Having met with The Liverpool Revue’s heads, Imogen Wignall and Dominic Davies, I found out that this group of student comedians is much more than simply a sketch comedy troupe. Existing as part of the Liverpool University Drama Society, they are the sketch troupe representing the comedic sentiment of the student body of the University of Liverpool, within a wider network that includes troupes such as the Edinburgh and Manchester Medic Revues.
Opportunities of seeing the group in action, as well as being part of it, are endless. Firstly, there are the bi-semesterly performances by the troupe itself; consisting of a sketch show, performed by the troupe’s seven performers, who are selected through an audition process at the start of each academic year. Given the frequency of performances, as well as the fact that they happen in venues at the centre of Liverpool, The Liverpool Revue caters for potentially the best acting gig one can get through a society at Liverpool University. And if that’s not enough, the troupe go up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the end of each academic year, with sell-out performances at this year’s Fringe. Further, performance opportunities for non-troupe-members include a stand-up night organised by the Revue, as well as nights of short plays that are held in the Guild twice a year.
The Liverpool Revue, however, is also a creative writing platform. The sketches that are performed in their shows are taken and adapted from material that is sent in by external writers, who contact the group. Imogen stresses the fact that ‘literally everyone’ has the opportunity, and, more so, is encouraged to send in ideas for sketches, which will be used and credited to them, during the troupe’s performances of them. She adds that the group doesn’t require a certain type, intensity of humour or theme and that good writers and comedians will simply “use this platform to make certain points”. They both talk of sketches that are sent in being performed over and over again, because of their success, with certain phenomena growing and becoming a household name; such as ‘the Slug Queen’ – a character that has reocurred over many years of sketch shows.
While The Liverpool Revue’s writers and performers are mostly students from Liverpool universities, they are also heavily involved in Liverpool’s vibrant professional and semi-professional comedy network. Their alumni include comedians such as Alastair Clark and Liam Hale, as well as organisers of various popular Liverpool comedy nights, including Matchbox Comedy and Another Comedy Night. For over half a decade, they have been providing people, that want to perform, write and entertain, with a platform to do so, helping them to become, in Dominic’s words, ‘staples of their network’.
The first of The Liverpool Revue’s sketch comedy nights this year, with a brand new seelection of sketch hilarity, is coming up tonight, Saturday 24th, at 19:30 in 81 Renshaw cafe on Renshaw Street. Tickets are £5 for the general public, £4 for students and £3 for LUDS members.
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