The Birthday Girls: Sh!t Hot Party Legends  | Review by Steve Bennett
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The Birthday Girls: Sh!t Hot Party Legends

Review by Steve Bennett

This is comedy as party. The Birthday Girls are pre-loading as the audience come in, dancing around the space, a-whoopin’ and a-hollerin’, and handing out shots. Let’s get it started in here! Ha!

With truckloads of sass, this wild and wicked threesome are tapping into a ‘girls night out’ vibe almost completely ignored by comedy until Luisa Omielan broke through a few years back. Now Rose Johnson, Camille Ucan and Beattie Edmondson are doing the same for sketch comedy: giving it an undeniably modern, proudly female and gloriously celebratory twist.

The enthusiastic twentysomethings dance between sketches, many of which are set in da club as Rose, the alpha; Camille, the oddball (and that takes some doing in this company); and Beattie the awkward one, a bit too middle-class and repressed for all this, hit the town. You can envisage these elements expanded to an entire site-specific show, played out in a nightclub before a DJ kicks in… but that would be to lose some of the other skits that work so well.

Best was the spot-on parody mocking of the creative inanity of pranksters via a bizarre caricature of a local crime novelist, possibly only chosen for the punning potential of calling him Ian Prankin. And the writer got off lightly given the grotesque version of Jamie Oliver who makes an appearance in another sketch. Another inspired idea were the couple so terrified of a poor Airbnb rating they could be pressured into anything.

Almost inevitably there are a few misfires. The TED talk on shoes didn’t really come off, and the running gag about a girl in love with her hair couldn’t quite overcome its contrivance, thought it did lead to a cringe-inducingly funny parody of a best man speech.

But the high spirits and party vibe are very forgiving, glossing over rough edges, and injecting everything with an infectious energy. Since when was partying about finesse anyway? And even the odd cliche, such as the irritating, gushing ‘OMG! Let’s do a selfie!’ girls with their rising inflections of uncertainty in every sentence, were given a fresh twist.

The Birthday Girls, surely the Little Mix of sketch comedy, have a dancefloor-filling hit on their hands.

Review date: 23 Aug 2016
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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