By Ron Bingham
One of my favourite comedy acts is back in Edinburgh for a strictly limited run of four shows. The Birthday Girls, Beattie Edmondson, Rose Johnson and Camille Ucan, have been playing Edinburgh for a decade now (starting in sketch troupe Lady Garden). This year they have returned with Late-night Comedy Party which is a selection of their favourite sketches, a couple of new ones, some guest comedians as well dancing, drinking and molesting the late night audience.
I was very happy that they performed one of my favourite sketches, which involved the continued use of the word Kofte, something which still makes me giggle when I visit my local Turkish supermarket. There was also a very funny, and creepy, sketch involving a babysitter for Jamie Oliver.
I can’t recall the names of all the numerous guests on the night I was there but some of the guests who stood out on the night I attended were sketch duo Lazy Susan, Lou Sanders and Suzie Ruffell. The audience were pumped, a little drunk (helped by a number of free shots from our hosts) and very vocal in their appreciation of the comedy on offer.
This really was like going to a wild wonderful party. A loud, raucous and filthy ninety minutes of comedy from some talented women out to share a great time with their many friends.
Late-night Comedy Party was on at Pleasance Courtyard
By Ron Bingham
Once again the Birthday Girls (Beattie Edmondson, Rose Johnson and Camille Ucan) deliver an hour of low-brow, tacky, tasteless, loud comedy…and the audience loved it. The show started with the BGs on the dance floor, sorry ‘stage’, greeting the audience as we arrived, handing out shots and grooving to the extremely loud dance music playing through the speakers.
The sketches consisted of a variety of vignettes on the theme of partying, interspersed with dance numbers, involving a lot of very amusing props and costumes. There were tales of love and romance and betrayal, personal hygiene tips and warnings of the dangers of using newfangled online sharing sites such as AirBNB and Uber. There was also a (very tiny) bit of audience interaction. The music was apparently some of the most modern of dance tunes (I’ve never felt so old!), as well as ‘classics’ like, umm….I recognised something from the Spice Girls and….someone told me they finished with a Take That song and….who did that Milkshake song again? Anyway, most people will know and enjoy the music I’m sure.
As it was an opening show, there were a few minor technical hitches with props and positioning but, as always, the audience were having a great time. If you want to see an hour of hilarity, very rude costumes, lots of props (and weasels), surprise running gags, deliberately laboured punchlines, possibly libellous routines about beloved Scottish crime writers, excellent tips for getting around in nightclubs and some big dance routines in a small space, this should definitely be on the list. They may not be suave and sophisticated, but they are very funny.
Sh!t Hot Party Legends is on at the Pleasance Courtyard until August 28
By Ron Bingham
Birthday Girls 2053 is performed by Beattie Edmondson, Rose Johnson and Camille Ucan, who are former members of sketch group Lady Garden (last seen in sketches in the first series of BBC3’s Live at the Electric). Lady Garden had been favourites of the Edinburgh Fringe for the last few years (apart from last year) and I think that on the evidence presented in this show these three are the maddest ones from that group.
This new show, in a very crowded small room, is set in the year 2053 when everything good has been banned, including comedy. The girls are rebels against the oppressive regime and are performing a secret gig to fellow comedy lovers in a secret (surprise surprise) very crowded small room. The outside world in so polluted that everyone has to wear oxygen masks and full body decontamination suits (or as I was calling them – white summer onesies).
The sketches are hilarious but insane and include some extremely terrible puns and some hideous mental images. There is also a recurring soap opera which involves some of the worst Scottish accents to grace the Fringe stage (if there was a Scottish Tourist Police, the show would be shut down). There are some inadvisable dating tips from Rose and a few embarrassing revelations about Camille and Beattie throughout. The Finale recaptures elements of many of the preceding sketches in an explosive culminating sequence.
The three performers are all seasoned professionals, but that doesn’t stop them breaking out of character occasionally to pick on one another, which gave the show an refreshing spontenaiety. The show as a whole, was very much laugh out loud (to the point of tears rolling down the face) funny which had a storyline which almost made sense and wasn’t just used as a weak linking device for a bunch of sketches. If you enjoyed their previous work in Lady Garden or you are looking for something hilarious but surreal, then you can’t go past this show. As the room was full for a weekday at the start of the festival, I can predict that you will need to book early for your tickets,
Birthday Girls 2053 is on at Pleasance Courtyard at 6pm
Bookings though https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/birthday-girls-2053