The Exeter Revue: Sketchup

Four students, a full house and a series of clever sketches make for a very enjoyable hour in The Exeter Revue: Sketchup. Using minimal props and costumes – a coffee cup here, a plastic crown there – these performers bring to life a fantastic and strange set of scenarios. 

Any laughter that is lost in one sketch is quickly recovered in the next.

There's a Prime Minister going to war with ‘the enemy’ by sending a message in Morse code; philosophical children on the playground; football commentators at the Christmas Day truce in the trenches of World War One; an incredibly embarrassing job interview. 

Alternating between working in pairs and as a group, the Revue prove incredibly versatile, changing from elderly people in a retirement home to small children with ease, with the strangely mature attitudes of the latter adding to the humour of that particular sketch.

This versatility, however, is not so evident in the length of the sketches; only a few are based on a brief one-liner or twist at the end, such as the wedding sketch, and most last for longer, which sometimes causes the pace of the performance to slow as the inevitable twist or conclusion is reached. 

I found that the Deal or No Deal parody in particular is somewhat overlong, but the sketch that follows – domestic tasks being addressed as political issues – more than makes up for this. This being said, unlike many sketch comedy shows, I found the majority of the sketches to be strong, with only one or two weak links, and any laughter that is lost in one sketch is quickly recovered in the next.

There's one sketch in particular in which one member of the revue acted as an auctioneer, with the others acting as bidders; what they are bidding on are emotions. Surprise, excitement, greed, a hilarious contrast between anger and patience: these and more were auctioned off. The conclusion they came to? You can’t buy love.

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Returning to Edinburgh following their five-star 2014 Fringe show Sketchy At Best, up-and-coming student sketch troupe The Exeter Revue present a hilarious new show packed-full of inventive sketches and songs. Expect daft scenarios, big characters, and witty dialogue. ‘More professional feel than any of the other student sketch shows’, ‘Verged on brilliant’, ‘They had a full house who were kept laughing throughout’ (Audience Reviews, EdfringeReview.com). ‘A comedy masterclass ... belly-laughing is unavoidable’ (Exepose). ‘Young talents whose undeniable energy is a joy to watch on stage … Superbly witty, wonderfully imaginative and marvellously clever’ ***** (Yuppee.com).

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