When I met with Arts Revue directors Synan Chohan and Stef Roberts-Thomson a week before the show, they shrouded their show in intrigue. Coming to see the show, I knew I would be in for a good time. How wrong I was. I had a fantastic evening that was a great breather from this stressful time of year at ANU.
Arts Revue’s strength lies in its creativity and ability to use misdirection and subvert existing tropes. Reflected in the all-black attire of the crew, marketing, and the simple black stage, the show isn’t afraid to use people as props, such as when performers magically transform themselves into machines or spider-alien-monsters from the third dimension. I walked away from Arts Revue knowing that creativity and passion behind the scenes were crucial ingredients to creating a show of this magnitude.
The central plotline revolves around five Australian heroes trying to save Canberra from a freak flood disaster, but their journey takes them from our own University to the far reaches of the moon. While no actual water is used in the show, it was indeed a wild time.
In addition, the show’s position as the final theatre production of 2018 allows it act as a reflection of the bizarre narrative we’ve really experienced throughout this year. Arts Revue explores it all, ranging from a character study of Elon Musk’s decline to the sudden reality that hits first years upon entering ANU (using a ‘Matilda’ song reference). Although elements such as making fun of ANU’s Wi-Fi outage are to be expected, everything feels fresh. I could feel the amount of dedication put into this show oozing out through the parodies of ASMR videos or ANU’s student stereotypes.
The musical direction provided by Patrick Haesler worked superbly with style of the contemporary references in the show. You’re constantly laughing as parodies of ‘Pitch Perfect’’s ‘Flashlight’ and a freeze frame showdown to the tune of Baba O’Riley unfold themselves on stage.
At the end of the show, I was left craving more and couldn’t believe it ended. We’ll never know what would’ve been in the 15 skits that were cut from the final product, but I’ve still never attended a more beautiful and well-written show that truly appealed to me as a student. I was glad to have brought a friend to the show. Bring everyone you know to this and they’ll love you for it!
Buy your tickets and don’t miss out on Arts Revue’s last show tonight!