Rookie

Tue 31st January – Sat 4th February 2012

reviews

Divya R

at 10:14 on 1st Feb 2012

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The opening night of Rookie was performed to a packed audience, and my suspicion is that this comedy troupe will enjoy sell out performances for the rest of their run, if the power of the "Word of Mouth" is anything to go by.

I knew that this sketch show was full of promise as soon as I received a leaflet describing the show as "a ballsy new sketch show" with a picture of the hands of the cast holding balls, but it turned out to be even better than I had anticipated.

This show was made great by the dedication that the actresses had to each of the characters that they portrayed. Emma Powell was particularly strong on this account, she played every single character with such sincerity and such high energy that you couldn't stop yourself from getting into hysterics. Two sketches that she particularly shone in were one piece about a town committee of teabags discussing the ethical issues of getting milk from cows and the bigotry of discriminating against other hot beverages, and another sketch about two show hosts performing a live radio play. In both she depicted multiple characters and each was as funny as the last because she invested in playing the character rather than deliberately trying to make it funny. This investment was a strength which reverberated throughout the entire group.

What made Rookie unique in comparison to other comedy sketch shows that I've seen in Cambridge was the breadth of ideas that they touched on in their sketches. The content of the show ranged from, sexual humour, to the expected but so well used, menstrual joke, to a great skit which featured a "dirty-dancing" game of musical chairs. The result was a multitude of punch lines and sketch endings that were totally unexpected which only compounded the humour of each section of the show. One piece that specifically shows this was a short sketch in which Ellie Nunn explored the various ways to put a quilt cover onto a quilt. It was so random and unanticipated, and yet it was hilarious because one could certainly relate to the frustration that such a task sometimes can be.

I do not want to give too much away by describing all that I liked about this show, precisely because I liked so much of it. A special mention should be made, however, of the direction and writing, as aside from the creativity of the scenes, the general structure of the show was a major reason for its success. None of the sketches were too long and the running order of very short sketches versus the longer ones was so well placed that your attention was kept throughout the night.

If you get a chance to see this show you must take the opportunity. The Footlights are of course great, but the advent of this all female comedy troupe has definitely raised the bar for Cambridge comedy. Because of the great reputation of comedy in Cambridge - and much of it is great - it is easy to get your hopes up only to be disappointed. Rookie, however, exceeded my expectations and I only hope that this will not be the last that we will see of this fantastically funny group.

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