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    New term, new Audrey

    Just before Hilary term comes crashing down on us like a ton of disillusioned first years, we get our first glimpse at the comedic salvation that will be on offer for our weary and work-worn selves in later weeks. The first Audrey of term offered sketches, stand-up and songs, and if you missed your chance this time, fortuitously we are able to give you all the inside information, as well as hints of what to expect at later Audreys and in one-off shows from the Revue.

    There are plenty of familiar faces, with Georgia Bruce, Will Hislop, David Meredith, Jack Chisnall and Barney Fishwick putting in predictably strong performances, but their contributions are balanced by other equally capable comics at varying stages of their careers, from seasoned performers to relative newcomers.

    The sketch comedy is, on the whole, stronger than the stand up, and provokes bigger laughs from the audience. This might be in part due to the change of venue to the Old Fire Station, where the more theatrical atmosphere gels more easily with the sketch comedy that is the Revue’s forte . This isn’t to say there aren’t some great solo performances – I can’t truthfully find fault with anyone who, as George McGoldrick does, tells me a whimsical, Gruffalo-inspired story about the deep web – but what’s notable about the successes is the ways in which they push the limits of what you might expect from traditional stand up, one example being Alex Fox’s guffaw-inducing piece about a dysfunctional upper class family in which he plays, well, everyone. As well as offering us something new, these examples also seem to fit with more ease into the Audrey format, possibly due to their more sketch-like, less traditional, nature.

    The show is almost exclusively new material, which, whilst conceivably disappointing for anyone who has a favourite sketch, must overall be seen as a massive point in the Revue’s favour, as it demonstrates that comedic invention is in far from short supply. There’s also something for every sense of humour, ranging from the surreal, to the observational, to the satirical – there’s a fantastic #notallmen sketch which earned some enthusiastic woops from women in the audience.

    As far as I could tell from my subjective experience of events, the audience seemed to be having a wonderful time, everyone finding this early offering from Oxford’s comedians as side-splittingly enjoyable as their previous endeavours.

    Based on the initial signs, the comedy forecast for Hilary term looks exceptionally good – great news in this most grey and miserable of academic seasons – and if you haven’t had the chance to experience the Revue in action before, I’d definitely recommend it, although make sure to get in early – there weren’t any tickets available on the door at the point I arrived, and people were being turned away.

    Historically, the Footlights might have had more of the fame, but with the talent of the current Revue members, I honestly would not be surprised if that were to change some time in the near future.

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