As can probably be expected from an Arts Revue staged by a group of CASS students from the ANU, the 2013 ANU Arts Revue is filled with hilarious skits about politicians, the barrenness of Canberra life and self-deprecating laments about the uselessness of Arts Degrees and the CASS faculty. With a liberal amount of pop culture references to things like Pokemon, Kim Kardashian and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the show features some serious acting and comedy skills as well as witty lyrics and incredibly impressive dance routines that must have taken forever to learn. Doubly impressive is the fact that all of the skits in the production were created from scratch by the production team and cast.
The theme for this year’s Arts Revue is the Canberra Centenary. As we should all probably know, the Canberra Centenary marked 100 years of Canberra, and this lovely city’s attempts to celebrate and enrich its cultural life. So inevitably, the production begins with an assertive impersonation of Robyn Archer welcoming the audience to the Revue and sets up a number of reoccurring Robyn Archer related skits throughout the evening. This is followed by an overview of things to see in Canberra and launches immediately into an impersonation of Julia Gillard dealing with a tricky press gallery. With pot shots at this year’s (and every year’s) ANUSA elections, as well as the most recent Woroni scandal, the revue continues with a series of rewritten pop songs (the skits “Sheikh It Out” and “Tell Me Why K-Rudd’s Back” were absolute highlights), and more impersonations of important people. Special mention goes to Vincent Chiang for going the extra mile with his Kevin Rudd impersonation, baby powdered hair tosses included, and the masterminds behind the femme fatale Skywhale skit and costume.
It is clear that the cast and production team must have spent an extraordinary amount of time creating and then polishing the show that is the Arts Revue. The acting is on point, and the cast makes excellent use of the stage, although admittedly at some points within the show it was difficult to hear some of the lyrics and humorous quips, which was a little disappointing, but somewhat expected for a small production. Nonetheless, a huge congratulations to all the cast and crew (especially to the directors Lavinia de Havilland and Claire Seton), and the band for creating a wonderfully entertaining Revue that shows off the comedic, acting and singing capabilities of CASS students – even if at the end of the day, these skills and theirs Arts degrees won’t guarantee them a job.