On the day that I saw it, The Durham Revue was a victim of its own small audience. Jokes which were well formed and intelligent received little in the way of response, since there were simply not enough people in the room to create an atmosphere conducive to comedy. Admittedly, some sketches were not particularly strong, but in many cases the material warranted a larger audience.
The writers clearly have a keen eye for puns, and often find a new angle from which to view their admittedly rather prosaic comedic targets.
The performers are at their best in their shorter sketches and the largest laughs come from the one-liners. Often however, the longer sketches seem to flag, their premises not quite strong enough to carry them through. Nothing in the show feels particularly new: we are presented with jokes about champagne socialists, the pressure placed upon the children of doctors, and other similarly standard premises.
Nonetheless, there are some sharp observations. The writers clearly have a keen eye for puns, and often find a new angle from which to view their admittedly rather prosaic comedic targets. Interspersing sketches with short bursts of blaring pop music which fits the theme of a preceding sketch is a stroke of genius, and does much to preserve what atmosphere can be mustered in a room that is mostly empty chairs.
In all, there is nothing in this show which will have you in fits of laughter. But it is a solid hour of entertainment and there is some exciting fresh material here. The thing that would improve this show most would be a larger audience. So get yourself a ticket, as much for the sake of everyone else who will see it as for yourself.