Melbourne Uni Law Revue’s 2018 show took my comedy tastebuds one hell of a flavourful tour. The Cake is aptly named – slices of sweet, saucy, silly deliciousness are offered to their grateful audience with flair and finesse. So many perfectly formed bits come to mind that deserve review space, but I worry I’ll let them down in my delivery. You really have to see the brilliant cast do their thing.
Under the guidance of directors Madi Savage and Isabelle Knight, the ten absurdly good cast members navigate us from Harold Holt to Julius Caesar. The show runs like a well-oiled machine – thematically appropriate music heralds the end of sketches and cast members effortlessly transition from one sketch to another. There were times I found myself wondering if it was too slick – some sketches could have benefited from a rougher, less rehearsed approach.
Some sketches felt a little reliant on pop culture name dropping, too – listing culturally relevant things like charcoal face masks and skinny jeans from General Pants is recognisable, yes, but not, in and of its self, funny. Just to contradict myself, I have to give props to the brilliant and culturally relevant act two opening sketch, a take on politics that surprises and delights. Ah comedy, you fickle beast!
The show’s visuals let the actors shine – simple but effective costume pieces make character changes clear and easy to follow. Sometimes, though, the costuming is the start – there’s a moment of costuming brilliance that had the audience cackling. Likewise, the simple set allowed the actors to gamble and gallivant around to their hearts content, claiming every inch of the Guild Theatre.
The best thing about The Cake is that not every sketch is for everybody, but there’s something in it for everyone. That’s what happens when you get a sharp, creative group of funny people together – they make something weird, and bold, and unexpected. It’s a show made to be referenced and quoted, to the bemusement of the poor souls who missed it. The lucky ones of us who saw it will relish saying smugly; “you had to be there”.
Melbourne University Law Revue’s The Cake ran from the 30th August – 8th September in the Guild Theatre.