The Medics’ Revue: The Fantastic Forceps
Delivered with charming enthusiasm, alas, the Medics’ Revue is neither confidently nerdy nor cool enough for TABATHA LEGGETT.
Queens’ College Fitzpatrick Hall, 9-12th March, 11pm, £4-5
Photos by James Polyblank
The Fantastic Forceps was, in parts, mildly amusing. I smiled and giggled throughout maybe half of the show, but never properly laughed. The first note I scribbled down last night pretty much sums up the evening: ‘Charmingly awkward?’ But then I crossed it out and replaced it with: ‘CRINGE.’ And that’s exactly what it was. Parts were fairly well written, but other parts were hugely amateur and under rehearsed.
Most of the sketches were utterly predictable. In what I assume was an attempt to show the world that medics ARE normal students who DO go to Cindies, and CERTAINLY do have sex, all clichés were covered. There was a very bland student protest sketch, which was interrupted by a few moderately distasteful Charlie Gilmour jokes. Very 2010. There was a sketch about the bagging area in Sainsbury’s, and a quip about a scary supervisor. And there were sex jokes aplenty. Hardly riveting material.
The problem was that the material wasn’t risky enough to shock the audience, and yet it wasn’t safe enough to appeal to childish humour. Unfortunately, the result of this was that the material of the show toed the line between bland and distinctly average. And that’s never a good line to toe.
The attention to detail was where weakness showed most conspicuously. Cues were missed and, in the final sketch, lines were forgotten. The music playing in between sketches was nowhere near loud or current enough.
Whilst the show did contain a few well-written jokes, the performers didn’t seem confident enough to pull off gags about flashers and porn directors. On the other hand, the Harry Potter and Batman jokes were just too nerdy. The ideas were there, but the execution of these ideas was simply below par: although an M&S remake of Rihanna’s S&M sounds hilarious on paper, it just didn’t work. The music drowned out the singing, and the singing verged on devastatingly painful. I’m not exaggerating.
The performers must be commended for their enthusiasm, however. Even when their punch lines were delivered to an unresponsive audience, they carried on without losing heart. I assume this was a first attempt at a sketch show for most of the cast, and it was a good first attempt. I’m sure that after first night nerves are overcome, this show will get better by at least half a star, and the comedians genuinely do have potential to be very funny in the future.