Birthday Girls blast party anthems as the crowd files in. Beattie Edmondson, Rose Johnson and Camille Ucan are daubing glitter onto the faces of audience members and handing out vodka shots: pre-state pre-drinks. It does the trick - we’re suitably hyped and 100% onboard.
The aesthetic achieved by the music and tech is fantastic: I don’t think I’ve ever felt so up for a show in my life
The show is punctuated with skits and exchanges set in the world of the club: Edmondson and Ucan implore Johnson to get all their coats into the cloakroom as “one item”; a selfie taken from higher and higher angles forces all three into a back bend. The group dynamic is infectious. Ucan swigs from the audience’s drinks between sketches, Edmondson flirts outrageously with the front row throughout and Johnson holds it all together as our designated driver for the evening.The aesthetic achieved by the music and tech is fantastic: I don’t think I’ve ever felt so up for a show in my life.
First up is a parody advert for the latest fashion in pubic hair: “Broccoli-puss!” It’s only five minutes in and all three performers are holding broccoli florets between their legs and praising the natural health benefits of going green, before seductively chewing and spitting it out to shrieks of laughter. It’s a satisfyingly grotesque piss-take and nicely sets up the raucous tone.
The ensuing sketches are for the most part set in the outside world, and while performed with buckets of style and enthusiasm, feel a little empty content-wise. The ideas are zanily inventive: crime-writer-turned-prankster Ian ‘Prankin’ Rankin, a terrifying Airbnb host, Janet from work who marries her hair. There are some fantastic lines (“Margot and Jim got a bad Airbnb rating and now they can’t get a mortgage”), but the writing isn’t quite tight enough, and at points veers towards being self-consciously bizarre: a Ted Talk about shoes doesn’t seem to know what it’s doing, and risks resorting to funny voices to mine the laughs. Some material feels a bit familiar - Camille Ucan’s gurning Jamie Oliver is wonderfully surreal but is unfortunately reminiscent of sketch trio Daphne’s electrifyingly shifty Ainsley Harriott character, performed last year at the same venue.
Birthday Girls would do well to sustain the more satirical and incisive tone they open with, and it would have been interesting to see a more detailed narrative or backstory emerge, but the atmosphere is buzzy and the laughs are plentiful: Sh!t Hot Party Legends is an uproarious hour of comedy and a great night out.