I'm a freelance writer living in the Adelaide Hills.
Where did the mums of these young ladies go wrong?
Irresistible comic commandoettes, the elfin and delectable Judy Hainsworth and Kyra Thompson, aka 'Tiffany' and 'Madison', swept into la Boheme from Queensland with Spirit Animal. Like Caesar, they came, they saw and they conquered. A two-woman PC-demolition derby in sequins and face paint, their 52-minute set rampaged with outrageously assured satiric certainty through just about every millennial sacred cow. Judy scripted this tightly-rehearsed and choreographed, harmonious set of songs, comic monologues and duologues. It is guaranteed to have the mums of both young ladies wondering where they went wrong and their dads pondering whether there's still time to send them to nunneries, or whether the damage is irreversible.
Once the New Age lampooning title song 'Spirit Animal' was out there, it was clear the damage has been done. Imagine your most appalling teenage Facebook/Instagram princess. Now invest that narcissistic, self-centred teen queen with an arsenal of tactical satirical missiles and let her loose on cyberspace. It's Mean Girls with unerring radar: 'Better Than You' skewers all that is appalling about toxic, competitive Me-Gen coolness.'Flat Lay' has the girls competitively chilling in an ashram, a routine that morphed into 'book and merch' and the Youtube wisdom of Guru Courtney. I may have missed something, but I never found mystic spirituality this hilarious.
Of course, Tiffany let it slip that a certain royal called Harry was an ex of hers, but she isn't bitter. The ashram retreat was all about healing and centring. And Madison was so clear and centred, she doesn't even bother with the green smoothie any more. See the show to learn what she uses instead. If you've been watching train-wreck TV lately, featuring outspoken Gen Y and millennial punters in improbable 24-7 relationship scenarios, you will laugh even harder at 'Labiaplasty', which is worth the price of admission alone, along with the glorious take-down of the mindfulness and wellness industry currently infesting corporate and educational halls of power.
Mums, you will not want to contemplate your little girl emulating Tiffany and Madison, when they burst into 'Dick Pic'. See the show, if only to be warned of the perils of cyberspace. It is here that the girls seem to lose the preternatural calm of the ashram and Tiffany goes into meltdown with 'Die, Meghan Markle, Die', an outpouring seemingly at odds with her earlier assertion of calmness in the wake of her split with Harry. And there was no time to recover before Tiffany and Madison regaled us with 'Little Black Babies', which lanced the trendy heart of Third World Aid guilt-tripping.
Judy likes to 'hold a mirror up to her audience … My major struggles in life,' she told me, 'are First World problems.' Her characters, she observed, are 'superficial, vain, self-obsessed'. She Googled a lot and observed many an Instagram wellness guru to flesh out her characters. On the one hand, Tiffany lives on green tea and by the chime of the bell in her Himalayan ashram, then she is outed slurping an espresso martini as she struggles with meltdown.
Judy's and Kyra's hard yards in theatre training, writing and rehearsal pay off in this wildly entertaining, must-see Fringe show.
Spirit Animal plays at La Boheme until March 16. Five stars out of five.