WILL OWEN

Chewing Gum, according to its cast and director, isn’t your conventional sketch show. Continuing the tradition of using their slot to cater for people who are new to sketch comedy, it is ‘fresh, new and chewy’; and sitting in their rehearsal, I can certainly attest to its chewiness.

"Confident delivery will be ensured by the four effervescent personalities making up the cast"

Some words thrown around to describe the feel of the show are ‘cheap’, ‘fun’, ‘bubbly’, and ‘does the job’, which it certainly does; the weird but disarmingly funny character comedy I witness has me smiling as soon as I enter the room. There is a wide variety in terms of format, ranging from character monologues to song and dance; what strikes me, however, is their effort not to rely on conventional tropes and references. It’s surprising, and mostly bizarre, featuring shoelaces, plane journeys and gremlins. However, it works, especially with the confident delivery ensured by the four effervescent personalities making up the cast.

Director Will Owen, while evidently leading the cast through the process, makes it clear that it has been the cast members who have done the bulk of the work in writing and devising the material, whereas everyone has had a say during the editing process. ‘I think we’ve put this show together every day for the past two and a half weeks, and once the ball gets rolling – it doesn’t stop!’ says cast member Molly Windust. Having initially come up with forty-five different sketches that they have had to cut down in order to fit into an hour-long show, the creative dynamic at play between these cast members is clearly something special. ‘Often you see comedy where one person is shining, but it doesn’t feel competitive at all between us,’ says Owen. ‘Everyone wants to be the best together, so I think we’ve struck a better balance.’ Indeed, the sense of camaraderie in the room was the most notable aspect of the rehearsal for me. ‘Everything has come second to this show’, I hear a cast member say, and it shows in the bonds that have clearly been forged between the cast and director.

The point of this particular sketch show, however, is to provide an accessible way into the Cambridge comedy scene for those who haven’t experienced it before. The cast voices their appreciation of Owen, not only because he is ‘such an incredible director and such an incredible human’, but also because he has given them a platform which makes auditioning for other comedy shows a much less intimidating experience. Owen is equally appreciative of his cast and is plainly keen to work with such a high-energy and bubbly group of people on what looks to be an exciting start to all of their Cambridge comedy careers.


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‘At the end of the day, it’s funny’, asserts cast member Esther Macpherson confidently, and from what I’ve seen, I agree with her. Tickets are selling extremely quickly for Chewing Gum and capacities have had to be increased on both nights, so don’t miss this opportunity to see what promises to be an evening of light comic relief from your end-of-term stresses. 

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