Meme Girls, the brainchild of Ash Flanders, Stephen Nicolazzo, and Marion Potts, is an all-singing sensational adventure through the best (and very worst) of the beauty that is the viral side of YouTube. I’ll admit to not grasping every reference, but the roaring whoops from the audience meant that clearly I have missed out on some good videos.
The stage presence of assistant Art Simone, in all her flawless glory, took the show an extra level up on the comedy scale. Sarcastic eye rolling and over exaggerated stage clearing have never been so much fun to watch. She played the role of deranged fairy godmother, transforming Ash Flanders over the course of the show with more zeal than any beautician should have.
Ash begins the show as a vulnerable talent show auditionee, desperate for the fame of Hollywood. Throughout the performances of songs and skits, and odes to the divas of the internet, they gradually and dramatically transform into an eccentric hot mess with no care to gender stereotypes (living out my life goals, to be quite honest). There’s a lot to be said about the self-destructive nature of viral fame, but Ash Flanders says it simply through amazing song numbers, comedy, and some of the best Blue Steel looks I have ever seen.
It’s a musical, it’s a comedy, it’s a comment on society. All wrapped up in a package that’ll have you reminiscing the good ol’ YouTube vids of days gone by on the tram home.
Meme Girls runs at the Malthouse Theatre from 8 April to 2 May.
Just as a side note for the photosensitive/asthmatic among you — there’s quite an amount of flashing lights and smoke rolling into the audience at stages.