Loop by The St. Andrews Revue presents an intriguing mixture of physical, verbal and musical comedy. The premise is simple: a trio of comedians are stuck in a loop of nature undisclosed even to them. Their awareness of the fourth wall and the show itself wanes and accentuates at a feverish randomness. Though the audience certainly were not longing for the sketch’s conclusion, the comedic trio seemed to be, and it is their utter failure to end the cycle that constitutes a significant part of their comedy.
In general, I enjoyed the performance significantly. It is held tightly by the wit of its many verbal outbursts, as well as the bold way the cast gleefully humiliate themselves with paradoxical finesse. As an avid lover of comedy and film, I could not help but laugh at the various cinematic references that were used to refine the show’s savviness. It was (as advertised) occasionally inappropriate but fast and loose. For a viewer wanting a good-hearted evening laugh, you could not go wrong with LOOP.
Yet, it is in its comedy that many of LOOP’s shortcomings are rooted. Frankly, other than the narrative structure (which comes straight out of Groundhog Day) there is nothing particularly novel in the skits performed. Of course, due to its self-awareness, some of its more overdone comedy is noted. This, however, does not excuse the fact that it has yet to break the cycle, so to speak, and distinguish itself. Though the verbal wit which the cast demonstrated is nothing short of impressive, it seems sandwiched between overt reliance on sexual cringe as well as partial nudity, as great as those sections are as well. Moreover, though the cast heavily advertises the political nature of some of its skits, there are no groundbreaking ideas in their masterfully performed songs.
My criticisms for this show are admittedly harsh and heavy-handed, but this is because of my high praise for the cast and their performance. I encourage the group to take bolder risks, as they have shown themselves in LOOP to be more than capable of doing through their physical theatre and this could be successfully included in their verbal and political comedy. I hope to see The St Andrews Revue more often in the university.
LOOP is being performed at 20:30 at Assembly Hall (Mound Place) until 28th August