Review: Fun and Gams

Maeve Brennan 15 May 2013

Fun and Gams

ADC Theatre, Tues 14th May, 11pm

Despite an initial reminder that, if the audience didn’t like the show, we were welcome to leave and get on with that revision we really should be doing instead, an hour of stand up in Fun and Gams! at the ADC kept us firmly in our seats. It also reassured us that however crazy the average Cambridge student might think they are going at the moment, we probably weren’t as dysfunctional as those on stage. Funny and therapeutic. Ideal.

Harry Michell did an admirable job of reminding us that, however awful exam term seems, his year has been worse, basing his time on stage around a list of reasons his life is definitely at rock bottom. From a £250 fine for the small crime of carrying out a great uncle’s last wishes and spreading his ashes in the Thames whilst singing the Beegees, to reporting the mugging of a bag of pistachios and flashing a cat (well, it was naked too), it was a fascinating insight into the mind of an English student. It made me almost grateful for the scientific sterility that comes with being at Churchill.

Matilda Wnek’s set, dominated by extended musings on the best way to improve the function of a rape alarm, seemed a little overstretched, although this may be because it was heavily based on a Footlights show I had previously seen. Then again, if your sister insists upon sending you models to test, it seems a comic opportunity too good to miss. If a career in comedy falls through, Wneck has a few patents up her sleeve that should provide a decent back-up. I was particularly taken by the idea of prospective parents hiring school bullies to think up the worst insults possible based on suggested children’s names. Having been in classes with a Nick Hunt, Brian O’Brian and Harry Potter, I can promise it could have save a lot of pain.

These two sets with a vague sense of an overarching theme wereinterspersed with the surreal Jon Bailey dispensing oranges to the audience within 30 seconds of his arrival and making full use of his slippery sock-ed ability to slide across the stage. From poo to gender politics- we heard it all. Despite her absence from material promoting the show, the compere certainly deserves a mention, if only for being the first person I have ever seen to successfully engage us in some music-based audience participation: a low-budget show is no problem if you can get those watching to hum the entrance music themselves. The decision to change Call Me Maybe to Chariots of Fire definitely added a certain… something to the show.

As a fellow MML student, I could relate to tales of the many pitfalls of dodgy pronunciation. Her story of a Spanish friend’s penchant for eating cats and playing with her cake (the Fund and Gams! of the show’s title) might have been more disturbing when first heard, but I like to think my own unfortunate confusion of French verbs for ‘to put down’ and ‘to shag’ whilst teaching five year olds what to do with their characters in Guess Who was probably more embarrassing. The hour was the perfect mix of welcome original Cambridge-based observational comedy and the more abstract. If you get a chance to see any of these Footlights regulars, seize it.

Maeve Brennan