With an MA from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, comedienne Cristina Lark is far too qualified to be an online wellness coach. Thankfully, instead of becoming an online influencer who posts inspirational status updates from her laptop on the beach, Lark has channelled her talents into parodying the all-pervasive industry of #bizbabes that are clogging up your newsfeed and sliding into your DMs.
In the roaring 20s, snake oil salespeople don’t wear top hats and white gloves while standing out the front of a garish horse drawn wagon; instead, they prefer to don flowing designer dresses on the beach. Instead of selling medicinal elixirs in a bottle, they sell access to a seductive premise in overpriced online courses: that you can have everything you’ve ever wanted, everything that the celebrities you follow on Instagram have, if only you shift your mindset and welcome in abundance.
Lark’s Rich Bitch- A Parody of Law of Attraction Gurus is more than a comedy, even though it is consistently hilarious; it’s an inoculation against this new incarnation of silver-tongued sorcery. By adopting the persona, sales techniques and mannerisms of fictional Insta-guru spiritual-preneur Casha Bling, Lark reveals the puppet master’s strings; you’ll never look at your social media feed the same way again.
As a new show that is heavily reliant on technology, including a PowerPoint presentation and pre-recorded audience interactions, there are still some kinks to iron out. The show’s conclusion, for example, is mostly revealed through pre-recorded dialogue which was a little too fast and hard to follow.
Much of the material projected onto the screen behind Casha Bling is sourced from Lark’s genuine interactions with the Law of Abundance tribe, and it is often stranger than fiction; you couldn’t script some of the bizarre beliefs contained within these New Age self-help books. The pre-recorded questions from sceptical members of the crowd was a clever technique too and was an effective way of revealing the hypocrisy that lies beneath Casha Bling’s faux-positivity.
Casha Bling is a satirical character that our generation needs, and it seems a shame that she only exists on the stage. Lark’s character could very well go viral on YouTube, but she would need to prepare for a barrage of hate from enlightened anti-negativity #bizbabes in the comments section.
Reviewed performance: 3 March 2020