This brand new comedy web-series from a small army of Cambridge students not only provides numerous laugh-out-loud moments, but also excitingly messes with conventional comedy form. Magpies Love Mirrors is somewhat of an enigma, blending sketch comedy with recurring characters and storylines, surreal parody with dry wit, that by the final episode, you’re perhaps more confused about what Magpies Love Mirrors is than you were in the first place. And yet, it works. Brilliantly.
The Pythonesque absurdism of Magpies is actually a refreshing palate cleanser from the equally-brilliant-but-over-crowded satirical comedy-dramas dealing with love, and death, and politics, etc. Four episodes of surreal escapism is just what the doctor ordered in the current climate, and the show delivers that on all fronts. Though its influences are visible (Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Peep Show), they do not overpower the originality brought to the table here; even the show-within-a-show trope is taken apart and re-worked to create something completely unique and incredibly clever – suffice to say, hilarity ensues.
However, perhaps the most impressive aspect of the series is its slick production. Though produced on virtually no budget, it’s impossible to notice. Rowan Hall Maudslay’s direction and editing skills are one to watch, working in perfect harmony with the pace of the script, whilst using the camera in interesting (but not superfluous) ways, all of which creates a deft, polished product, clearly crafted with an expert eye (with a flair for comedy to boot). Additionally, the score works cohesively with the final cut, being both reminiscent of the sketch-comedies of yore, whilst retaining its quirkiness and originality, much like the screenplay.
With hilarious, absurdist writing, slick production on all fronts, and a stellar cast that I’m sure will be gracing our stages and screens in the coming years, Magpies Love Mirrors is absolutely not one to miss.
Magpies Love Mirrors is uploaded to YouTube weekly.
Words by James Nash