Saturday 20th October

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Birthday Girls: Sh*t Hot Party Legends review

| Comedy, Dance, Festivals | 25/08/2016

RAVE Edinburgh poster
Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more enjoyable time at the Fringe than an hour of Birthday Girls’ raucously funny sketches.

From the second you enter the room to find the performers handing out shots, dancing wildly and decorating the audience with glittery makeup, you know that fun’s the aim of the game for the next hour.  Birthday Girls – Rose Johnson, Beattie Edmondson and Camille Ucan – hijack the crowd on their Saturday night out, the basis from which their hilarious sketches spill.  In between, the trio perform amazingly choreographed and suggestive dances – the kind of segues used on TV sketch shows, where they’re surely destined to be.

The sketches are brilliantly varied and surrealist, poking fun far and wide.  They mock women’s obsession with looks, when Johnson marries her hair before losing it to another woman.  They send up the idea of celebrity – cleverly applying a local lens to their focus – with Johnson again excelling as Edinburgh author Ian Rankin, who reinvents himself as a Beadle’s About prankster.  Then there are more thoughtful sketches, pointing out the absurdity of modern life.  The best centre on a couple forced to perform sex acts for a flat owner and taxi driver, through fear of getting bad ratings on Airbnb and Uber.

It’s impossible to say which of the Birthday Girls is most talented, given the way they display and rely on each other’s qualities throughout.

Edmondson’s more well-known, stemming from comedy royalty and starring in the underrated Josh and amusing Maltesers advert.  She’s the girliest, but switches brilliantly to the role of elderly woman, where her voice takes on that of her mother, Jennifer Saunders.  Johnson’s the pack leader (as suggested in this ‘behind the scenes’ video), guiding many of the scenes and standing out in the hair and Ian Prankin skits in particular.  That leaves Ucan – the smallest and bolshiest – who steals loads of sketches (not to mention drinks from the audience) with her hilarious accents and wild eyes, most notably those about a woman who has sex with her shoes, and another where Edmondson has to babysit Ucan’s bizarrely hilarious Jamie Oliver creation.

All things told, the most entertaining hour of the Fringe.

Birthday Girls are performing Sh*t Hot Party Legends at 21.45 at Pleasance Courtyard until 28th August.  For tickets, head here.  For details of their upcoming shows, see Birthday Girls’ official website or follow them @BDayGirlsComedy on Twitter.

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