Pelican Comedy’s The Cat Man Curse is triumphant comedy which takes an audience through its riotous world of coconuts, carton villains and roller discos at high, perfectly timed speeds. It is a wonderland of absurd sketches and characters, tied together with the thread of a wonderfully eccentric story.
The company is made up of ex-Footlights Sam Grabiner, Guy Emanuel and Jordan Mitchell, whose group dynamic on stage is as comfortable as it is hysterical. They appear to have derived inspiration from a diverse range of comedy; from the surreal characters of The Mighty Boosh to the tongue-in-cheek melodrama of comic book heroes.
We enter the auditorium to find a tennis ball waiting on each chair, the relevance of which is revealed in an absurd introductory sketch that sets a hilarious precedent for the rest of the show. It is playful and surreal, and still making me giggle. It delivers both belly laughs at raucousness and smirks at clever punchlines. The play relies on the creative writing and natural talent of its actors, who deftly combine moments of adlib with an original script. It does well what many sketch shows misjudge completely, perfectly straddling a line between playful and silly, but never tipping the balance into being unfunny or cringe-worthy. The audience are on side from start to finish. There were a couple of minor technical mishaps, but I left wondering if some of them were rehearsed. They were carried off so well with quick, self-aware improvisation that they only add to the personality and charm of the play.
Visually, it is hilarious. Emanuel, Grabiner and Mitchell have mastered clownery and costume, using farcical fight scenes and comical choreography to have audiences falling about over what they see as well as hear. It is feel good in every sense of the word. A classic model of what good comedy can do. The show is ideal as either the start of a characteristically quirky night at fringe, or as a light hearted and uplifting end to the day. Your cheeks will hurt from the constant smile on your face.
The Cat Man Curse is playing at Bedlam Theatre until August 28. For more information and tickets, go to https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/cat-man-curse