Spirit Animal (#firstworldwhitegirls)
Brisbane Powerhouse, Rooftop Terrace
March 19 – 24
In break from their woke world adventures and spiritual journeys, superprivileged Tiffany (Judy Hainsworth) and her best friend, millennial vlogger Madison (Kyra Thompson) are living the physic-told truths of their best lives and ready to tell audiences all about them (#irl). Over the top in their first world struggles, they remind us of the way to bliss through mindfulness and worship of our body temples, all with tongues firmly in cabaret cheek. The result is heaps of fun for everyone in the audience, even during a mass meditation session and shared mantra.
Endearingly egoed (‘I’m Better than You’ is a very funny early number), the characters are easily brought to (larger than) life by the talented duo. As the common denominator of the #firstworldwhitegirls brand, Hainsworth, in particular, has an assured stage presence as the narcissistic Tiffany, not-so-passive-aggressive in her reaction to ex-boyfriend Harry’s new bride Meghan (her angsty anti Meghan Markle ranty rap is a hilarious highlight).
The duo’s vocal talents are showcased in a range of catchy original songs in a variety of musical styles from a sultry song about how to create a perfect Instagram flatlay photo (with help from audience ‘volunteer’) to the pop-ballady ‘Dick Pic’. And it is always great to experience revisit of the anthemic ear-worm ‘Little Black Babies’.
Social media themes throughout, even in the ongoing show prop of accompanying Instagram post posters, detailed in humour even down to their hashtags and likers. And there is a nice Disney thread too that ties together with Thompson’s ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman’/’Let It Go’ type attempt to motivate Tiffany to return to the stage, because #hatersgonnahate.
As with all #firstworldwhitegirls shows, “Spirit Animal” is a tight, topical satire of the silliness of first world problems and the girls’ over-the-top journey has many relatable aspects. It is easy to appreciate how the bespoke local show slayed at this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival; with whip-smart wit and nuanced comic timing, nothing can bring these spirit guides down. So do yourself an hour-long favour with experience of its full-of-funny songs and dialogue; it’s better than staying home Netflixing and Facebook stalking.