NewsRevue cracked its first gag at The Gate, London, back in 1979 and in the summer of that year premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it has returned annually ever since. It was the creation of Cambridge university chums Mike Hodd and Jack Thorington. Professor Michael Hodd has remained with the show since the very beginning. A few years after its inception it moved to its own venue, the Canal Café Theatre, where it continues to play to packed houses 50 weeks of the year.
Artistic Director and long term producer Emma Taylor, came on board in 2001 and together with an incredibly committed team of creatives, writers and performers helped NewsRevue become a total sell-out sensation every year at the Edinburgh Fringe. Since 2009 it has played in a 340-seat venue in the famous Pleasance Courtyard and prior to that spent many successful years at C Venues.
In 2004 it gained the Guinness World Record for being the World’s Longest Running Live Comedy Show.
It is up-dated on a weekly basis to reflect what’s happening in the news by an ever-expanding team of writers and the cast. The cast, director and musical director change every 6 weeks, always 2 women and 2 men, although when it first began the line up was 3 men and 1 woman. The NewsRevue audition is legendary and as many as 300 performers will apply to audition. The constant updating of material and faces has allowed NewsRevue to build up a cult following in London and beyond. The team are often booked for corporate events and the BBC.
Former NewsRevuers include the likes of Rory Bremner, Alistair McGowan, Bill Bailey, Michelle Collins, Saskia Reeves, a portion of the League of Gentlemen, Bridget Christie and Sara Pascoe. Apparently Ben Elton auditioned but didn’t get in on account of his singing and although Hugh Grant did appear at the Canal Café Theatre in a comedy show about sport he didn’t actually appear in NewsRevue!