#FirstWorldWhiteGirls

Sofia Monkiewicz

A fluid one-hour comedic routine that does not falter in consistently delivering quality laughs and unabridged talent.
#FirstWorldWhiteGirls

Image supplied by #FirstWorldWhiteGirls 

‘Happiness is hard to find for a white female’ is a lyric in the opening tune of the comedy cabaret #FirstWorldWhiteGirls and it encompasses the entirety of this light-hearted whinge-fest. Brisbane-based performers Judy Hainsworth and Kaitlin Oliver Parker are two spoiled, over-privileged white females with an abundance of real-life problems. From not being able to remember their internet banking password to their ‘new car smell’ not lasting as long as they would like, these sweet ladies proudly reassure us that our #firstworldproblems are important too.

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Clad in cutesy floral dresses with glamorous fur shawls and heels, Hainsworth and Parker share their problems (and sometimes criminal solutions) with their attentive audience through song, anecdote and skit. They love shopping, are addicted to their phones, hate over-protective parents, and don’t even get them started on op-shopping. They are spoiled and bratty but impossible to dislike, and hysterically entertaining as they encourage us to embrace our entitlement and vent our petty peeves.

Their songs are incredibly catchy and consist of varying styles: country ditties, showtunes, and pop ballads, each one more clever and fun than the last. Hainsworth’s songwriting skills are commendable; each song within the performance is relatable and hilarious, and easy to sing along to. Several of the tunes concluded with the crowd joining in, clapping, waving arms in the air and belting out chorus lyrics as we all found that we shared many of the insights the girls describe. The impressive songs are matched by equally impressive voices, with both Hainsworth and Parker possessing some powerful pipes. Parker was particularly remarkable during an opera-inspired romantic serenade to her iPhone, and the girls’ encore performance was a nostalgic treat, especially the well-timed disco ball.

Audience participation can sometimes be cringe-worthy or detrimental to the overall performance, but in #FirstWorldWhiteGirls it formed an important part of the show. Each audience member was asked to write down and submit a #firstworldproblem so that the girls could read them out and sympathise with the tragedies of our trivial but genuine issues. Whether our electric blankets get too hot or our wardrobes are too small for all of our brand new clothes, we are given the opportunity to complain about things that we are not normally able to complain about without consequence, which is refreshing but also deliciously shameful.

You don’t have to be white or a girl to have #firstworldwhitegirl problems. You simply need to embrace your privileged middle-class lifestyle and understand that your everyday problems are real-world problems, not to be easily dismissed. Director Cienda McNamara has seamlessly intertwined song and story into a fluid one-hour comedic routine that does not falter in consistently delivering quality laughs and unabridged talent. Clever observations teamed with tragically relatable humour is what makes #FirstWorldWhiteGirls fresh and exciting, and everyone, including myself, exited the theatre with a (slightly guilty) smile on their face.

Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 stars 

#FirstWorldWhiteGirls

Performed by Judy Hainsworth and Kaitlin Oliver Parker
Directed by Cienda McNamara
Music by Judy Hainsworth
Arranged by James Dobinson
Sound Production by Richard Parker

The Butterfly Club, Carson Place
www.firstworldwhitegirls.com
28-29 June

About the author

Sofia Monkiewicz is a Melbourne-based arts writer and reviewer. You can find her on Twitter at: @sofiamonk