The award-winning Durham Revue have spawned some household name comedians over the years, and sitting down to their latest offering, Unnatural Disaster, at the Underbelly Cowgate venue, it’s not difficult to see why. The high energy and fast paced sketch comedy show pushes all the right buttons for an appreciative audience.
The title comes from the show’s premise, the apocalypse has arrived and there’s only an hour left until the end of the world. We’ll be spending that last hour together enjoying sketch comedy in our rather realistic looking nuclear bunker.
This theme of survival finds itself creeping in to many of the sketches, but on the whole, they tackle a wide spectrum of comedy set-up’s and not one of them disappoints. There’s a Lord of The Flies parody that incorporates pupil led learning, while the Lion and The Witch and The Wardrobe finds itself getting a religious twist.
The funniest sketches of the show feature a disgruntled Hogwarts Sorting Hat, and a hilarious dig at musical theatre when West Side Story becomes a little more realistic than Bernstein and Sondheim might have imagined.
Unnatural Disaster is a superb example of ensemble comedy, with the cast all taking an equal share of the gags and punchlines, in their white shirts and braces they dash on and off stage with unbridled energy, churning out sketch after hilarious sketch. The downside to the Fringe of course is that often we don’t know who we are watching, and I’m sure many audience members would like to know, as there’s a very real chance that some of these talented comedians will go on to be the next Ed Gamble, or Nish Kumar (both previous members of the Durham Revue).
The Durham Revue’s Unnatural Disaster is undoubtedly a crowd-pleaser, filled with exceptionally written material, and performed with absolute gusto. If I had to choose how best to spend my last hour on this earth, then in the company of The Durham Revue wouldn’t be