Med Medleys Revue - Special Alumni Edition

Thursday 13 September, 2012

Generations of medical students have entertained their friends and families over many years of the Med Medleys Revue.

In 2012, players and directors from the 1970s to more recent years joined together with current students to revive, review and re-live some Medleys highlights from the past in a special alumni production of ‘Lawrence of the Labia’.

Medleys alumnus Will Twycross (MBBS 1977) returned to the Medley’s this year and provides his musings on the special alumni show – a highlight of the Melbourne Medical School ‘s 150th anniversary year:

“St Martins is a great old theatre, but has almost no wings or backstage area, so on the night of the Medleys it was minor chaos as alumni and students gathered down in the bowels, rehearsing lines from past and future triumphs, and Professor James Better wandered around with his cane and white beard.

The backstage crew had done an amazing job setting the lighting, sound and props up for this completely "new" show, with acts being inserted and cancelled right up to the rise of the curtain (there was no curtain).

As the crowd gathered, the stage band stuck up. They were sensational, setting the tone for a wonderful show. I was amazed at how versatile the students were in their singing, dancing and comedic acting. They did an amazing job not only with their own material, but also in reprising some of the very old acts which alumni had sent in to be included in the show, such as "The Pimple" and "The Hogben Toad". Some of their acts, and some of those of the alumni were pure gold. From where I was backstage, the Babies' Riverdance, the Aliens, Dr Seuss, the Cicadas, Dr Spock, The Clown, the Bicycle sketch, the Mad Psychiatrist and the Finger Juggler were real standouts, but I missed quite a few getting ready backstage, so there were probably ten more that could be mentioned.

The 150th staff did a great job putting together a commemorative program. They also gathered together programs from yesteryear to project on the cyclorama during the show, giving the night a great sense of history.

It is hard to imagine that the students managed to put together two shows this year for Medleys - one a combined show with the performers of yesteryear, and then two nights of their own show - all in a completely new venue after the Union Theatre went down with a case of asbestosis. Having performed there many times, the diagnosis made me cough just thinking about it.

A number of the students said they enjoyed getting a greater sense of the tradition of the show. As an alumnus it was great to get a sense of how the Medleys is today, and how it has evolved.

The show had a great "feel" to it. The full house, many old Medleys stagers themselves, gave a great reception to the acts of both students and alumni.

History was both made and recreated. It was a huge ask, but also a brilliant triumph.”

View the photo gallery here.