On a chilly Tuesday evening I settled down in the Old Fire Station eager for a night of entertainment from some of the best names in student comedy; the Oxford Revue, Cambridge Footlights and the UCL Graters. The venue was a great choice, providing an intimate setting perfect for comedy.
The lights dimmed and the performance began with the energetic, barefoot compere, Joël Stanley, emerging from behind the curtain. He engaged the audience with a haunting tale of attending the very same theatre in his childhood, setting the mood for the next two hours of comedy. Joël was a great compere, really keeping the audience on board throughout the night.
The first sketch group of the night were the UCL Graters, composed of a mixed group of six performers. Their act included a diverse array of sketches, many highlighting topical issues such as climate change. My personal highlights included death of a troublesome garden centre slug and a manic and seemingly murderous wife returning home to her submissive husband with the weekly shop.
Next up were the infamous Cambridge Footlights, a group of four women who won the crowd over straight away, each performer entering the stage as a different font, including a prosecco and Poldark loving ‘Curlz MT’ and an opera teacher at a failing sixth form ‘Lucinda Handwriting’. Again, this was another performance with a lot of variety. I particularly enjoyed a sketch about the perils of finding student housing. The atmosphere of the audience demonstrated how engaged they were with the performance and they really kept the energy up with the clever use of music between each of the sketches.
After a short interval it was time for the headline act of the night, the Oxford Revue, who were another gifted group of six with an impressive range of sketches. One particular theme running throughout their act was the exploration of the flaws and motivations behind some well-loved characters, from the evil mastermind Mickey Mouse to the work-life balance of Harry Potter. This group also had an impressive knack for accents. The crowd and I particularly enjoyed a genius Ryanair sketch and a dinner party with an ethically sourced cheeseboard. Overall, for me the performer of the night was Molly Chambers from the Oxford Revue, who really won the crowd over with her incredible accents that had the audience sniggering away.
In summary it was an evening well spent (even if I did miss out on pancakes!), and I would thoroughly recommend you attended their second show and if not catch them next time they are in town. Although Wednesday’s performance will also include the incredibly talented Oxford Revue, there will be two different accompanying acts (the Durham Revue and Bristol Revunions), and it is certain that many of these performers will go on to bright comedic futures similar to the likes of their impressive alumni. Throughout the night, it was easy to forget these performers were all mere students, given the amount of preparation and skill required to put these performances together. Needless to say, the future of comedy is in safe hands!