Portsmouth Pole ponders perspective, pressure, penis pain
This article is from 2009.
Whether you happened to be members of Mike Wozniak’s family or complete strangers, there’s a chance that on viewing his debut solo set last August, much of your time would have been spent clenching or crossing some part of your body. The Wozniaks would have felt a gut reaction at the personal nature of the material, especially pertaining to papa Wozniak, a keen amateur scientist, while any penis-laden man would have sat less than comfortably on hearing the tender details of the surreal mishaps inflicted upon Mike’s member down the years.
And yet, amazingly, there is a market for such brutal material, as his recent trip to Adelaide proved. ‘I was on a showcase called the Best of the Edinburgh Fest alongside Jarlath Regan and Jason Cook and it took a few days to work out what they were into,’ recalls the Portsmouth Pole. ‘I found that they actually seemed to prefer the penis stuff to the non-penis stuff. With the weekend Adelaide crowd, the further out I ventured from the penis, the less happy they became.’
Wozniak’s August 2008 ended with him scooping the Amused Moose prize and finding himself on the shortlist for if.comedy Best Newcomer. This year, he’s taking part in a sketch show, Superclump, in the afternoon and stamping around in Clown Shoes in the evening. So, does he feel any extra pressure with following up such a career-moulding Fringe?
‘I’d probably put the same amount of pressure on myself anyway. I’m taking another hour up and want to make it better than last year, the same as anyone. But to most people in the universe, it isn’t actually that important. It would be easy to get into your Edinburgh bubble, have a couple of bad shows and think “this is the end of it, I’m ostracised from society, I need to find a new career”. I think I’ll find a sense of perspective on things.’
Superclump, GRV, 226 0000, 8–30 Aug (not 19), 2.40pm, £5. Previews 6&7 Aug, £2.50; Mike Wozniak, Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 9–31 Aug (not 19), 6pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8). Previews until 8 Aug, £5.