FROM the cost of living to the coronation. From prime ministers coming and going to more U-turns than you can count. From TV scandals to former presidents finding themselves indicted. There is, to put it lightly, so much news right now.

It might seem an impossible task to condense all that and more into a one-hour show but that’s exactly what the team behind NewsRevue has done.

Director Charlie Ryall, who was forced to step in for a sick cast member on the day she spoke with the Sunday National, laughs when confronted with just how much is happening in the world at the moment.

She’s just come off stage after donning wigs to take on a number of roles from Angela Rayner to Rishi Sunak to King Charles.

“I would say the first thing we do is discuss with each other on the first day of the process exactly what is in the news”, she explains.

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“We ask who’s been talking about what things and prioritise the main ones as we go through. If we’ve got gaps then we go look for the more niche stories.”

How does the show work?

NewsRevue is comprised of a series of sketches, the majority of which are no more than a couple of minutes long if even that.

Many of them are parodies of well-known songs and the show kicks off with “If You Wanna Be An MP”.

Aside from the brilliance of the sketches themselves, you have to admire the range of topics covered and the pace at which the performers move on stage as they shift from playing any number of characters who might be up for grab whether it’s Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Queen Camilla or Phillip Schofield.

Some naturally work better than others, but one which will surely always land is a sketch which re-imagines a version of PMQs between Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak as a rap battle, with a brilliant cameo from one of the cast as LibDem leader Ed Davey.

We even see how Suella Braverman would react to Paddington Bear's arrival.

The show’s highlight though comes in its final performance as a number of Queen songs are parodied to represent the ongoing dramas surrounding King Charles and co.

The National:

“Camilla Queen” is the standout here but royal versions of Bohemian Rhapsody and Don’t Stop Me Now also feature.

Dealing with absurdity

The problem that NewsRevue has of course is that sometimes the news is just so absurd in and of itself.

It's been running for 44 years now but the news at times feels more ridiculous than ever which prompts the question - how do you make satire when what’s being said is already so stupid at times?

“Honestly that makes things much harder”, Ryall (below, far left) explains.

The National:

“We really struggle with Trump as a person in sketches because he is already such a joke that creating jokes for him is surprisingly hard.

“Boris gives us a similar problem because they’re both just clowns. We can’t just say what they’ve said but generally speaking we always find a way. It just might take a bit longer.”

Favourite characters

Having just stood in for a sick cast-member, the director admits she can “barely remember” what just happened.

Some of the sketches included a portrayal of Nicola Sturgeon and Ryall admits it’s been refreshing to see jokes about Scotland received in Edinburgh.

“The reactions here have been fun. Sometimes in London they just see it’s Scotland and think ‘oh you’re Scottish, cool’.

“But here the audiences have gone wild. They’ve really greeted Nicola (Sturgeon) with the reaction she deserves.

“There are always some who will get the same reaction wherever you are.”

But, when it comes to stand-out roles, there’s one former prime minister who Ryall enjoyed playing.

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“I like a baddie. I really enjoyed playing Theresa May.”

When asked about the characters who seem to just provide an endless source of material, Ryall explained: “Trump is definitely one but I would say Boris is the longest-standing cast member.

“We have had a blue cycle helmet in the props cupboard for around 10 years at the very least.”

NewsRevue is running until August 27 at The Grand in the Pleasance Courtyard and more information can be found HERE.