Continued success in Edinburgh for Mike Wozniak and Henry Paker

18th August 2010|Mike Wozniak

Comedy review The Golden Lizard Wednesday 18 August by Sam Friedman Show infoMike Wozniak and Henry Paker: The Golden LizardPleasance Courtyard4–30 Aug, not 16, 4:45pm – 5:45pmApparently, when acclaimed standup Mike Wozniak first clapped eyes on fellow comic Henry Paker two years ago he proclaimed: “I like the cut of his jib”. Happily, the friendship is now starting to yield artistic dividends – this year in the form of the short comic play The Golden Lizard. Supposedly inspired by Paker’s childhood nostalgia for The Adventures of Tin Tin, the absurdist narrative follows a librarian from Reading called Ray, who seeks to avenge the murder of his colleague, leggy bombshell Susan, by tracking down prime suspect Floyd Vernon, a batty and ageing scientist.It’s a scatological, deliberately shambolic story that makes gloriously little sense and instead focuses on showcasing both men’s impressive comic imaginations. The pair are clearly skilled physical comedians and this visceral appeal prevents the nonsensical story from wandering towards self-indulgence. Playing multiple characters at the same time, and often forgetting who’s who, the men clamber all over each other with unconcealed homoerotic glee. And while Wozniak’s elastic face and exhibitionist's moustache lends an immediate comic aesthetic, Paker’s skill lies in his nasal intonation – expertly deployed for maximum sarcastic effect. While such an anarchic approach to comedy inevitably feels a little thrown together, this is perhaps a price worth paying for such original, experimental and collaborative work. After all, isn’t such innovation what the Fringe is all about? Hopefully the start of a long and fruitful partnership, The Golden Lizard is a short but perfectly formed comic caper.