Legislation revue celebrates 50 years with exhausting labour

“FIFTY years of comedy expertise in a single evening solely” is the promise of the “ANU Legislation Revue”, quickly to take the stage at The Playhouse.

I can hardly wait. Ever since I noticed a bunch of regulation college students strip off and throw their “briefs” on the viewers, it’s been a favorite evening out, at all times high heavy with expertise and wit.

The fiftieth anniversary celebrations have been occurring since late September, when ANU brisker regulation college students carried out their 2022 revue, “Pingu Goes to Legislation Faculty: Moot Moot”, to packed homes at Canberra Rep Theatre.

You may pretty wager the tickets will go like hotcakes for the larger present, the place new and previous performers will relive content material from throughout the 50 years, however the crew are displaying a good bit of chutzpah once they say: “Come see the present that humbly submits to the court docket that it’s primary throughout revues nationwide.” 

I caught up with final-year worldwide relations scholar Laura Johnston who, with regulation scholar and president of the ANU’s Italian Society Margherita Dall’Occo-Vaccaro, is directing the present. 

“We predict the primary ‘Legislation Revue’ was in 1972,” Johnston says, explaining that the efficiency at The Playhouse will characteristic “six-ish” sketches from every decade and a reimagined sketch from 1972, performed by the 2022 cohort of newbies surrounded by “Legislation Revue” alumni.

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Most sketches have been sourced from previous regulation revues however it wasn’t simple, for as Johnston and Dall’Occo-Vaccaro launched into the progress, she says: “Our brains fried… we began this course of, however we discovered it insane.”

To not fear. After a cry for assist, two good former regulation college students and revue alumni stepped in as researchers and scriptwriters. 

ANU regulation and worldwide relations scholar Isabelle Lee, who moonlights as a prizewinning hip-hop dancer, and China professional Bolwen Fu, sourced the previous skits, adjusted them the place wanted, then structured the entire revue into a good 90-minute script which, after I converse to Johnston, is able to be ticked off for manufacturing.

“We couldn’t have completed it with out them,” Johnston says.

So, what’s on the schedule for The Playhouse? 

“For the opening quantity, we try to subvert what occurs in a revue,” she says. 

“We’re doing a Gregorian Chant full of pretend Latin authorized phrases, then ending off with Bon Jovi’s ‘It’s my life’.”

One of many nostalgic objects will probably be an unique singing-playing efficiency by “The Two Stephens” – two real former regulation professors who had been a comedy duo within the ’80s.

Their identities? Stephen Bottomley, former dean and emeritus professor in ANU business regulation and Stephen Parker, former vice-chancellor of the College of Canberra and guitarist within the UC band, The Hip Replacements.

After all, the “Legislation Revue”, identical to any uni revue, is basically comprised of spoofs, in order that they discovered a sendup of The Wiggles from 2011, which they needed to change a bit to maneuver with the instances, however which remains to be very humorous.

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A particularly authorized skit is “Authorized Attorneys at Legislation 2 – This Time it’s Litigious”, and the present will even characteristic a sketch from their annual Christmas charity present, “The Christmas Revue”, to point out individuals how the “Legislation Revue” has branched out.

By well-liked demand, the showstopper will probably be an “anti-joke” skit referred to as “Canine”. That’s the place the joke-teller is delivering one thing that’s deliberately not humorous, counting on the baffled response from audiences. This entails your entire forged and it actually doesn’t have a punchline. That might spoil the anti-joke.

As a result of the revue goals at bringing again the previous, they’ve been busy sourcing real genuine costumes stored at dwelling within the closet by former revue performers.

“It’s actually cool what costumes have been stored, and I feel it reveals how a lot individuals have cherished being within the revue,” Johnston says. 

“ANU Legislation Revue”, The Playhouse, Thursday, October 20.

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Ian Meikle, editor