ED2013 Comedy ED2013 Interviews ED2013 Week3 Edition

Birthday Girls: Happy Birthday to you… for in fifty years time

By | Published on Tuesday 20 August 2013

Birthday Girls

You may well have come across Beattie Edmondson, Rose Johnson and Camille Ucan before as one half of sketch comedy group Lady Garden. But now they are back with a brand new name – Birthday Girls – and brand a new show – ‘2053’ – which is only set in the bloomin future. We caught up with all three Birthday Girls to find out more.

CC: We last saw you perform as part of Lady Garden. When and why did you form Birthday Girls?
Beattie: When we became a trio at Christmas we decided to change our name, because it felt like we were starting something new. Also, as a group we are half the number from when we started out, and we didn’t want people complaining that they were only getting half as much Lady Garden for their money!

CC: Tell us about ‘Birthday Girls: 2053’
Rose: It’s a sketch show set in 2053, when comedy has been outlawed. Birthday Girls fight the regime by performing sketch comedy illegally, but we could be discovered at any moment…

CC: Why did you decide to set your show in the future?
Rose: We wanted to try doing a sketch show with a narrative, as we’d never really done that before as Lady Garden. We came up with the idea of setting it in the future in January and ambitiously – or maybe foolishly – called the show ‘2053’ so we had to stick with it!

CC: Does creating a show around a theme make the writing of the sketches more challenging?
Camille: Not if you are sneaky like us! A lot of our sketches are not specifically set in the future, but as we have quite an odd, quirky style of comedy we seem to get away with it. It was the narrative itself that was most challenging to write, as that’s where we had to create a believable – and funny! – futuristic world.

CC: You guest on shows like ‘Live At The Electric’ and ‘Sketchorama’. Can sketches from the new show be performed in isolation on shows like that, or do you need to see the show as a whole?
Beattie: As Camille said, a lot of the sketches still make sense outside the show, apart from little futuristic references here and there that can be easily changed. Though there are some sketches in the show that are dependent on the future concept, and which are are woven into the narrative sections, so you only get to see them if you come and see the full thing!

CC: We’re on the home straight of the Fringe, have you had a good Festival? Has the show changed at all over the run?
Camille: We’ve really enjoyed the challenges of ‘starting again’ under a new name and trying out a type of show that we’d never done before.
Rose: We have made little changes to the show during the run, but nothing major, because we really enjoy performing it as it is every day!
Beattie: But we’ve definitely learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t, which will be really useful when we go on to write in the future.

CC: What’s the best thing about performing at the Fringe?
Rose: When you get an audience that really enjoys your show and you feel like all the hard work and financial ruin has been worth it!

CC: And what’s the worst?
Rose: When you get an audience that stare blankly at you for the whole show and you start to question your life choices.

CC: And finally, what do you think Fringe 2053 will be like? Any predictions?
Beattie: Hopefully comedy won’t have been made illegal like in our show, otherwise it’d be a very depressing place!
Camille: We predict it’ll be exactly the same as today, except people will get between venues on hoverboards.

‘Birthday Girls: 2053’ was performed at Pleasance Courtyard at Edinburgh Festival 2013.

LINKS: www.birthdaygirlscomedy.com