Exeter Comedy Society has hilariously satirised the dismal state of society during the pandemic in their new online sketch, Is This Thing Still On?, complete with pedantic ‘Karen’ neighbours, domestic drama and the typically dysfunctional Zoom seminar. I will do my best to highlight some of my favourite sketches without spoiling too much of the show. I definitely recommend giving it a watch as, to be honest, what else could you possibly be doing in tier 4, (if by some miracle you are not, I have nothing but contempt for you) other than feeling guilty about ignoring University work.
The cast, comprising of Ellie Doherr, Lucy Way, Odette Abbasi, Charlotte Smethers, Imi Burton and Matt Varney, has clearly put a huge amount of work into representing some very relatable moments in the life of a student, (arguably with the exception of the Palaeolithic discovery channel) which is even more impressive due to the necessity for online production. Having heard ABBA blasted through my next-door neighbour’s wall at 3 in the morning (and who am I kidding, having probably done the same thing myself multiple times) I have some sympathy with noise complaints. However, the complete absurdity of Imi’s character demanding silence, from an increasingly frustrated Lucy, when walking and chewing for the sake of her hamster is just brilliant.
We have all had the sinking feeling when a housemate discovers that pint of milk you have been surreptitiously ‘borrowing’ when feeling too lazy to go to the shops. So, I particularly enjoyed Charlotte and Imi’s slapstick fight over a carton of pineapple juice (I’m going to weigh in here and say that Tropicana orange with bits is clearly the best). There are several amusing pastiche interjections of ‘Guild Approved Society Adverts’ throughout the skit and I believe Matt’s line for Plagiarism Society, “why do the work when somebody else has?” accompanied by an emphatic shotgun click, should really be a motto for life.
Odette’s blasé bomb disposal class is ludicrously hilarious, and I sometimes feel like I am living in Ellie’s English online seminar nightmare. My favourite overall character, however, was Lucy’s school inspector; full of judgement and condescension when delivering the brilliant line, “I’d like that child killed”.
The varied range of costumes, props and scenes is amazing considering the current COVID-19 restrictions, and I really enjoyed the incorporation of Zoom meetings and online broadcasts to reflect the reality of working remotely. I imagine that the Editor, Liam Snailham, has had to put in lots of work behind the scenes to make sure all the cuts run smoothly into each other and the whole society has risen to the challenge of socially distanced producing with incredible results.
Whilst I will say that I enjoyed some of the skits more than others, the Exeter Comedy Society has put on such a wide range of humorous sketches that there will certainly be something for everyone to enjoy and I would very much recommend finding the link on their social media and checking it out for yourselves!
You can access University of Exeter Comedy Society’s production of ‘Is This Thing Still On?’ here.
– James Meredith
Featured Image Source: Still via Exeter University Comedy Society // YouTube.