Edinburgh Review: Mike Wozniak

Despite being an oddly fascinating show by a classy comic, Mike Wozniak’s Clown Shoes is underwhelming, writes Paul Fleckney.

Mike_Wozniak2CLAESGELLERBRINKMike Wozniak’s precise, understated delivery is a potent weapon, but dry comedy is not exactly known for building up great reserves of energy in a room, to fall back upon if the material falters.

Unfortunately this is the case with Clown Shoes, Wozniak’s follow up to his If.Comedy Best Newcomer-nominated debut. The trouble begins with the theme of the show: his scientist father, Josef, and his science trivia roadshow. Josef has proved a rich seam of comedy for Wozniak before and there’s no harm in returning to him, but the roadshow concept is an obtuse one and Wozniak fails to convince us to come along for the ride.

Consequently, the idea that Wozniak’s relatives dressed up as Archimedes, Schroedinger and Galileo for this roadshow is charming, amusing and absurd, but the audience hasn’t bought into the whole conceit and the funny never really arrives. Similarly, a monologue on a book that makes outlandish statements on the significance of fingers is both oddly fascinating, but little more. The same could be said of the passages on the ever-present, ever-enigmatic Josef.

Wozniak actually seems quite happy getting on with things, and there is no harrumphing and sulking at the muted response that you get with most comics. Perhaps he is sensitive to the fact that it is sweltering in the Pleasance Below, perhaps he just loves telling stories, true or otherwise, about his father’s endless scientific endeavours. A bit of both, presumably.

I don’t think this is a case of a Newcomer nominee being ‘found out’, the careful construction and handful of splendid lines show Wozniak’s class, but this is an underwhelming comedy show.
Two stars

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