GKT Comedy Revue: An Everlasting Investigation

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First year Theology student Lucy Lowe has submitted a Stage 2 Complaint Form after attending the play “Situational Judgement Day,” describing it as “deeply offensive and insensitive”. The venue was hosted by GKT Comedy Revue back in November. An investigation followed, but as of June 26, no final decision has been made.

Lucy attended the play on November 21. After seeing it, she has expressed her concerns with King’s in a formal email, followed by an official complaint in early December. Some of the problematic scenes and dialogues she refers to include:

  • A song ridiculing stillbirth named “Floppy Baby” in which addiction and brain damage was ridiculed; 
  • A scene which turned the suicide of a stressed medical student into a joke – “the student in the sketch told his parents he was considering jumping off Guy’s tower and then shot himself off stage. After his suicide his parents responded with: ‘lets make another one’”;
  • Scenes that made light of Schizophrenia;
  • Scenes that ridiculed those with sexually transmitted diseases

and others. 

Lucy also mentions there were a few scenes with full-frontal nudity, which caused discomfort to some of her friends. She also points out that “filming was permitted during the show meaning that images of completely nude students could now be circulating the internet, with a large sign of KMT behind them”. However, students recall there has been a warning message on the play’s poster on the KCLSU website highlighting the presence of nude scenes. No other warning signs were present at the venue itself, and students do not recall any other indications of the severity of the humour. The overall reaction of the audience has been mixed with some laughs, but long-lasting silence after particular scenes. According to Lucy and other witnesses, there were staff members at the venue. One student who wished to remain anonymous shared: “If I recall correctly, there were members of staff from Guy’s Campus present at this event – how is their participation in this event consistent with the promise of the “King’s Strategic Vision 2029”  to ‘foster an inclusive culture’”.

Timeline:

After Lucy issued the complaint in early December, she was told an investigation would take place. She was kept updated until mid February. Following the procedures, outlined in G31 Student Complaints Regulation, she has received an email on February 11, stating the investigation is near completion. On February 27, she was told that “the group has appealed the decision; thus extending the investigation further”. As of mid June, she has not received any further information neither regarding King’s initial decision, nor the further development of the appealing process. She has therefore contacted Roar: I have been complaining to King’s for 7 months, and I truly believed that they would do something about it. I didn’t want to annoy anyone by telling the press but it’s gone too far. The email from Professor Marion Thain about BLM really pushed me over the edge – I have no evidence to suggest KCL cares about Black lives.” According to students the play included racist jokes and comments including a kiss between a white and a black student captioned as a “chocolate surprise” and inappropriate accent imitations.

Following these events, Roar contacted GKT Comedy Revue and the KCLSU in mid June. Both organisations confirmed the outcome is still in discussion without disclosing any further details. In the meantime, GKT Comedy Revue published a statement on their Facebook page on June 14, highlighting they “have never intended to offend any particular group and  apologise for the times when (they) have caused hurt”. It is unclear whether the statement is referring to “Situational Judgement Day” and the negative reactions the play has sparked. On June 18, the organisation created a form, urging students to share their past experiences and provide recommendations for future plays.

As of June 26, Roar has not been informed of a final outcome of Lucy’s complaint. King’s has footage of the entire play, but did not disclose such information neither with Lucy, nor with Roar. 

 

Deputy Editor @ Roar News. Liberal Arts. Content creation, design, photography. Huge nature and mountain lover.

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