first night

The Durham Revue: Returner's Show

Cameron Crees sees what the Revue returners have to offer


One last hurrah for the Durham Revue. “Friends Without Benefits” was the final performance of this particular cast working as a troupe. The show was a terrific performance from these experienced faces, although I would not expect anything less. It is always possible that the reputation of the Revue and the cast members exceeds the quality of the performance resulting in disappointment. However, this collection of witty and snappy skits illuminates the prowess of each actor’s art. 


The electric energy was sparking from actor to actor, giving the show drive. Each actor applied himself or herself devotedly, giving an effortlessly fluid delivery. This was exemplified with Simon Gallow’s performance, as he dedicated himself so hilariously, he managed to crack not only the auditorium into hysterics, but also his peers on stage. Nevertheless, this wonderfully clumsy bumble did not detract from the professionalism from the troupe; an impromptu belly-bouncing moment to which Gallow’s elasticated facial expression was on a par to Mr. Bean.


Although the majority of the comedic material was a menagerie of the pacey and rib-tickling, the sporadic predictable joke disappointedly caused a cheap laugh. For example, a joke on the sexual proclivities of a priest. Not every sketch was a success but overall, many well crafted vignettes.


Elgan Alderman’s dying Yorkshire man was scintillatingly side-splitting. As was his one sentenced sketch “This year, for lent, I’ve decided to give up punch lines” and hastened to walk off stage. Alderman’s is an example of the Monty Python-esque comedy that punctually peppered the performance.


Occasionally the jokes were stagnantly unoriginal, but many jokes that could have tragically flopped turned victoriously tumescent with hilarity. You were guaranteed many moments of quality laughter during the hour-long sketch show. Although, I hope to see them on the Durham stage soon, it is a shame to see this fabulous cast go their separate ways. “Friends without benefits” is a damned good ending to a damned good era.



28 October 2013

The views expressed in the reviews and comments on this page are those of the reviewer, and are not representative of the views of DST or Durham University.
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