature, Bruno Dubosarsky as a sweet, full-of-heart side kick, and Tim McNaught as a big man. Declan Maher was a joy to watch in all of his sketches as a confident, comfortable performer with excellent delivery. His excitement as a schnitzel lover/seller built great tension and made the punch of a rather long, nearly silent sketch worth it. The many a Capella numbers were nice to watch and, other than the incredibly loud men v Ikea song, were good listening. Perhaps we didn’t need a full-length rendition of Beyonce’s ‘Halo’ for a single punch pun but the DnD parody of ‘Rolling in the Deep’ was definitely worth the time. Otherwise, as someone who sat in the front row, I was very disappointed in not being able to hear a single word of any of the other songs. These sketches would definitely have benefitted from subtitles, especially the opening number which sounded to me like a great instrumental piece and nothing more.
That being said, the band was great and really held its own transitional sketches. It’s always heartening to see actual engagement between a production and its band. Plus Winsome Hall looked awesome in gold lipstick.
I’d love to say something about the rather disappointing breakdown between genders in central comedic roles but, across the revue season, this is a predictable problem. The only all-women sketch was a Femi-Nazi parody that obviously had good intentions but landed a bit uncomfortably when the butt of the joke was rather unclear. Is it ironic when the only female-pedestaling sketch was an almost criticism of outspoken women or is it just a bit telling?
I left Science Revue with a clear picture of what the directors aimed to do: hit exactly the mid-line of what a revue audience can expect and do it quite well. They capitalised on cast experience and managed to make most sketches funny; what more could you want?