As I entered the venue I wasn’t sure if some punters had gotten a bit too into the spirit of things, and hijacked The Birthday Girls’ venue. Three girls – a suspicious number in hindsight – were dancing around the centre of the room, handing out shots and generally just causing a scene. It was really quite a spectacle.
Of course the trio was Birthday Girls; Beattie, Rose, and Camille. Once we’re all seated they launch into a hyperbolic, but eerily accurate, portrayal of three smashed 20-somethings. That is to say that not much changed at all, but that the show had now ‘officially’ begun.
What follows is an hour long roast of party girl culture, complete with tasteless leggings and ponytails taller than the heads they’re on. It would have been easy for Birthday Girls to punch down at the butts of the joke, all pointed fingers and sneering laughs. Instead, there’s a sense of affection for the stereotypical ‘drunk bird.’ They know these girls, and like anyone who isn’t Ebenezer Scrooge they know you can’t really fault some drunk girl who’s just having a laugh. It’s not hard to suspect they’re a little guilty of being these girls, everyone once in a while.
These are three smart people acting enormously stupid. They’re not out to do much more than have fun and be fun, it’s great. Sketches are absurd but astute riffs on modern femininity, segregated by short snippets of deliberately poorly choreographed dancing. It feels like by the end they’ve faux-sexy-danced to every classic club banger in history. It’s simultaneously the smartest and dumbest way to transition sketches I’ve yet seen, and a perfect fit for the tone.
There’s a genuine sense of friendship between the girls that elevates the parody. They work as a squad, playing crude pastiches of themselves. Rose comes across as the bossy leader when in character, but has a genuinely impressive command of the audience. Camille takes the role of the weird friend, but the real Camille provides spot on impressions, and is the heart of several of the most absurd sketches. Beattie plays the awkward, rigidly brought up posh girl trying hard to fit in. Again, in reality, Beattie provides amazing comic timing and delivery, whenever the girls play with expectations it’s her they rely on for landing the punchline.
Absolutely determined to be obnoxious, they steal a pint from the audience and neck it, rummage around in a woman’s bag and take her phone, and just about lapdance several front-row viewers. Their sheer commitment to the joke is honestly spectacular.
There’s one or two missteps here and there, jokes that don’t quite land, particularly the closing lines of many sketches. It’s a very rough show, but hard to fault for it. It’s extremely daft, and maybe not terribly funny to someone who hasn’t ever been at a party with a real life ‘Birthday Girl,’ but the majority who are familiar should have great fun.