Vox Pop: A Sketch Show

Tue 7th – Thu 9th June 2016

reviews

Emma Ansell

at 12:51 on 8th Jun 2016

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I had no idea what a vox pop was when I entered the Corpus Playroom yesterday evening, but frankly it didn’t matter. I had a great time. If you’re interested in knowing, and truth be told you probably already know, a simple google search will tell you that a vox pop is “popular opinion as represented by informal comments from members of the public” (Latin: vox populi).

It’s often difficult to review sketch shows for fear of giving too much away. A joke explained or over-analysed by a reviewer is a joke wasted. Rather than looking at the specifics, we must turn to the whole.

VOX POP: A SKETCH SHOW was everything I wanted a Cambridge sketch show to be: it was intelligent, entertaining and oftentimes bizarre. Probably in that order. At times I was confused, but in a pleasantly surprised kind of way. This is a remarkably cohesive sketch show – although containing a wealth of variety in terms of theme, content and character, at no point does it feel disparate or as if non-complimentary material has been forcefully mashed together.

In fact, this is an exceptionally well-paced production. Long sketches are cleverly interspersed with the short in a way that creates both momentum and pleasing diversity.

Will Hall, Eve Delaney, Ashleigh Weir, James Coward and John Tothill make for a stellar cast with no weak link between them. There was nothing half-hearted about their performances. VOX POP: A SKETCH SHOW gives you an hour and a bit of commitment, commitment, commitment.

The opening night audience’s loud guffaws clearly expressed its appreciation for the production. I can guarantee that VOX POP: A SKETCH SHOW is well worth attending if you want an evening of laughter, and potentially frozen peas. In many ways, the show starts at 9.20pm and not 9.30pm. From the moment the audience was allowed to enter the Playroom, Ashleigh Weir’s infectious energy, expressive face and full-bodied commitment to being the most awkward birthday girl in existence was captivating. I’d recommend arriving early just to watch her.

This show describes itself as “Entirely written and performed by freshers”. The material deployed was most definitely ‘fresh’: with unexpected, occasionally bewildering, but certainly successful punchlines at every turn. Inexperienced or amateur it was not.

The fact that these talented performers have (at the very least) two more years ahead of them on the Cambridge stage is a thing to be celebrated.

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