Review: Some Funny

Finally, a great student-written comedy show in Oxford.


Oxford can boast a comedy scene that has been home to alumni such as Rowan Atkinson, Stewart Lee and Al Murray. But looking at the university’s current comedy offerings in the form of the Revue and Imps, you’d be forgiven for thinking its a scene that’s beginning to look a bit stale. 

some funny

There’s little the Imps haven’t rapped about, and even fewer innuendoes that the Revue has yet to snigger over. It can often seem like students’ comedic energies are solely focused on bitchy come backs in the facebook group Overheard at Oxford Uni.

So when I went to the latest comedy offering, Some Funny at the Burton Taylor Studio this weekend, I wasn’t exactly quivering with anticipation at the idea of yet another Oxford comedy show. Leaving the theatre, however, my faith was restored. Oxford seems to have finally gotten over its dry spell and is back to producing comedy gold.

The show is written and directed by Will Hislop and Barney Fishwick. The duo star in a series of sketches alongside Kieran Ahern, Phoebe Hames and Barney Iley as The Buttless Chaps. Over the course of the evening, the cast delivered a catalogue of twenty four sketches with relentless energy and flawless production. The show flitted from witch hunts to the moon and online forums with break neck speed.

Highlights included an imagining of children’s classics remade by Tarantino, a satire on the misogyny of James Bond Dr No Means Yes, and hyperactive period dramas- Downtown Abbey ADHD. Interspersed throughout the sketches were musical numbers including the highlight ‘How I Met Your Mothers’, a cabaret number from Henry VIII.

A number of the performers have also made previous appearances at the Revue’s fortnightly variety showcase, Audrey, however their performances for Some Funny suggest Hislop and Fishwick’s direction draws out their best.

Rarely for a student show, no weak sketches let the set down: the evening was solid throughout. Hislop and Fishwick show clear promise as writers and performers. Kieran Ahern and Phoebe Hames put in great performances, whilst Barney Iley deserves particular mention for his performance on the night.

This perhaps goes to show that the best places to look for emerging talent are not always the most obvious or the established comedy troupes. The Oxford comedy scene isn’t quite dead yet.