After a two-year hiatus Commerce Revue are back, baby – And they are at the Logies. Sitting down at my seat with Maltesers in my blazer pocket, I could feel the excitement fill the Reginald as we awaited to be starstruck by celebrities such as Bindi Irwin and Dani (Dannii) Minogue. The 2022 Commerce Revue was directed by the talented Alison Cooper and Georgia Condon and produced by the incredibly hardworking Yasmine Breeze. The team successfully directed the small, yet mighty 10-person cast, who had strong camaraderie after they defeated Zoom rehearsals, lockdown and COVID itself.
The show featured a variation of sketches from “Garfield Stand Up” to a musical number featuring the Qantas Children’s Choir. The cast should be commended on their ability to overcome the restrictive parameters of months of Zoom rehearsals, as there was an overwhelmingly high volume of well-polished and clever musical sketches and extremely strong physicality from all the actors. Another impressive feat was the cast’s ability to work together as an ensemble. In each sketch, all the actors found the correct tension and chemistry leading the pacing of the show to be excellent.
A fan favourite sketch was Jenna Lewis and Tahlia Lahor’s musical number, which explored the character’s history from friends to lovers, analysing the will-they-won’t-they that hangs over so many of our friendships. This sketch was particularly impressive as it was nuanced, being wholesome yet sexual, leading it to be very comedic. Another highlight was Lewis Ulm’s commitment to his character of the mind-reader and Alex Gillzeau’s accent work and timing as the communist mouse.
This show’s main point of difference from previous revues was its success in their high volume of AV sketches. These include Anika Bhatia’s hyper-dramatic Hello Fresh monologue to Elliot Ulm and Sophia Morrison’s imaginative STC for Children sketch. Often, AV sketches can be jarring by breaking the flow of the show, however the variation in editing styles and comedy made them to be a crowd favourite, appearing equally as polished as the on stage sketches. The directors also took a risky move by opening the show with an AV sketch over the traditional choreographed dance number – and this change worked brilliantly, building excitement among the crowd before the musical number which followed.
The only critique I have on the show is that quite a few of the sketches drew from the absurd rather than the reality. At times the punch would be hard to find due to the niche dialogue leading the audience to be somewhat confused. However, the cast’s strong commitment and hyper characterisation whilst playing worms to cats made these sketches still very enjoyable and ensured that we remained entertained. In order to appeal to a wider demographic, I think the sketches could have had more social commentary and satire. In conjunction I would have loved them to incorporate more of the theme: The Logies. As this theme in particular gave them plenty of opportunities to have fun character sketches which would have been mass appealing.
I have so much respect and admiration for the cast and crew of Commerce Revue. From the graphics to the costumes and acting, it was an outstanding success story. I highly recommend that you make an exception and for once take the two hours and tune into Australia’s most ‘iconic’ night – the Logies.