REVIEW: John Moloney, The Lescar.

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YOU’VE got to wonder what this man’s moggy would make of his undignified veterinary woes being aired in front of people up and down the country.

Certainly said cat’s tale makes for a highlight in a sore throat-inducing hour in the company of one of UK comedy’s veteran players.

Former teacher John doesn’t come with fancy props or a clever theme – although this show was entitled Butterflies With Stretchmarks for reasons best not explained here. Armed with a chair, a microphone and a mind full of anecdotes he puts his crowd at ease with tangible stories and a chatty delivery that grabs your laughter nodes long before the punchline.

John’s mild-mannered but expertly woven MO often cloaks a bitterness, incredulity and bewilderment with aspects of the world, from disaffected youths and Germans to Battersea Dogs Home’s tough re-homing criteria.

In a Grin Up North festival featuring dozens of comics playing everywhere from backrooms to the arena, this was topical and domestic-fuelled stand-up comedy served traditional and raw, and all the more refreshing for it.