Nora Gunn gives us her thoughts on the Bristol Revunions’ triumphant homecoming performance.
Fast-paced, dynamic and entirely bonkers, the Bristol Revunions‘ performance provides a masterclass in student sketch comedy. The night is comprised of the Revunions’ most successful sketches from two separate shows, Glass and Walnut, which were created for the Edinburgh Fringe this August.
Performed to a packed audience in the Student Union’s Winston Theatre, the show begins with a botched dance number that embodies the idiom ‘the show must go on’. Whoever invented the saying that ‘all the best things in life are free’ had definitely just come from a showing of Glassnut.
‘A brilliantly pretentious mockery of pretentiousness’
Even with very few props- just two chairs and the occasional hat- the troupe fills the stage with their energy. Sketches range from poking fun at political radio chat-shows to a focus on hand-dryers, each one with its own surreal twist.
‘Ever wondered what it would be like to live inside of a video game? Revunions did’
I’m sure most of the audience are still laughing at the Revunions’ wonderful interpretation of the Monopoly Man, and their recreation of a fabulously camp campfire. Ever wondered what it would be like to live inside of a video game? Revunions did- and their exposé of the harrowing plight of Wii boxing’s unfortunate characters costs the game its status as peaceful after-school diversion.
The atmosphere created on stage bounces through the audience, with every joke landing perfectly into the welcoming arms of roaring laughter. The cast perform confidently and the timing of their jokes never fails to impress, while their use of physical comedy is well thought out and perfectly choreographed. Although the scenes move quickly, with just a few seconds between each sketch, the effect is never overwhelming. In fact, it simply leaves the audience wanting more. Indeed, my only criticism would be that the sketches aren’t on for long enough!
— Present & Correct (@presentNcorrect) August 15, 2017
Not even the Bard himself is safe from the Revunions, as they de-sanctify a canonical cornerstone with their re-imagining of an educational assembly from the Royal Shakespeare Company. In a brilliantly pretentious mockery of pretentiousness, this sketch embodies the troupe’s enigmatic and paradoxical sense of humour. In fact, no work in the entirety of English literary history is safe- even the much-loved Cinderella is turned on its head. In the Revunions’ surreal reworking, the Prince Charming’s pedantic foot-fetishizing request lands him the bride of no-one’s dreams.
It’s refreshing to spend an hour with those who see clearly that the things we consider ordinary are in fact completely ridiculous. It’s even more enjoyable to watch as these ideas are re-imagined on stage. Despite completely ruining Cinderella for me forever, I will be keeping an eye out for Revunions’ future shows. I very much doubt that they will disappoint.
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