Satire that fails to hit the target
This article is from 2008.
Consisting entirely of up-to-the-minute topical satire skits, this all-singing, all-dancing soapbox couldn't be more contemporary. Yet there's something desperately antiquated about it, something broad and music hall. In theory this is no bad thing. Spike Milligan, Monty Python and Samuel Beckett all credited music hall as a significant influence, but where they took a step forward, Newsrevue seems to be motionless.
Much of the stronger political material tries to be funny, fails and ends up halfway between drab and offensive. Nothing is off-limits to comedy, but the deeper you go into bad taste territory, the funnier you have to be. If your zinger on the Benazir Bhutto murder is Pervez Musharraf shooting a journalist, perhaps you should stick to slagging Charlotte Church. That said, the Fritzl family twist on The Sound of Music is just horrendous enough to work. It's clear that the Newsrevue crew have no pretensions to alternative comedy, and are to be lauded for that. It is what it says it is, an old-fashioned news lampoon. Alas, this isn't enough to make it any good.
Udderbelly's Pasture, 0844 545 8252, until 25 Aug, 6pm, £11–£15 (£9.50–£12.50).