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NewsRevue (HMS Unthinkable) Edinburgh Fringe

Has it finally happened? Has a Fringe edition of NewsRevue proven to be no more or less funny than staying at home and watching the news? Not quite, although some of the sketches were simply unamusing. None were offensive – perhaps it might have been a bit more riveting if one or two were, which sounds an odd thing to say in this day and age, but maybe it’s just that the current Government’s approach to pretty much anything either might be offensive if it wasn’t true, or is already offensive such that a sketch show making light of it fails to offend any further.

NewRevue, credit to Ross McGivern.
NewRevue, credit to Ross McGivern.

A scene involving a PR company attempting to salvage, or rather resurrect from the dead, the television career of Philip Schofield was overlong, as was a subsequent one involving Nicola Sturgeon. Elsewhere, it must be rather difficult lampooning politicians without turning a comedy into an angry rant, and this show covers most bases. I’m not sure what members of the Green Party would think of being omitted from an ensemble number about various politicians of various party colours – maybe there’s a compliment in not being included in a roll call of vacuous and ineffective parliamentarians.

To be fair, there were some utterly hilarious musical parody numbers, in particular, ‘Empty Trains at Empty Stations’, sung by RMT union leader ‘Mick Lynch’ (inverted commas mine), and ‘Poo River’, to the tune of ‘Moon River’, about Thames Water sewage discharges. One of the cast members, Freddie Walker, was indisposed at the performance I attended, his roles being covered by the rest of the cast and the show’s director, Charlie Ryall, who does a very convincing Liz Truss. I am praising her performance, for the avoidance of doubt.

The (early) evening really belongs to musical director Richard Baker, who knocks out tune after tune on the piano, most of which are performed at considerable pace, both during and in between scenes. Overall, it was enjoyable but just not laughs a minute as previous versions were.

3 Star Review

Review by Chris Omaweng

From King Charles to Keir Starmer, Prince Harry to Putin, Sunak to Strikes and Sleaze, no stone will be left unturned. Expect 100% brand-new material from this multi-award-winning institution where much of the content is written by the preposterously talented cast and creative team. This incredible song and sketch show parodies our crazy world, giving us all a bit of light relief from the madness in which we live.

Director Charlie Ryall
Musical Director Richard Baker
Ages: 14+
Twitter @newsrevue
Instagram @newsrevue
TikTok @newsrevue

NewsRevue (HMS Unthinkable)
Pleasance Courtyard (Grand), 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ
Wednesday 2nd – Sunday 27th August 2023

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