Mike Wozniak's new show impresses Kristy Stott at the Lowry, but it's a mixed evening.
19 Jan 2014
Mike Wozniak is the self professed "King of Comedy" and we are led to believe that he has "more show business in his moustache than he does in his little finger"; however, he never quite gets around to giving us his full comic routine and instead expresses his displeasure with his current domestic set-up - his in-laws have moved permanently into his small house where he lives with his wife, his toddler and his baby. And although he keeps reminding himself that he needs to "get on with the show", his hilarious remarks about his mother-in-law prevent him from doing so.
He stands in front of red glittery curtains - they are aged and frayed and look as though they have seen better days. Wozniak is a frustrated, fidgety bloke with floppy hair; he is dressed in an ill-fitting, crinkled suit and a large bow-tie. He is anxious and keeps reminding us that he is happy to be away from home - far from his stifling mother-in-law and her annoying anecdotes. Refreshingly, Wozniak manages to breathe new life into the old mother-in-law genre by subverting it and injecting it with a healthy dose of irony.
Wozniak is an assured performer, comfortable with his audience - his physical humour is skilled - his awkward display of a horse in traffic and his show of frustration, against his mother-in-law, as he bangs his head off the microphone to demonstrate his annoyance when she stands too close when she speaks - are hilarious and pleasing. He shows great observational wit when he describes being in the presence of somebody on their deathbed. I found myself laughing at this so much that the tears were rolling down my cheeks.
I would be keen to see some new material from Wozniak and also a routine which takes him out of his comfort zone - as he is clearly a very funny fellow who has no problem in striking up a rapport with a diverse audience. However, I found parts of the show to be quite repetitive and I found his obsession with scratching and clutching his hair quite annoying. Just like he finds his mother-in-law.
Mike Wozniak's Take the Hit UK tour continues until May. Tour dates are here.