Another year, another Uni Revue – and ’Fifty Shades of White’ promises to entertain. Back again with their unique style offering a level of lewd, crude, rude and nude humour – only for the most immature audiences. The Revue is locally produced by the Old Nick Company and the Tasmanian Uni Revue is the oldest in Australia, celebrating its 71st birthday this year. Directed this year by the creative co-directors Zeb Dwyer and Nick Paine assuring a hilarious satire of state, national and international issues. With the recent Tasmanian election, audiences are in for a treat with a side-splittingly funny Revue team that has absolutely no filter.
“On stage they’re saying the things that you probably think or don’t necessarily say out loud,” says Justin Smith, a veteran of the Uni Revue with ten years of experience in writing and providing the famous audiovisuals for the show.
The style of humour can be edgy, offensive and at times dark – but it is the politically incorrect format that keeps bringing Tasmanians back. It’s oddly refreshing, and no matter which part of Tassie you’re from – I can guarantee just from watching the talent in rehearsals, that you’ll be thoroughly entertained by this year’s Revue.
Co-director Nick Paine says, “A lot of people want to pretend and tell their friends that they don’t find offensive things funny, but they do quietly think a lot of the stuff we do – that might not be PC – I believe they think it’s very funny.” In a day and age where people would rather spend a night in to watch Netflix than go into the theatre, it’s harder getting new people motivated to see Uni Revue. The Uni Revue offers something uniquely and authentically Tasmanian, being touted as ‘loved by Tasmanians, loathed by politicians,’ and its satire of life in our pretty cosy state is something everyone can relate to.
With the Uni Revue running for so long, it’s easy to forget that they start from scratch every single year. Performers from different walks of life continue to be invested and find the experience so addictive that they must come back. For Beck Andrews, it’s the 11th time around the circuit and she describes what makes it such an addictive experience: “There’s two reasons for me – because I enjoy performing, singing, dancing, acting – but also when I started doing Revue I realised out of all the shows that I do, this is actually the hardest.” It’s not hard to see why, Revue has only 3-4 months of rehearsals before opening night, which isn’t out of ordinary for other theatre companies, but when there’s no show to begin with, it’s a monumental task. In the weeks leading up to opening night, things are constantly changing and being added to the show.
For others, like Imogen Paine in her 8th Revue she says the thrill comes elsewhere: “There’s no other type of theatre that pumps the adrenaline than making 400-500 people laugh a night.”
While a tremendous amount of work goes into building Uni Revue, there is also lots of fun to be had – “it’s why some patrons have been coming to the Revue year in year out for twenty years, which is not a title many can claim,” says Ian Pirkis – this years Revue marketing manager.
It’s also the second year in a row that Uni Revue has partnered with mental health and suicide awareness charity Speak Up Stay ChatTy, to raise funds and awareness for people struggling with depression and anxiety. Co-director Nick Paine said that “Comedy supporting charity is a not new thing. Amnesty International benefitted very well from partnering both Comic Relief and The Secret Policeman’s Ball. We thought we could also make a difference with helping people start an important conversation that can potentially save lives”.
The Uni Revue is an enthralling experience, and it is not very often that patrons leave the theatre without being thoroughly engaged and a bit sore from laughing. Tickets are relatively cheap at $34 and can be bought through the theatre at theatreroyal.com.au between the 11th and 26th of May. It’s a show that has to be seen to be believed.