Review: ‘Election’

Image: Joel Moore- The Revue

After a self-proclaimed “hiatus” the St Andrews Revue returned to the stage this week at the Barron Theatre. Known for their satire, particularly pieces such as The Wolf of South Street, the Revue have been somewhat distant from the theatre line-up for the past semester. Their new show Election began with an attempted explanation as to why this had occurred. They may have murdered a member; they may have a member missing- who really knows?

The general theme of the evening seemed to be making fun of themselves as individuals and as a group. Many have often wondered what exactly the Revue is. Part straight sketch show, part satire and probably part improvisation, it can often be difficult to discern exactly what they are, but then, that is perhaps part of the fun.

The Revue has certainly been missed with the Barron close to capacity on both evenings and laughter plentiful. The general premise of the show was to elect a new president for the 2017 year. Naturally, within general comedy structures, there was a reason why none of the candidates could be elected, Cody looking too much like a genie and Carla due to “the incident.” While this was amusing the first time, by the time we got to the third mention without any idea of what was being referred to, this joke was tiring.

The Revue has three new members this year, numbering a total of five. While the new members may be less experienced, it would have been nice to see them on stage more. Veteran members Cody Dahler and Joe Viner had significantly more stage time than the others, and while their sketches were humorous it seemed disproportionate.

The last time St Andrews saw the Revue in a full-scale show was in last year’s On the Rocks Festival when they produced a perfectly written and incredibly technically skilled show Loop. This show was taken to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year as well. Following on from that was always going to be difficult and sadly, Election did not quite deliver, with slightly mistimed technical moments and some very cheap jokes.

However, the audience spent a great deal of the show time laughing over sketches involving shepherds, a “Where’s Wally” self-help group and the token Nazi insert sketch. The show was outlandish, high energy, and well prepared. Props were well used and varied, with costume changes also being used to advantage to distinguish different characters. The show did have a homemade feel to it, though that could not have been anything but intentional. Sadly, the theme of election lent itself to many political sketches that in the current climate were surprisingly lacking.

It would be safe to say that the original premise of election was not achieved, with the spinning bottle due to make the decision ending up in the dark void underneath the Barron seating rack. The end of the show was especially abrupt and seemed somewhat incomplete. However, maybe this was a cliffhanger designed to lead into the Revue’s On the Rocks show. We will just have to wait until April to find out…

3 stars


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