Comedy Review: The Exeter Revue’s ‘Sketchy at Best’ at The Edinburgh Fringe

With their expertly written scripts and professional style, you certainly wouldn’t think that the University of Exeter’s first ever comedy troupe was formed only a year ago, with this year marking their debut trip to The Edinburgh Fringe, hopefully not to be their last.

The Exeter Revue is composed of six young talents whose undeniable energy is a joy to watch on stage. Each member of group is flawlessly in tune with one another’s comedic style, bouncing off each other with their impeccably timed humour. It is clear to the audience how much effort has gone into making this show work like a well-oiled machine, and it has certainly paid off.

From the outset, you can tell that The Exeter Revue’s hour long sketch show is not going to drag on. Without any introduction, we are thrust into their imaginative world of satire, slapstick and self-referential comedy. It really is a laugh a minute.

There is little time for a break in ‘Sketchy at Best’, with highlights of the show being a spoof 1950s housewife scene that would make even the staunchest of feminists break out into a laugh (if you don’t, there’s something wrong with you), as well as a scene between two over-zealous radio presenters whose acting quality in particular cannot be faulted. What’s more, the group excel in Meta-humour, the cleverness of which is not alienating or out of touch for an audience. On the contrary, these well thought out scenes within scenes (within even more scenes) demonstrate the high level of writing ability of The Exeter Revue, whose efforts cannot be commended enough.

Perhaps unusually, there is no audience interaction at any point in the show. For viewers such as myself who enjoy not having to watch a comedy show in fear of being heckled, this was a welcomed relief. But their decision to keep the stage separate from the viewing public also has a greater effect that this. The distance created between the comedians and their audience enables them to take on any character of their creation. As they are liberated from external stimuli, the group can fully immerse themselves in their roles on stage, rendering them all the more believable and entertaining, just another reason why ‘Sketchy at Best’ is not to be missed.

The Exeter Revue is composed of a handful of hugely talented individuals whose show is superbly witty, wonderfully imaginative and marvellously clever, yet these few superlatives do not adequately do it justice. Their show needs to be seen to be believed. After having already received great praise for their Edinburgh show, I predict that The Exeter Revue will continue to go from strength to strength both now and in the future.

If you’re still in Edinburgh, it’s not too late to catch them; ‘Sketchy at Best’ can be enjoyed free of charge (although it really oughtn’t be) at 2pm every day bar Thursday at Ciao Roma until the end of the Fringe next weekend.

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