The University of Queensland Law Revue 2021
The University of Queensland Law Revue for 2021 played to full houses at the at the Twelfth Night Theatre on 2-4 September.
After a year of recorded lectures, the foregathering of five hundred students was not least among the evening’s pleasures but the audience was not exclusively youthful. Parents and grandparents also attended, a decision as brave for the performers as for their relatives in light of the show’s often irreverent material.
The production was at its funniest when written from experience. The writers showed that they know well what it is to have been a tween with an embarrassing father. The plight of tweens abandoned at the school gate was also affectingly handled. As a White Man Funerals undertaker, Will Cook offered a keenly imagined insight into lad culture. His taciturn barber, contrasted with Beining Zhang’s loquacious hairdresser, also highlighted the differences between the sexes. The boys, however, want more than a beer and a chat: the shallowness of men’s mental health messaging was cleverly sent up. In “Northside girls” the cast wittily adapted Katy Perry’s California gurls to catalogue the peccadillos of the local Sloane rangers and their beaux. It was a familiar milieu.
The writers were less successful when they tried to explore the thought-world of smug marrieds a decade older than themselves. A sketch that poked fun at eccentrically named children fell a bit flat.
This divergence was also evident in the staff skit. In a floral shift, loud earrings and glasses, Georgia Perry uncannily smoothed her hair as Kate Falconer while Mia Campbell faithfully reproduced the speech patterns of Ann Black. A gallinacean enthusiasm was enough accurately to indicate Justine Bell. However, Rick Bigwood was lazily presented as a rugby-mad Kiwi. As it happens, he is not particularly keen on rugby. (This may be why he had to emigrate.) A sardonic bald man who has bever been seen other than in a Nike polo shirt should be almost too soft a target for satire: jandles and a chilly bin are not the way. Similarly, Graeme Orr has plenty of foibles that want skewering but simply portraying him as a dope-smoking hippie does not achieve this.
A highlight of this year’s production was Kurt Munckton’s phenomenal choreography. Of particular note was his joyous treatment of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. During this number more and more cast members joined him on stage until the entire ensemble was engaged in an incredibly energetic succession of turned-out kick ball changes and chugs reminiscent of Michael Kidd. In Masquerade, the charismatic Sam Loewenthal led the cast in a stately contredanse to close the show.
Some sound problems could not detract from the very high standard of singing and playing.