Fun Dumpster

Fun Dumpster is about fifty minutes of sketch comedy, performed by comedians Kate Coates and Sarah Gaul, which focuses on the trials and tribulations of contemporary life: needy and intrusive apps, the ubiquitous pull of clickbait titles, and the frustration of not being able to extend your prop-budget to cover the cost of a basketball. (The struggle is real.)

Where the sketch hits its heights, it's due to the talent of these two performers. Coates, in particular, is a strong improviser, and she brings a lot of small touches to her sketch work that help it go beyond just the joke 'as written'. The little waggle she brings to the "Buster the dog" sketch, for example, elevates a relatively mediocre skit into something a bit more memorable. And her Winona Ryder impression, if a tad mean, is genuinely hilarious. (She's also got a solo show, for the keen.)

The material itself is a bit soft, however. It occasionally goes quite dark, where Coates becomes, temporarily, host of the show We Changed Her Clothes and Now She's Worth Something, in which she updates Gaul's look with a quick makeover. (Complete with a sash around Gaul's waist which "draws attention to the hips and says, even if I'm not nice to look at, I can have children.") Most of it, though, doesn't punch so hard, and none of it will outlast the material it's gently skewering.

My highlight was Gaul's improvised number, "How to Keep a Baby Crying", which not only included some quite pragmatic advice as to how to torture an infant (Gaul was careful to insert a verse where she explains she would never do such a thing to her own child), but was delivered with some impressive vocal talent. Gaul has quite the pair of lungs, and I would gladly see a show where she does nothing but sing. (Thankfully, there is one.)

Coates and Gaul are lively and competent hosts, however, and at its pricepoint and timeslot this is a show worth checking out for some light and silly entertainment.

★★½