By Michael Wright, who laughed a lot at the opening night of WSMS’s 2016 revue:
Revue: “multi-act popular theatrical entertainment that combines music, dance and sketches.” (Wikipedia, 2016)
The Boy Who Fluked, Western Sydney Medical Society’s (WSMS) 2016 revue, is an enjoyable evening that may not be The Cursed Child, but doesn’t cost as much as flights to London. It is well worth the $15 ticket price as a light-hearted night out with good performances resulting in sincere laughter.
The show follows Justine Binny’s Harry Spotter who, due to Hagrid’s ‘clerical’ error manages to get accepted to WSU’s Medical School without sitting the UMat and narrowly passing the HSC. The parody takes inspiration for its primary plot from Rowling, however some clever writing allows this storyline to hold interest regardless of how many of the Potter books/movies you have read.
Several of the revue’s cast gave terrific vocal performances, especially on well-adapted parodies of Sia’s Cheap Thrills and Adele’s Hello. An acapella take on anti-vaxers set to Lorde’s Royals, however, suffered from ill-preparedness; the two talented singers lost time and struggled to regain their confidence.
Other pieces that fell flat included a Disney show-tune that addressed institutionalised child-sexual assault and a sketch about a recent terror attack, with no clear punchline. While these jokes left the audience generally aghast, at other points objectively funny sketches were met with little applause/laughter as the audience struggled to find their cue.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the students worked in a number of takedowns of their coursework, including a rather ironic practical placement in a pharmaceutical-free vegan commune. While many jokes played on specifics of the School of Med, there was more than enough to keep non-Med students laughing.
Some of the best punchline hit/miss ratios came from a recurring series of “if med students were honest” videos, alongside other highlights of the night including a bid by Donald Trump to run for Dean of the School of Med in 2017, and Steve Irwin filming a wildlife documentary in Campbelltown Hospital.
Prostate examinations became a repeating theme of the night, begging the question of whether the concept of ass-play is inherently funny. While there was definitely some hard-hitting satire on the idea of consent, the joke became overused and was perhaps not as clever as many of the other sketches.
Regardless of any faults however, ‘The Boy Who Fluked’ proves that WSMS have a winning formula for their revues, improving on last year’s Mean Tweets. Overall, it begs the question why MedSoc is the only campus group providing an annual review, and keeps this reviewer keen for 2017’s offering.