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Noughty Girls

3 May 2019 | 1:19 pm | Dave Burrowes

"What followed was a joyous series of sketches, dance numbers and righteous prayers to their lord and saviour Dolly Doctor."

Noughty Girls was a hilarious, honest, often too-real (in a good way, kind of) journey into millennial nostalgia by General Public Theatre Company.

The premise is this - Kim, Hannah and Courtney are three best mates and it’s the eve of their high school reunion. They’re unsure if they’re even going to go, doing so would mean facing all the probably married, kid-having, home-owning, life-together, former classmates that they’d spent the better part of their 20s avoiding. But it could be fun though, right? What followed was a joyous series of sketches, dance numbers and righteous prayers to their lord and saviour, Dolly Doctor.

Noughty Girls was unapologetically a show made for and about the starring trio; a journey of nostalgia into their personal collection of experiences, spiced up and repackaged for the paying audience. The pop culture references came hard and fast and their success often relied on you keeping up. When the cultural moment resonated with the audience, it hit hard. When you had missed that piece of the zeitgeist... Well, then it hit less so. Fortunately the pace of the show was such that you never scratched your head for too long. That’s also not to say the show was inaccessible - there is something for everyone here. The universally loved Kath & Kim was brought into 2019 with a very convincing and hilarious show reboot. Kim is trying her hand at becoming an Instagram ‘Influenza’ (because of course she is) and Shannon is onboard as her paid intern (insofar as she is paying Kim for the privilege).

The show was messy, but a lot of fun, with lots of big moments for uproarious laughter (a weirdly sexualised rap about gluten one particular highlight). The performers have an infectious charm and are very persuasive when it comes to audience participation. Normally you couldn’t pay this reviewer to sing in public, but somehow the trio had us screaming Phantom Planets’ California at the top of our lungs somewhere in the first half hour. This one experience kind of sums up the show. One second they’ve got you remembering that scene in The OC when Ryan and Marissa first meet, the next second you’re scream-singing the theme song. What a ride.

Between the comedy was real heart, the show wasn’t just about looking back. It explored being in your late 20s and feeling like you’re the only one who didn’t grow up, or that you had grown so much that to look back would be to step back. It was about millennial anxiety, but it was also empowering - the catharsis of returning to the school and the people that you’ve long associated with the sexually confused teenager you once were, as the sexually liberated, out-and-proud woman you are today. It was body positive and queer positive and feminist, self-deprecating but uplifting - a show made about the past for right now and you should check it out.

Performed as part of Sydney Comedy Festival