CatSoup are a troupe of four young men who bring an original collection of sketches to the stage. They show a lot of potential but Out of the Bag lacks sufficient coherency – a fact which detracts too much from the show’s charm.
The boys are all talented and the skits have a sort of homemade freshness that is truly appealing, but this show is not finely honed. There’s a cumulative effect from numerous small issues which diminishes Out of the Bag’s ability to entertain. Comedic accents flail and are dropped in places; there are long gaps between sketches which are filled in by voice-over puns which aren’t quite funny enough to justify the time lapse and the introduction takes far too long to get going. The ideas are there and the foundations are good, but each sketch needs to be edited, condensed and spruced up before Out of the Bag will really draw in the laughs.
Moreover, the show would probably also benefit from some of the sketches being removed altogether. The opening sequence, for one, clunks along very awkwardly and a scene about the gangster three wise men feels rather jaded. That being said, much of the material is impressively refreshing and there are some sketches which are very strong. There is a neat balance between a use of classic stereotypes and the fantastically absurd. Stupid Dave upsets his pretentious French teacher; Philip the caveman meets a rock-climber at the top of a perilous mountain; Tribe-man Pablo tries to woo a girl in the audience. The cast are well rehearsed and generally play to their strengths - in theory, this show should hit its mark fairly well. Unfortunately, there’s just an inadequate class of the overall delivery needed to gloss over its weaker points.
Ultimately, CatSoup come out of a bag filled with future promise but this show has much that needs to be further developed for it to be a true success.