Birthday Girls: 2053 (3 stars)

This article is from 2013

Birthday Girls: 2053

Sketch absurdity and eccentricity in spades

Birthday Girls are three fifths of sketchers Lady Garden: ringleader Rose, innocent-looking but not-so-secretly filthy Beattie, and Camille, who fills the trio’s ‘creepy idiot child’ role with aplomb. Their first show as a threesome has a lot going for it, particularly in the second half, when everything seems to gain a bit of pace and the weaker sketches are firmly out of the way.

Coming to you from 2053 – when sketch comedy has been banned and a dangerous smog envelops the land – they’re performing a clandestine underground comedy gig with occasional hazmat-clad forays outside. All the best moments are in the sketches themselves, while the ‘story’ bits often feel stagey and unnecessary.

As well as speed and a sense of urgency, also on the increase as the night goes on is eccentricity, and this is very much for the best. Birthday Girls have got absurdity in spades and will stop at nothing to get laughs: even if that does mean a little too much reliance on Camille’s absolute willingness to disgrace and degrade herself (think aggressive belly dancing and spaghetti eating) to make it happen.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 26 Aug (not 13), 6pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8).