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  • Henry Longstaff

Crybabies: Bagbeard - Soho Theatre

Sci-fi silliness at The Soho Theatre

The Cast of Crybabies promotional photograph
Michael Clarke, James Gault, and Ed Jones


Best newcomer nominees at the Edinburgh Comedy Award, Crybabies have beamed themselves into the main house of The Soho Theatre armed with a spectacularly absurd voyage comprised of carrier bags, brilliant scientists and of course an owl. This narrative sketch group are on top form racing through musical parodies, tender dance numbers and pop culture-inspired hijinks all with puns akimbo - leaving the audience in hysterics.

The Crybabies trio, Michael Clarke, James Gault, and Ed Jones, work at an unrelenting pace to deliver joke after joke. By employing traditional sketch comedy tactics in combination with an overarching plot the team extract every ounce of silliness available to them whilst keeping us wrapped up in the surprisingly heartfelt story of Bagbeard.

A plucky, freshly fired science teacher whose dream of joining the institute of brilliant scientists has been crushed by bear-related bad luck sees an opportunity to turn his fortunes around upon discovering the extraterrestrial Bagbeard. Faced with obstacles from his past as well as the suave Agent Valentine who has orders to track down the alien, can the scientist keep his new friend safe and finally be recognised for his talents? The plot neatly borrows elements from sci-fi film and literature with Bagbeard’s origin story somewhat similar to that of Super Man - though of course, Clark Kent has nothing on our plastic-wrapped hero.

This whirlwind story has so many standout moments but some personal favourites must include the flash-forward sequence where Valentine imagines his future as not just a husband but as a father. The Bagbeard home world sequence is equally amusing and features the greatest delivery of a carrier bag-based joke ever seen on stage. The costume design supporting the performance could comfortably be referred to as homemade but they are more than convincing and amplify hilarity - owl costume I’m looking at you.

Reminiscent in style of SNL sketch regulars Please Don’t Destroy, Crybabies, deliver a guaranteed good night of quick-fire surreal comedy grounded in recognisable sci-fi tropes - excellent in translating their success on platforms such as TikTok to the stage. See this group before they inevitably get snatched up by some television execs for their own prime-time comedy hour.

Various dates at Soho Theatre until 11 March - Tickets

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