Birthday Girls: 2053 | Review by Steve Bennett
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Birthday Girls: 2053

Note: This review is from 2013

Review by Steve Bennett

This sketch show from three-fifths of the now disbanded Lady Garden is set is a dystopian future where comedy has been outlawed. But based on the weakness of most of this offering, they would be guilty of a minor misdemeanour at best.

Too much of it relies on poor-quality puns, gags that just aren’t surprising enough, and an agonisingly unfunny Scottish soap opera that’s all screeching bad accents and little wit. Generally, their performances are big but perfunctory, we don’t get to know the characters, nor are they bold enough grotesques to work on an exaggerated level. Sometimes we get an intriguing glimpse at the actors’ real personalities, but then than promising gateway to humour is quickly slammed shut.

Ideas that just about scrape muster once become recurring sketches; as do those that had little chance of flying in the first place, such as the running line that Beattie Edmondson likes nothing more than giving blow-jobs to dogs. Classy.

She’s joined by Rose Johnson, playing a timid type scared of the act of sedition they are supposedly pulling off by hosting this underground sketch show, and the charismatic Camille Ucan, whose impish twinkle gives the leaden script rare sparkles of humanity.

Comedy is about being elastic with reality, but their contrivances are so stretched it breaks. For example a dimwit who thinks being a ‘breadwinner’ actually involves winning bread might be a nice throwaway pun, but they play it out to a full sketch.

What else to mention? They replace an alarm that sounds when the government anti-comedy squads approach with fart sounds; make a tedious joke that the defiant ‘fuck them’ could also mean ‘to have intercourse with them’; and they have a dating consultant doling out the most basic of inappropriate advice.

There are a couple of nicer ideas, such as the well-executed conversation conducted almost entirely in indecipherable noises, but they are rare glimmers in a lacklustre hour.

Review date: 6 Aug 2013
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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