The Good, the Bad and the Morally Ambiguous

There were many moments in this show where I really wanted to enjoy it. The sketch show often used clever concepts, but consistently failed to pull them off or make them funny in the slightest. Furthermore, the ‘Western’ reference of the title is bizarre, as there is only a single sketch that makes any reference to the Wild West and even this is particularly laboured, over-using the Will Smith song ‘Wild Wild West’.

Of the four-strong sketch troupe from Sheffield, one proved herself as a talented actress, consistently outperforming everyone else in the group. However, the material was all puerile, with many sketches reaching their conclusion having failed to make any kind of sense, let alone make me laugh. My favourite sketch was a cleverly-done horse racing commentary, using funny names for the horses. However, this was so rushed that jokes zoomed by without allowing us time to appreciate them.

Other sketches could be similarly clever but lack any jokes whatsoever: for example, one of the final sketches, seeing the Teletubbies as freedom-fighters in a post-revolution world, was a potentially interesting concept, but was poorly done. To top it all off they used the Teletubby Lala to travel back in time and change all the sketches, repeating all of the sketches which were unfunny enough the first time round. This idea seemed inexplicable - it was never clear why all of these sketches needed to be changed, or how a Teletubby travelling back in time would make things change in this way. This was undoubtedly supposed to be a reference to the butterfly effect sketch, but the links were so tenuous as to make it pointless. Furthermore, it ended on an extremely poor joke, finally making reference to the Wild West once again, but in a gratuitous way.

It is frustrating that there were good ideas in this show. Perhaps if some of these had been workshopped further, or even thought through in a logical manner, some of these sketches could have been successful. As it was, the show was aggravatingly misjudged.

Reviews by Carys Evans

The Battersea Barge

I Love You You're Perfect Now Change

★★★
The Crazy Coqs Cabaret & Jazz Club

Ray Shell - Back To Black II

★★★
Camden People's Theatre

The Forensics of a Flat (and other stories)

★★★
Leicester Square Theatre / THE LONDON THEATRE - New Cross

Jo Burke: Burke Shire

★★★
St James Theatre

Urinetown: The Musical

★★★★

Back To Black

★★★★

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Performances

The Blurb

After success at the Camden Fringe 2012, The Sheffield Revue brings sprightly characters and western themes to Edinburgh with sketch comedy that’s: 'In equal parts erudite and daft’ (Viewfromthegods.com).

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