Usually, when the conversation at a party strays into the territory of Brexit, Hen Do’s, and Social Media, this is often my cue to leave. Somehow, Ladylikes managed to address these topics by not only avoiding a stampede out the door, but also by provoking frequent outbursts of laughter. The Top Secret House Party is certainly one to attend.
An overly sweaty room above a Camden pub isn’t the ideal location for a house party. Nevertheless, Phoebe Batteson-Brown and Miztli Rose did a phenomenal job of distracting the audience from the heat with consistently amusing sketches. From Social Media to Maid’s of Honour, the show explored themes of being lost in your twenties. A life stage all too relatable for me. However, this isn’t to discredit the laughs induced from a variety of ages within the audience.
Through satire and observation, Ladylikes showed a clear understanding of their audience as those likely to see both plastic and Boris Johnson as equally unnecessary parts of society. Therefore, addressing both Environmentalism and Brexit within their New Year’s Eve sketch was a safe route to a guaranteed laugh. Furthermore, tackling consent through the eyes of an educational children’s entertainer, ‘The Prevention Princess’, demonstrated the success of taking a less-obvious comedic approach.
As this was a house party, the inclusion of musical comedy had a Marmite effect. Overlaying Kesha’s ‘Tik Tok’ with new lyrics, which reaffirmed the unspoken yet popular desire to leave a nightclub early, went down a treat. However, singing about the fear of travelling home after a party was too uncomfortably relatable to evoke laughter. Had this been used to provoke thought at the end of the set, it might have worked better, however the subject was too serious to embed within such light-hearted material. On the other hand, given the hilarity of the song addressing office creeps at work Christmas parties, perhaps it fell short from the content and tone, as opposed to the subject. Essentially, anything denouncing the comedy-value in banter gets a big thumbs-up from me.
Whilst I strongly commend the early-leavers of late-night parties, the Top Secret House Party was one I would gladly attend again. Ladylikes are an incredibly likeable sketch-duo oozing with potential. Through delving into sketches which are tactful and risky, both Phoebe and Miztli will have an even better party on their hands. I look forward to RSVP’ing.
Take a look at their Fringe show here: