Veritable veterans of the Fringe, NewsRevue return with their unique whirlwind tour of the last year’s current affairs. As the turnover of actors and writers is even faster than that of the politicians they deride, one might expect that some troupes would be wide off the mark and as a result, that the act might flounder. However, this simply isn’t the case. By my estimation, they manage to perform 36 sketches in under an hour, which is in itself impressive. What’s even more admirable is that, in roasting everything from the Pope to Jordan’s lady garden (an unfortunate turn of phrase, I grant you), the hit rate of the sketches is near flawless, bridging the gap seamlessly between tattle and real, biting satire. The fleeting occasions when there is a hint of a tanking joke, the actors are skilled enough to whip the carpet from beneath the audience’s feet and glide on to the next sketch in the full knowledge that the peerless writing guarantees a laugh around the corner.
To suggest that NewsRevue are solely interested in laughs, though, would be folly. Theirs is a comedy with an agenda of holding the rich and powerful to account. More than this there is a wonderful refusal to take any prisoners. References to Anders Breivik and Kate McCann constitute some of the darker moments of the hour but there is no sense of their allusions being unnecessary or gratuitous. While some sketches should soon be consigned to the archives, the overwhelming majority of the show is militantly fresh. In all, NewsRevue deserves its awesome reputation and is unmissable for current affairs aficionados and general punters alike.
Reviewed by William Summerlin
August 12, 2011
Year after year it happens. Year after year it is up there with the best Fringe shows. Year after year thousands of fans flock to see the latest version of this must see production and this year is no exception.
The premise is simple, 4 actors, this year Gabriella Best, Stephen Leask, Kerry Gooderson and Brendan Murphy are the extremely talented and versatile performers, add some quality writing, and spoof songs, fast and furious direction and a MD, Christopher Peake this year and the recipe is complete for an hour of top class comedy entertainment.
Nobody escapes, be it politicians, ‘A listers’ ‘C Listers’ royalty and sports stars all are fair game and it is definitely open season.
It is impossible to pick out a favourite moment, it was all quality stuff, but I have to admit my liking for spoof songs, and there are these a plenty.
Always this show is a hot ticket and it seems even more so than usual this year. Don’t delay.
Reviewed by Geoff one4review
NewsRevue is back with a vengeance. Restoring the balance, this hour-long song and sketch show continues the much-needed public service it has provided since 1979: lampooning those with power and privilege through the medium of merciless satire. No one who has been in the public eye over the past year is safe from criticism, and politicians and celebrities alike come under fire in a fast-paced barrage of sketches which are the antithesis of political correctness and the exemplar of hilarity.
Judging by the gleeful reaction of the NewsRevue audience to the public figure pogrom laid on for their viewing delectation, if success doesn’t breed contempt it certainly breeds a strong desire to see those who’ve “made it” being symbolically skewered on stage. For the most part however, those subjected to ridicule through skilfully crafted skits more than deserve their fate, and to the audience’s great pleasure, the likes of Silvio Berlusconi, Colonel Gadhafi, Nick Clegg and Rebekah Brooks get a thorough roasting.
It’s certainly vulgar at times, but this is no bad thing. The odd sketch about Jordan bringing out a new flavour of Walkers inspired by the taste of her vagina (best of luck with that advert Mr Lineker) is funny precisely because it’s so base. In the main however, the sketches are far from obvious and well-devised musical numbers featuring bastardised versions of pop songs make socially astute observations which resonate well with the audience.
Well written and well delivered, this year’s NewsRevue demonstrates the consistency it may have lacked in previous years, and is funny from start to finish.
BY MATTHEW MACAULAY | PUBLISHED 21 AUGUST 2011 Fest
It has been a highly varied year for news stories, so the team behind NewsRevue had a lot of inspiration for their new show; although I knew that a few months ago after I overheard the director discussing it on the phone. That’s right, unsurprisingly the recent News International phone hacking scandal was a major feature of this year’s NewsRevue, but it was presented hilariously, especially in the final musical medley which included parodies of both Journey in ‘Anyway she wants it, that’s the way you read it’ and Take That in ‘Never forget where you got it from’.
It was clear that a lot of research and planning went into the creation of this show, including some genius lyrics and witty short sketches on a huge number of topics ranging from the Pope singing ‘Bareback Necessities’ to a restaurant-style take on the Alternative Vote. The highlight of the show for me was ‘House of One’ – a take on the Madness hit ‘House of Fun’ but adapted to feature the Queen and Kate Middleton…it’s too funny to explain, so go see NewsRevue! The only downside to this show is that the format gets slightly predictable – each sketch is still very different and very funny, but in many cases, as soon as the characters are presented you can start to guess at what’s about to play out.
All of the four performers were equally talented, giving energy, conviction and great vocal ability to the sketches. Equally, the audience was entertained throughout although not quite as far hysterics, but it is clear that this show is a crowd-pleaser. However, I would suggest that those easily offended; any Libyans, David Cameron, News International (former) employees or relatives of the McCanns should probably think twice before going to see NewsRevue.