Described as ‘a stand-up comedy brought to you by pet-loving funny guys Simone Belshaw and James Sarek’ in the Caroline of Brunswick’s 2017 Summer Comedy Guide, this performance initially went at a snail’s pace to garner laughs from the audience. Indeed, Belshaw’s introduction to the show felt more like an interrogation as her bombardment of questions to the audience that tried to settle them in, alienated them instead.
if the duo develops upon the occasional instances of humour they showed in this performance, it may just mean that Woof Woof Meow Meow will eventually have a cat in hell’s chance of having a future
Meanwhile, Sarek’s opening gambit of the Woof Woof section was to relate typical dog behaviour to his human self. While gaining a few smirks from the crowd, Sarek’s use of the modern trope of breaking down distinctions between the human and the nonhuman animal highlighted the performance’s aim to raise awareness about animal welfare.
As his impressions of dogs in various scenarios followed, his comedic timing could not have been better. The amount of time left between his impressions and his reveals created a stilling atmosphere that produced a room full of suspense-filled faces, waiting in anticipation for what was going to happen next. The audience members’ subsequent curious faces were then humorously undercut by Sarek’s sudden breaks from character as he gave deadpan explanations as to what he had been enacting prior.
Sarek’s use of time did not fare quite as well in the next section however. Before he began his spiel on his ‘Top Five Celebrity Dogs’, Sarek asked the audience if they liked following celebrity dogs. The short amount of time permitted for the show – just shy of half an hour – rendered it unnecessary for such questions to be asked and hinted towards stalling.
Belshaw returned to the stage and, with her return, used cats to portray feminist issues in society. From giving a hilarious new meaning to ‘cat-calling’, to making men’s likening of childbirth being ‘their favourite pub burning down’ more female-focused, Belshaw’s witty stint got regular laughs from the audience.
Though one may have to hold their horses before this performance gets out of the dog house, Belshaw and Sarek should not chicken out just yet. For if the duo develops upon the occasional instances of humour they showed in this performance, it may just mean that Woof Woof Meow Meow will eventually have a cat in hell’s chance of having a future.