Tag: Judy Hainsworth

Melbourne Cabaret Festival: #FIRSTWORLDWHITEGIRLS

Ignorance is cabaret bliss

By Myron My

It’s been two years since Melbourne was graced with the presence of Tiffany and Kendall, two affluent white girls who have some major problems to deal with. Problems like 2-in-1 shampoo, and being invited out but having to decline because their phones are still charging. Inspired by the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems, Judy Hainsworth and Kaitlin Oliver Parker are back with their comedy cabaret #FirstWorldWhiteGirls.

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This trust fund princess and day-drinking trophy wife express the difficulties they regularly encounter through a number of entertaining original songs, each one showing not only their ignorance of the world but also the extremities of their privilege. Frighteningly enough, there are times when the things they say easily remind us of someone we know, or even ourselves. When they announce to the audience that “we are you”, they could in fact be correct, regardless of sex, race or gender.

The musical numbers bring forth some brilliant performances with clever lyrics that deservedly receive many laughs. The highlights of the evening though belong to a song about the most recent trend in cosmetic surgery (to tell you would ruin half the fun) and Tiffany’s “love song” to a suitor begging him to please not ask her out. The heart-rending ballad on FOMO is also a great moment that shows just how important these seemingly trivial problems can be for some people.

It’s between the songs however where some jokes falter and punchlines are either predictable or not as strong as what they could be. At one point, we are told that you can never go too far for the perfect body, but if this maxim applies in terms of their humour, the envelope is severely pushed with Hainsworth and Parker making some ordinarily questionable jokes around World War 2 and the adoption of children of colour. However, as these type of offensively ignorant thoughts and observations are in line with how Tiffany and Kendall live their lives, they actually succeed in pointing out exactly how out of touch with reality these girls are.

Hainsworth and Parker have been performing as Tiffany and Kendall for a number of years now, and often there is a sense of familiarity evident, that comes with getting to know a character you have created over time. Unfortunately on the evening I attended, I could not see this on stage and was personally left wanting a stronger fusion between performer and character. Despite this, there is still a good dose of laughs and enjoyment in #FirstWorldWhiteGirls that reminds us just how lucky we actually are.

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne 
Season: Until 19 June | 7pm 
Tickets: $32 Full | $28 Conc 
Bookings: The Butterfly Club

REVIEW: The Butterfly Club Presents #FIRSTWORLDWHITEGIRLS

Hashtag this

By Myron My

Don’t you hate it when your most recent Facebook profile photo gets fewer than 50 likes? Or when you have more clothes than wardrobe space? Or when you’re too hot with the heater on but too cold with the heater off? Welcome to the world of first world problems brought to the stage in #FirstWorldWhiteGirls.

Performed by Judy Hainsworth and Kaitlin Oliver Parker, #FirstWorldWhiteGirls is a one-hour, laughs-aplenty cabaret of petty issues that we all seek to embrace as real problems.

#FirstWorldWhiteGirls

Hainsworth and Parker appear on stage dressed in their floral skirts, with furs and jewels, make-up on and hair in a quiff and master their portrayal of the cliche of well-off white girls – but in a way that still seems fresh and new. Significantly, these characters are not depicted as stupid, just hilariously privileged and ignorant.

A variety of musical styles are used throughout the show, which showcases the talented voices these performers have. There is a country music-themed song on the joys of retail therapy and a Broadway Julie Andrews-esque song on making our lives better. However, it’s their superb opening number that had me – and much of the audience – in utter stitches. The simple choreography throughout the show was used effectively and added an extra element to their songs.

There are a couple of “infomercial” moments thrown in, a memorable one – with the help of an audience member – being the benefits of going “bulimia shopping” and owning a tag gun. Hainsworth and Parker’s creativity and confidence showed in their ability to interact and use audience responses to build on,and their quick wit and good-natured humour was evident throughout.

The social media hashtag “FirstWorldProblems” has no doubt inspired #FirstWorldWhiteGirls and despite its title, you did not need to be white or a girl to understand and empathise (albeit shamefacedly at times) with all the problems they have. It’s a shame there were only two performances of this show at The Butterfly Club as word of mouth for this one would have spread like a wildfire for these two talented Brisbane performers.

#FirstWorldWhiteGirls was performed at The Butterfly Club between June 28 – 29, 2014.