Bringing the laughter back with ComedyFest

Daisy Hargreaves
Durham Revue ComedyFest

The Durham Revue’s tradition of performing at Durham’s Gala Theatre, alongside other university sketch comedy groups, is as long-standing as it is beloved. We love performing at the Gala due to its professional space and the welcoming atmosphere of a large, home audience. Our annual ComedyFest show has become the highlight of the troupe’s calendar, alongside a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as it offers a unique opportunity for connections between comedians from different universities.

I was fortunate enough to get into the group in my first year, and so performed in Comedy Fest next to the Cambridge Footlights and the Oxford Revue just weeks before the pandemic hit. I remember the performance like it was yesterday, from the stress of churning out new material after our first show, to the tour of the stage and my manic FaceTime to my parents showing off my dressing room, shouting with the excitement and optimism only possessed by a first year: “It’s like the O2!”. Our set went swimmingly. I will never forget the sheer noise of the sold-out crowd and my pride at getting my own personal clap mid-sketch after reciting a particularly challenging paragraph of cockney-rhyming slang. The next morning, I woke up in my grotty student accommodation to see a white blanket of snow covering the city. It felt like a sign that we had created something truly special.

Lockdown couldn’t stop the laughter

Despite this feeling being quickly undermined by six months of national lockdowns, the period was not completely void of creative inspiration and opportunity. Over the summer, the group continued to write and collaborate, producing an online sketch series that garnered thousands of views. It was a brilliant lesson in perseverance and adapting to circumstance and served as a reminder to never take live performances for granted.

Returning to the Gala Theatre two years later is like a fever dream; simultaneously feeling that it was no time at all since that FaceTime with my parents, yet also somehow feeling a lot older. I hope the performance might bring back some of that fresher optimism to overshadow my finalist weariness. I am overjoyed that we are being welcomed back to the Gala and can’t wait to witness the new members take their first steps onto the iconic stage. This show has been in the works since September 2021 and is my favourite from all the shows I’ve been a part of so far. I couldn’t be prouder of the group and their eagerness to jump right into the Revue’s frankly ridiculous schedule.

Enjoy the show!

We cannot wait to perform our show at 8pm on Sunday 20th February and bring some laughter to the people of Durham once again.

Book tickets online at the Gala Durham website Durham Gala Theatre, DH1 1WA

Tickets: £10 Standard, £8 Concession/Student

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Durham Revue comedy

Daisy Hargreaves

I’m Daisy a finalist studying English Literature. This is my third year in the Revue, and I has enjoyed it thoroughly, especially this year as the group’s Co-President. I have found writing and performing with the Revue invaluable experience in my preparation to pursue a career in the performing arts industry after graduation.

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