The Leek | Issue 12

The Leek | Issue 12

Clean up the Capping Show!

As this year’s Capping Show season draws to a close, OUSA executives have been forced to reconsider their rules regarding the permissible subject-matter of the numerous and varied sketches dotted throughout the show. Following a volley of complaints from a number of parents, grandparents, faculty members and some of the more prudish students, it has become clear that the powers that be really need to sit down and draw up some new boundaries.

In the days before political correctness was so severely drilled into every man, woman and Jew’s head, basically any conceivable topic was fair game for the mockery, farce, innuendo and parody for which the Show is famed. In the years leading up to this one, the list of sanctioned topics has undergone a veritable rollercoaster of change. For a while, the sphincter tightened considerably – until some GC realised that kids will be kids, and a daring, naughty capping revue might be just what the doctor ordered. Finally, as taboos morphed into grey areas and grey areas slid into the mainstream, OUSA issued a decree to the writers and directors of this year’s show, stating that the only topics that they see fit to veto are “bestiality” and “rape.”

With these extremely relaxed guidelines, the show was thoroughly filthy – left, right and center. Perhaps the most concerning slice of perversion that found its way into the show came at the hands of the University of Otago Sextet. The boys put forth a rousing rendition of “Paedophile’s Picnic,” which, of course, spoke only of consensual acts. While one might think that it was content of this nature that caused the older generations to storm out of the theatre in indignation, eye-witnesses reported many of them happily tapping their feet and humming along to the familiar tune.

In fact, it was something else entirely that had the oldies so upset. Countless comments were made about the “disgusting, distasteful” suggestions, innuendos and displays of lesbianism – though the unhappy individuals in question professed to be unfazed by the numerous gay references (and the homoerotic tension that persisted between two main characters) throughout the show. In addition to this, some parents expressed deep-seated concern that the show made fun of Arabs, which they fear will cause terrorists to target the University in order to exact revenge.

Although OUSA tries hard to strike a balance in the show between letting the young ones have their fun and upholding the University’s image, the number of offended revue-goers this year indicates that they may have been quite wrong about how much the public can actually handle. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
This article first appeared in Issue 12, 2013.
Posted 1:24pm Sunday 19th May 2013 by Campbell Ecklein.