Mike Wozniak: One Man Dad Cat Band

Review by Steve Bennett

Mike Wozniak’s ‘shaggy cat story’ is another engaging yarn of the festering frustrations of a mild-mannered man trying to do the right thing, with increasingly stressful results.

The story starts after he drove back home to Exeter at the end of the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe, when he opened the boot to find one pissed-off pussy leaping out at him, clearly stressed from the ‘kidnap’ – and having made a dirty protest at his abduction.

After a hilarious description of the mess, Wozniak embarks on what proves to be maddening quest to reunite the pet with its owner, facing indifference, bureaucracy and an overwhelming lack of gratitude for his altruism at every turn. There’s something of a sitcom feel to the way a well-meaning man is battered by the world, fuelling the neurosis he’s trying to keep a lid on. I imagine Leonard Rossiter in the role of Mike Wozniak.

But there’s a reason that sitcoms traditionally run for half an hour, and after just too many disheartening knock-backs the story does start to run out of juice before its end; although a myriad fascinating factoids break up the narrative – all given a sharp, wry punchline that prove the Man Down star can write jokes as well as sprawling epics. He digresses into a few entertainingly odd avenues too – for example pondering, with straight face, about sending animals through the post, and discussing the shock of discovering Katie Hopkins among his neighbours.

Wozniak constantly implores us to see things from his side, and stressing his ‘ethical man’ credentials, however paper-thin they may be. Just think of his carbon footprint from driving around the country trying to rehouse this troublesome feline alone.

But if he finds it hard to muster up much reaction from the audience at 1.15pm – with the added distraction of deafening noise sometimes bleeding in from the rambunctious kids’ show next door – they hang on his every word in the hope of a satisfying resolution.

Review date: 27 Aug 2015
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters

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