I don’t think Mike Wozniak is going to struggle for Fringe audiences with One Man Dad Cat Band – such is the power of being ‘off the telly’. There’s also that intriguing title which more or less gets explained.
Brits do the ranty misanthrope – with or without a moustache – expertly well. And from Basil Fawlty to Victor Meldrew they are the stuff of classic comedy characters. It can be hugely enjoyable and liberating but it can also be shouty and tiresome. Mike Wozniak avoids the latter pitfalls by taking a central route of a ‘shaggy cat tale’ and then veering off into family life references and quick call-and-answer ‘facts’ with the audience. Like a breakneck therapy session with a series of grounding techniques employed to stop himself from tipping over the edge as well as giving the audience a rest on the journey.
An awful lot (and a lot of awful) comedians try to do the rambling – will he ever get to the point? – anti stand-up routine. The difference with Mike Wozniak is a lot of talent and the knowledge that for comedy to appear convincingly shambolic it has to be meticulously rehearsed. Another expert move is that he steers clear of the predictable ‘grumpy old… ‘ franchise topics and responses when going into rant mode. He wants to be an ethical guy and rails against evils like meat eating and corporate gigs but then confesses he does both but has very good reasons for doing so.
A bit like free form jazz or an abstract painting with stories, opinions, jokes, facts and observations all thrown into the mix. From making sure his children never get invited to Katie Hopkins’ house to a sexy sea bass there’s something for everyone.
Review for 11 August