It’s weird seeing an Oxford Revue performance above a London pub: everything seems familiar but slightly different. The Bridge House’s green-painted bar and sign offering Pimm’s Winter Warmer make you feel like you’re in the KA (as does bumping into a string of friends you didn’t know were coming) and the theatre doesn’t feel too far removed from the Wheatsheaf, but outside are white-painted houses, a canal lock and a tube station.
The performances were good; those sketches I’d seen before seemed tightened up, with slightly more focused acting (a highlight being a magnificently creepy school caretaker uncomfortably similar to the one from my first school) and some very neatly judged music between and within sketches. And the material was excellent: agreeably surreal and often going off in surprising directions. A straw poll of the friends I was with suggested that they too enjoyed themselves.
A good evening out, then, but I have two reservations. At forty minutes the performance seemed uncomfortably short for a £6.50 ticket : if I hadn’t been told in advance I would have assumed that the end was an interval. Also, I would have welcomed more topical sketches: there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on in the world right now and it would have been nice to have had a few riffs on this. Even so, I enjoyed myself and this bodes well for performances in Hilary.
At The Canal Café Theatre, Delamere Terrace, at 19:30 until the 9th January.