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REVIEW - NewsRevue: HMS Unthinkable (Edinburgh Fringe 2023)

Updated: Apr 24

Pleasance Grand


NewsRevue: HMS Unthinkable. Photo credit: Ross McGivern

Newsrevue is a song and sketch show that parodies our crazy world, giving us all a bit of light relief from the madness in which we live.

Opening with an inspired Spice Girls sequence where each of the UK political parties had their own song - I cackled at "Lib Dems Forever" (Viva Forever) - the cast then lead us through many world headlines and current affairs in a fast-paced, variety of vivacious sketches.

It really is remarkable how up to date some of the content is. From King Charles to Keir Starmer, Putin to Sunak, even some very recent 'Holly and Phil' and Nicola Sturgeon references - no one is safe from parody.

It's impossible to say which scenes I enjoyed most without adding spoilers, so I'll only mention a select few: Greta Thunberg in Hairspray (You can't stop the Heat) and a takedown of our appalling rail network via the medium of Les Mis (Empty Trains at Empty Stations) had me shaking my head in disbelief at the sheer genius of it all. I was delighted by just how many musical theatre songs and references were used throughout. Though there really was something for everyone. There were only one or two skits that didn't really land with the audience, but considering the amount they got through, this is only to be expected.

The fantastic cast are accompanied by on-stage Musical Director Richard Baker (Peter Pan Goes Wrong - composer/musical director) who was the highlight of the show for me. His skill and talent evident, he truly held the show together. His little nods to the previous scene with subtle, sometimes cheeky song references, did not go unnoticed.

I have a very short attention span, and so I loved that we had different musical styles and a different scenario every few minutes with this show. The rap battle was hilarious. And the Queen sequence at the end was dynamite: I will never forget their take on "Killer Queen".

The set and costumes in Newsrevue are minimal, but the talented cast and musical director don't need anything else. They had me in stitches, and in awe of their talents. It's very clever, brilliantly produced and performed. And most importantly, great fun!


When and Where?

Dates: Wed 2nd – Sun 27th August 2023, 17:30

Running Time: 60 minutes

Location: Pleasance Courtyard (Grand), 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ

Tickets are available from

Notes: Ages14+

📸 Photo credit: Ross McGivern


Newsrevue Cast and Creatives

Director Charlie Ryall

Musical Director Richard Baker

Cast Elspeth Day-Collins

Freddie Walker

Mohamed Bangura

Phoebe-Loveday Raymond

About NewsRevue

Director Charlie Ryall comments: NewsRevue has been an institution for years and what makes it exciting is its eternal relevancy. The changing face of comedy over the last decade, and the way in which the public consumes media, means that freshness is more necessary than ever, and the team at NewsRevue is always looking to not only adapt to the changing landscape, but to drive it. Working on this show is always such a pleasure; the talent on stage and behind the scenes really must be seen to be believed. Now, more than ever, we as a nation need to find ways to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and if NewsRevue can help to hold the torch, then we’re doing our bit.

Awarded with London Pub Theatre’s 2022 Commendation for Outstanding Achievement, NewsRevue is acknowledged as a highly successful springboard for the incredible talents involved, many of whom started their careers on the show before scaling great comedy heights. Described by Chortle as a rite of passage for all comedy new-comers, previous alumni include: Gemma Whelan, Sara Pascoe, Cariad Lloyd, Bridget Christie, Jess Fostekew, Tamsyn Kelly, Alistair McGowan, Bill Bailey, Reece Shearsmith, Abi Carter-Simpson and Mark Gatiss


REVIEW - NewsRevue: HMS Unthinkable, comedy satire and sketch show, at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023

🎟️ Disclosure: I am an Edinburgh Festival Fringe accredited media reviewer and as such I receive complimentary press tickets in exchange for my honest reviews. My reviews and star ratings are always my honest opinions.

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Lisa in the theatre, theater, reviews, blog, Scotland, Scottish


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