Udderday Night Live
The Veterinary Revue is a strange beast of a performance that takes place as part of the annual Camden Weekender. The weekender, for the uninitiated, is an event where a couple hundred vet students, staff and friends flock to a field at Sydney University’s Camden campus to get themselves inebriated and take part in a series of wild games. At the end of the day on Saturday night everyone gathers around excitedly to sit on bales of hay in front of an outdoor stage in anticipation for the main event, Vet Revue.
The revue, Udderday Night Live, was a brilliant hodgepodge of music parodies; jokes about lube and anal juice; and unbelievably good puns – see: the heartbreaking poem “10 Things I Hate About Ewe”. In that sense, it isn’t all that different from Vet Revues past, but that isn’t a problem. To me, it seems the show’s success lies in its familiarity.
A lot of the show was rooted in the vet school environment with references to teachers and veterinary concepts. These were things that definitely could’ve been lost on the non-vets in the audience, and in a couple of sketches, they were. But for the most part, the show remained highly accessible without sacrificing its hilarious specificity. A fantastic recurring sketch which hypothesised about the goings-on of a notoriously hard to reach placement office – “quick everyone! The floor is lava!” – is a testament to this. Another sketch, “The Bachelo-Vette” cleverly poked fun at gender imbalance in the degree.
While the show boasted many strong elements the choreography was a highlight. The Grease Megamix – with songs renamed Yeast Lightning and You’re the Vet That I Want – despite being a generally overdone performance piece, was great, primarily because the choreography was a treat to watch.
Technical failures were the show’s biggest shortcoming. The projector going dead halfway through a video skit and mics giving out questionable levels of audio throughout the show did not make for a wholly enjoyable performance.
But perfection and high production value is not what I think Vet Revue is. From what I can tell, the Revue is inseparable from the weekender itself – it’s part of a multifaceted, fully immersive experience. Vet Revue is going from knowing no one to having people tell you about the time they got pig ejaculate on their face as you stand in line for a sausage. Vet Revue is cheering after every sketch just because it’s great to be there. Vet Revue is watching the show on a hay bale next to a giant Great Dane. Vet Revue is stories about weird placements and rotating pig erections. Vet Revue is the drunk guy on the floor who held my legs and kept telling me how nice my jeans were.
The show ends in trademark veterinary school fashion, with an incredibly hot strip session. Girls in labcoats and lingerie and boys in tear away pants tear up the stage and make the crowd go wild to the tunes of ‘Drunk in Love’ and Ginuwine’s ‘Pony’. Again, the choreography is excellent and the energy of every single person on and off stage encapsulates exactly just what Vet Revue is about.
I made the unfortunate mistake of coming primarily for the revue, missing some of the day’s earlier activities including lube wrestling and not preparing a tent in order to sleep over – a mistake I don’t plan on repeating next time.
I highly recommend you make some time to experience the whole Camden Weekender – bring a tent, meet new friends and enjoy Vet Revue. There are very few revues I know where you get the chance to sit next to a Great Dane.
Editor’s Notes: I made the mistake of editing this review over breakfast and read the words “anal juice” as I was biting into my watermelon. Never again. Do not eat while reading about “anal juice”.