Words: Robert Parker-White
It’s a difficult time to parody the news when the news itself feels satirical, but this year’s NewsRevue achieves an impressive feat doing just that.
Now in its 43rd year in their home of Little Venice, NewsRevue holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest running live comedy show. Their Edinburgh production is a delicious feast of some of their best songs and sketches throughout the year and is always a true highlight of the fringe.
Opening strong with various political parties vying for your vote in an up-tempo Spice Girls mash-up, there is plenty here for anyone with an eye on politics and current affairs. Director Charlie Ryall keeps the production bouncing along, seamlessly weaving together political satire and musical parody with panache.
Freddie Walker leads the troop, limbs akimbo, showcasing his flair for physical comedy throughout. I was particularly taken with his ungainly, rapping Rishi Sunak matched against Mohamed Bangura who nails his impressions of both Keir Starmer and Donald Trump.
Phoebe-Loveday Raymond is delightful when portraying downcast, Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey, one of the show’s running jokes. She brings the house down singing ‘Moon River’ as a woeful ballad about Thames Water accompanied by Musical Director Richard Baker who later makes a fun cameo as ChatGPT.
Elspeth Day-Collins is a real stand out and leads the group with her impressive vocal ability. Her talent lies in stretching out public figures into caricatured monsters. She makes a grotesque, psychotic Priti Patel and hilarious chain smoking, champagne swilling Queen Camilla. The biggest laugh of the show revolves around Raymond and Day-Collins as two queue obsessed Brits listing off the year’s events through their passionate hobby.
What is most impressive is the quartet’s ability to handle sensitive topics such as the war in Ukraine, The Queen’s death and Philip Scholfield head on, with tact, whilst remaining funny and not offensive. The show culminates in a rollocking spoof of The Royal Family to a medley of songs by Queen.
Producer Emma Taylor has done it again, NewsRevue is an uproarious evening filled with biting satire, outstanding performances, and plenty of laughs. Whether you’re a seasoned Fringe-goer or a first-timer, this year’s show is an absolute must-see.
Pleasance Courtyard, The Grand
2-27 Aug (not 16)