Kitten Killers: Woof

Tue 18th – Mon 31st August 2015

reviews

Becky Wilson

at 10:48 on 23rd Aug 2015

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Sketch comedy trio Kitten Killers just about manage to stay on the right side of manic in this ridiculously energetic musical sketch show. Kat Cade, Fran Bushe and Perdita Scott generate a winning combination of absurd scenarios, politically-charged songs and cringe-inducing audience participation which is, admittedly, very fun to watch when you’re safely hidden in the back row.

The show tackles some of the most hard-hitting issues in modern society; how should you respond to an unwanted dickpic? What happens if you become addicted to vacuum packing? And, most importantly, what are Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men really talking about? Despite its extremely varied subject matter, the show manages to hold together really well. This is achieved through recurring motifs and consistent characterisation.

Cade and Bushe frequently return to their respective and well-grasped archetypes. Cade completely surrenders herself to a mannish, uninhibited and crude persona while Bushe embodies the passion-frenzied, fanfiction-writing tween girl, complete with obligatory screeching voice and tiara. Scott’s own comedic style is less easy to define, but she slots neatly between the two extremes with her unbeatable facial gymnastics.

However, the three women are undoubtedly strongest when they work together. They bounce off one another to great effect, and share a mastery of synchronised dance moves and pleasant, clear singing voices.

As well as having a firm grasp on the absurd, the Kitten Killers’ material is often topical, political and razor sharp. In fact, the important messages behind their bizarre sketches are not diminished, but amplified by their comedic twists. A cavewoman moans about her man wanting her to be hairless “down below”, and two tutu-clad George Osbornes frolic gracefully along to a song protesting the tampon tax.

The performers have a few tricks up their sleeve to surmount the biggest challenge in sketch shows: keeping up the pace. Transitions between sketches are swift and accompanied by sarcastic comments from a rather enigmatic narrator. At the start of the show we’re all given glow sticks which we are encouraged (quite aggressively) to wave in the air during the scene changes. This, alongside the constant blasting of Spice Girls and the dark cramped venue, give the impression of being in the best kind of nightclub.

Woof is a weird and wonderful sketch show which fluctuates between biting satire and the absurd. I can guarantee that a visit to this show will have you laughing and cringing throughout. But just a warning: the violent energy and graphic jokes are not for the faint-hearted!

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Anna Fleck

at 10:58 on 23rd Aug 2015

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Kitten Killers: Woof is an explosion of wit and exuberance. Comedic sketches pelt past in a quick-fire of bizarre gags and scenarios. These range from an angsty unicorn that lets slip he murdered his friends and family with his gigantic horn, to the untimely demise of childhood icons Bill and Ben the Flower Pot Men, murdered by the maternal yet neurotic voice of God. Perhaps a little dark or brash at times, Kitten Killers is certainly a laugh.

The frenetic trio Fran Bushe, Kat Cade and Perdita Stott team up as a powerful female force to face gender issues head on. In a particularly memorable moment, the Kitten Killers mock George Osborne for his lack of interest in tampon taxes. Standing in tight triangle formation, the girls perform a snazzy showbiz dance-number beneath a bright straw spotlight and belt a choral song about the injustice of such a tax. I will never forget the image of Osborne’s slightly perplexed face, bobbling around, as two of the masked female dancers sing their hearts out and dramatically kick leg after leg in the finale. These moments of comedy are glimmers of the future potential for the performance group to create rich satirical material.

Woof relies heavily on the good will and cooperation of the audience. On entering the intimate theatre space, the audience is welcomed with questions, shout-outs and whoops all round. Cheering and woofing is encouraged and the interjections of cheesy dance hits in the blackout transitions certainly add to the rowdy atmosphere. The Kitten Killer’s favoured topics are pretty brazen, including dick-pics, orgasms and pubic hair. However, this is balanced by the fast pace of the whole performance as the troop bulldoze onwards with each new sketch, hurrying the audience from awkward giggles and shuffles in seats through to outbursts of laughter.

Kitten Killers is a cacophony of laughter and downright silliness. Bushe, Cade and Stott work best when functioning as a synchronised ensemble, when their bursting jubilance, release of inhibitions and display of unashamed sexual rigour sends the message “we are not to be taken too seriously”. Their clowning playfulness and heightened facial expressions are sure to spur you to join in with others’ titillations and sniggers in the intimate space.

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