Kaboom! Comic explosion hits Oxford

The Imps and the Revue are the two main branches of Oxford student comedy. The more famous Revue has existed for 50 years and its members have included people such as Michael Palin, Dudley Moore and Rowan Atkinson. The Imps have, surprisingly, only existed since the beginning of this academic year, following
inspiration at the Edinburgh fringe festival during the summer, although they seem to have been around forever and have already made themselves into an Oxford institution. It seems, therefore, logical that the two should come together to create one Kaboomshow at the end of what has been a very successful year for the two groups. The problem facing these groups is that it is so easy to rubbish what they do, especially if one starts comparing the Revue’s sketches to those of Monty Python or the Imps to Whose Line is It Anywaybut this would be to overlook what they are actually trying to do: to create new comedy and, more
importantly, to entertain. This is not a bunch of pretentious students trying to be the next Chris Morris but a group of people having fun and trying to be humorous. One of the main criticisms banded around about the Revue and the Imps is that they appeal to a low sense of humour; that they just are not clever enough for the educated Oxford audiences, but this is part of what they are trying to do. They want to move away from the pretentious and, in places, incomprehensible comedy of their predecessors to get people laughing again, and from the response they get, they seem to have achieved this. The fact is, that despite the sneers that the comedy groups will inevitably get, they are both on the whole very funny. This is helped by the huge amount of talent in the two groups. A central circle of extremely talented people unites the two groups, but in both the stand out performance comes from the
director of the Imps, Jon Dick. Although his confidence and ability can tend to overpower the weaker members of the groups, this in no way harms the performances, it just makes the fact that he is going from Oxford to start improvisational comedy in the big world of Chicago, the home of the art, seem like a pretty smart move. There are other stand-out performances, in the Imps – the fantastically energetic Rachel Ball and, in both the Revue and the Imps, the brilliant Jim Grant and the director of the Revue, the delightful Drummond Muir. If any criticism can be made it is that some of the Revue sketches, or the characters within the sketches, are slightly derivative or clichéd but this does not make the performances any less enjoyable or funny. Since the main point of Kaboom is to entertain, as long as it does this, what is the problem?ARCHIVE: 5th week TT 2004