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We Made A Funny - Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Steve Bennett

The two most depressing words in comedy are not ‘Horne’ and ‘Corden’, but ‘student’ and ‘revue’. It’s therefore a huge relief to discover that this late-night sketch show by the Bristol Revunions is not only ‘not rubbish’ but occasionally rather brilliant.

There are some scenes in We Made A Funny that wouldn’t be out of place from a much more experienced group, especially some of the nifty quickies that cover the scene changes.

They don’t have a distinctive overarching style, simply whatever the five men and three women of the cast have decided is funny – and their comedy antennae are well-tuned.

A few ideas repeat: but as unexpected callbacks, rather than because they are labouring the point, and the best running gag brilliantly plays with the audience’s anticipation of the punchline in the tantalising closing episode.

One recurring scene involves the couple wallowing in Christmas Day misery, trying to make the most of their crippling despair by playing party games with ill-disguised contempt for each other. The actors here capture the agonising tension as if it were Pinter.

Witty wordplay is in evidence in scenes such as the Apprentice interview and the line-up of numbers, while the old salt going on Mastermind with the specialist subject ‘answering questions in songs’ and Seven Dwarfs who are, ahem, ‘grumpy’, at their monikers is entertainingly silly.

Some sketches pull the average down: they are not the first to imagine how video-game characters would act in the real world, while the bitter teacher taking out on her primary class seems obvious.

But overall this is an assured showcase from a student troupe that hasn’t been seen on the Fringe for 31 years. Let’s hope they don’t leave it so long next time.

Review date: 21 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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