Mike Wozniak: One Man Dad Cat Band (4 stars)

This article is from 2015

Mike Wozniak: One Man Dad Cat Band

A fevered tale of feline smuggling and middle-class catastrophes

If Torquay’s Basil Fawlty had been a stand-up comedian rather than a classic 70s sitcom creation, he could have been embodied in the impotent rage of Exeter-based Mike Wozniak. It’s nothing to do with the moustache. OK, it’s partly the moustache, but mainly that feeling revolves around the sense that no matter what he does (in the cocooned world of his stage stories, at any rate), an appalling middle-class calamity is just around the corner.

Two years ago, Wozniak received a thoroughly-deserved Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination for Take the Hit, his hour which focused on the strained relationship he was enduring with his in-laws after they had moved into the marital home. In One Man Dad Cat Band, he’s ‘banging on’ about a literally unbelievable atrocity that befell him when he returned home from that Fringe run: he had inexplicably left Edinburgh with a previously undetected furry stowaway in his car boot.

Proving that he’s an ‘ethical guy’, Wozniak attempts to track down the owners of this increasingly annoyed kitty but, naturally, he comes up against one stumbling block after another (some semi-surrealist, others administratively mundane). All the while, the hair-tousling bafflement heightens as events are cranked up to fevered levels of hilarity.

There are two things you can always rely upon with a Wozniak show: an undiluted adoration of the English language and some stirring imagery. A third element is a host of great gags, usually heavily indebted to those first two ingredients. As an added extra for this hour, he has attempted to ‘cleanse the palate’ of this torrid tale with some interesting facts, questions chosen from categories which the comic offers us. You’ll surely leave with a better appreciation of fish erotica, military bands and Mike Wozniak’s take on personal horror.

Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters, 622 6801, until 30 Aug (not 17), 1.15pm, free.

Mike Wozniak: One Man Dad Cat Band

  • 4 stars

The Invisible Dot Ltd. / Free Festival Regime-changing stand-up from this 2013 Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee. Contains personal horror, outrage and facts. As seen on Man Down (Channel 4), It’s Kevin (BBC Two) and heard on Small Scenes (BBC Radio 4). He also wrote a silent comedy starring Kim Cattrall for Sky…