A Jam-Makers Guide To Self -Preservation Proves That Comedy Is A Strong Remedy – Awarded ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ by Guest Reviewer Francesca Mepham @FranMephamG
Etcetera Theatre was host to MD’s Comedy Revue preview of their show A Jam Makers Guide To Self Preservation, which will be transported to Edinburgh Fringe Festival later in the month, Founded in 1898, MD’s Comedy Revue is a long established comedy society that contains UCL Medical students. It was originally an entertainment for children’s wards at Christmas that has evolved in to fully fledged medically themed productions being performed at venues such as Edinburgh Fringe and West End Theatres, judging by their latest show its apparent just why.
A new health minister has been appointed to visit the quirky ‘pop up’ hospital created by the students. His mission, though unclear, seems to point in the direction of saving the emergency department but the characters can definitely take care of themselves. This is what is striking from the outset, the level of characterisation is impressive, for actors that are immersing themselves in comedy on a constant basis, but for a society that comprises of medical students whose main job is medicine, its rather incredible. This focus and intensity was upheld throughout the show and was seamless during the transitions between scenes.
Ensemble scenes such as” the three lady tango” which comprised of singing and dancing was one of the first highlights of the production, with witty lyrics about all too common bugs, it showed the level of writing as well as deliverance, was at an exceptional level. This relatable nature of many of the lyrics and subject matters, meant that nothing too heavy was dished out to the audience to digest.
With political satire a reoccurring theme, it was done in such a way that it wasn’t overbearing. In fact I would have enjoyed perhaps even more judging by the hilarity of a self service analysing machine, that obviously pokes fun at A&E questions and assessment procedures, as well as waiting times. The Hall safety monitor was also very on the mark, with an obsessive manner towards obeying rules and regulations which can be seen in many work places. A hospital definitely has scope to create the maximum laughs, which was done here with there being a square to stand in for the under 12’s to guarantee safety.
A rendition of a song called Chlamydia was a highlight of the Sexual Health sketches to which there were a notable amount. This was sung to the tune of ‘Maria’ from West Side Story by a gorgeous male voice that portrayed the bitterness of a break up with such melodramatic gusto that it was just irresistible! The intro of a bored and difficult receptionist called Lydia breaking the news of diagnosis set the scene perfectly meaning the song that followed was a very welcome surprise from the audiences point of view.
The overall impression of A Jam-Makers Guide To Self -Preservation is that this is a show that as well as being topical, is mainly laugh out loud funny which is rare. The balance between these two components has been achieved by a group of obviously very dedicated not to mention very comically gifted young actors. Edinburgh Fringe Festival is very lucky to be gaining such a wonderful show.
Awarded ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ by Guest Reviewer Francesca Mepham @FranMephamG
The Space on the Mile(V39)
10th – 15th August
The Space on the Mile (V39)
Please note performance length is 50 minutes long and is appropriate for ages 16+.