Sunset Eternal: conventionally unconventional
THOMAS COUGHLAN is entertained by a night of conventionally unconventional Cambridge humour.
Sunset Eternal promises an hour of stand up from a bunch of Footlights regulars — and, apart from running close to half an hour over time (hence the Eternal, I suppose), it largely delivers.
Sunset proves that it’s not too late in the day for the absurd, irreverent and, it must be said, often irrelevant brand of comedy Cambridge theatre-goers are used to. The witty social commentators and anarchically anti-establishment comedians that are so popular elsewhere don’t seem to find any place for their humour here. Sunset Eternal left me in no doubt that the Cambridge tradition, sometimes feeling like a battered and bruised Monty Python sketch by way of Fry & Laurie and Mitchell & Webb, is alive and well. It’s all about the laughs, right? By a simple measure of quantity, Sunset Eternal delivers on this score.
Theo Wethered opened with a mildly self-deprecating set, which included revelations about his relation to Anne Robinson — in case you wanted to know. Wethered struck the right, jovial, note for the evening when he ad-libbed a response to an audience member who — shock of shocks — was not a student.
Archie Henderson, possibly the evening’s stand out performer, squeezed every laugh out of his material through an impassioned performance. Apart from a brief discussion of his political apathy, his set had absolutely no grounding in reality, and was all the better for it. A line few could forget: “Like James Bond if James Bond went around putting rubber didlos in people’s ears,” was probably worth the price of admission alone.
Jordan Mitchell and Guy Emanuel offered the most innovative set, which sparked from a surreal case of impersonation based on a TFL poster that warned that its ticket inspectors will look “just like you”. Think you can guess where it’s going? So did I, but trust me, it gets weirder.
Milo Edwards rounded out the show by eking every ounce of humour from a news report of horse sex. Yes, you read that correctly. Fortunately for Edwards, there is apparently no shortage of humour in cases of man’s more amorous equine liaisons.
Sunset Eternal serves Cambridge a large helping of the brand of humour that it knows and, judging from the audience response, loves. In that capacity, sure, Sunset Eternal was a solid success. Maybe next time these clearly very talented comedians will feel comfortable enough to challenge Cambridge’s tastes.
70% 1st class, just.