If you haven't met, Birthday Girls were once one half, then three fifths, of the admired sketch troupe Lady Garden. When the former group disbanded, Beattie Edmondson, Rose Johnson and Camille Ucan reformed as a trio. Now coming into their second year, Party Vibes establishes what they’re all about: put simply, it's joy.
This show never stops for breath. It's unashamed, infectious and feel-good, a show of sublime choreographed silliness. Birthday Girls have a warmth and rapport that spreads out from the stage and embraces the whole room. The entertainment is all-inclusive too with parodies of Game of Thrones and The Great British Bake Off that will appeal to a broad audience. They skewer their targets with accuracy and intelligence, and all three have terrific acting ability. Beattie can put layer-upon-layer of emotion into a befuddled expression, Rose has unique intonation that echoes in the memory long after the show is over, while Camille is the accelerant who sets the party ablaze.
Sure, some might pooh-pooh the party bags and say this sounds like it's served up with too much pop and lashings of jelly and cream. But then a show called Party Vibes doesn't hide this, it's a title that announces up-front exactly what Birthday Girls set out to do. You'll struggle to see another performance quite like this because the trio approaches each show as if convinced it's their last ever night on stage.
This is the perfect party for the Christmas season. Think of a ticket for Party Vibes as a strike against the winter blues. Don't let the old black dog lick his balls in triumph: if you can't smile here, you probably can’t smile at all.
By Ben Venables
Party Vibes is directed by Tom Parry (Pappys) and is Birthday Girls debut at Soho Theatre. The show runs from 9-13 December, 8.30pm. Prices are £10 on Tuesday/Wednesday and £12.50/£10 from Thursday to Saturday.