The series of comedy sketches called ‘Standing in the Rain’ by ‘KEITH’, was an absolute triumph of student comedy- completely alive, unique and mildly insane.
The premise of the show was nothing if not ambitious- a total of forty-three separate sketches in the space of an hour, intending to shock and challenge. It was certainly hilariously dark, and they managed to maintain the momentum and energy throughout which was impressive with so many quick changes. The constant transitions, shifting situations and characters worked surprisingly well and as an audience member I was never confused or left behind. They still managed to keep it incredibly fast-paced however, and made it seem as though it was over in ten minutes, rather than an hour. The three comics, Calum Maclean, Jack Firoozan and Mungo Russell kept admirably apace with this speed, and managed remarkably well carrying the entire show by themselves. They also attempted some admirable impressions and different accents (although I might not be the best judge), in order to vary their characters.
I promise I am not going to butcher all their jokes by attempting to describe them, but I have to mention some of my favourite sketches. I thought out of the forty-three sketches it would be a lot more hit and miss than it was, and while there were some misses (the toilet jokes fell a bit flat with me) the vast majority were hits with an astounding range of references from Galileo to the old CBBC show ‘Trapped’. The latter was part of a particularly funny series of reoccurring sketches in which people in live-or-death situations, e.g. surgeons and pilots, are told they are ‘the saboteur’ as per the show. Honestly the worst I could say about the comedy would be that sometimes it verged on ‘locker room humour’, but most of the time it raised above this category with (somewhat hidden) sophisticated self-awareness and self-depreciation.
The musical interludes between each sketch were always carefully picked to complement the previous sketch, for example, one in which a priest accidently kills the baby he is christening was hilariously accompanied by the Bay City Rollers’ song ‘Bye Bye Baby’. Not all of the show was this dark however, the parody of the band Mumford and Sons was a light moment, along with a song in the middle which added a new comedic format.
The event was sold out, hours before the doors opened, and this was reflected in the fully packed studio. The Dowrick Suit in Trevelyan College was the perfect venue, it was large enough to fit a substantial audience while maintaining an intimacy which works so well with this kind of comedy. The unexpected and quick paced repartee never failed to get the audience to laugh out loud, and after the show I overheard some enthusiastic responses and people discussing their favourite sketches.
Overall, while I was slightly sceptical at first, the whole evening was incredibly entertaining, and I look forward to seeing more of their new sketches in the future!
By Isabel Carmichael-Davis