Law revue terrible

“Should I care? Should I care?”

If the ques­tion is about the Sydney Law Revue 2008, the answer is no. (The quote is from the “Hold­ing out for a US Hero” skit, the clos­ing skit.)

Last year, I wrote about the half-executed jokes that had the poten­tial to be so much fun­ni­er. I wish I could make a sim­il­ar com­ment this year. This time round, the dir­ect­ors some­how found it con­veni­ent to expend entirely with the punch­lines in jokes. Instead, it was replaced with flat, mean­ing­less driv­el so that when it got to the clos­ing, I was pretty much clap­ping out of polite­ness instead of sin­cere appre­ci­ation.

The occa­sion­al joke made in bad taste is to be expec­ted in a revue; in fact, you could say it defines a revue. Nor­mally, I’d have a good laugh at them. But giv­en that the rest of the revue was so flat, when the (bad) jokes came around, the audi­ence just didn’t buy them. We even had a heck­ler in the audi­ence — and I pretty much agreed with everything he had to shout out. At one stage, one of the back­stage mem­bers stuffed up with the mop between skits; that was almost one of the fun­ni­est moments (!).

China, with its astro­nom­ic­al growth and the Beijing Olympics just past, was an obvi­ous top­ic­al sub­ject. They didn’t fail to deliv­er on that count, but the jokes were so poorly delivered that they might have been mis­taken for blatant racism.

To regain the con­fid­ence of its audi­ence, the Law Revue in future years needs to cre­ate a coher­ent present­a­tion that car­ries some kind of energy through­out the per­form­ance. A little bit of intro­spec­tion might help; I’m sure if the dir­ect­ors actu­ally sat down and listened to some of their own jokes, they might agree that they weren’t quite so funny after all. There was no doubt some great tal­ent on stage; wheth­er this tal­ent was used most effect­ively is anoth­er ques­tion.

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