By Laura Hartnell
It’s the little things that annoy Cal Wilson. Incorrect grammar. Slow walkers. Her dad’s sock-hoarding habit. The TikTok-famous cat commentator and household name is back with her new show Supposably (named in honour of one of her husband’s pronunciation quirks), which is a celebration of, irrational anger, community, and joy.
‘It’s nice to feel like the festival is back to normal again,’ says Wilson in the opening minutes of her show. She starts by asking the audience for their top recommendations from this year’s festival, and this generosity and community-mindedness is what underpins the entire set. The show is powered by Wilson’s stylish riffing on all the things that irrationally irritate her, but she is constantly asking the audience what irritates them, too. We call out from our seats and Wilson folds our answers into her set, linking them up to the answers she’s collected from other shows and cities, and the effect is feeling like you’re part of an irrationality-and-Cal-Wilson-themed group hug across time and space. In sharing your little annoyances, you’re with ‘your people,’ and when you’re recovering from being in the world’s most locked-down city, this is a strangely touching act of community-building that sticks with you long after the show.
Wilson is, above all, a wonderful storyteller, and there are some crackers peppered throughout the show. From her ill-fated adventures trying to help her elderly father sort out his garage, to a pot plant-buying escapade gone horribly wrong, Wilson is as ever a charismatic, warm, and intelligent performer. She’s not afraid to enjoy her own stories and laugh at her own jokes (a trait I find charming in comedians) and it is infectious.
Despite the exploration of life’s little annoyances, Supposably is at its heart a celebration of human foibles and finding joy wherever you can. She tells us about her mum’s wild and wonderful friend Nancy who got stuck in a bathtub. She recounts a family-famous story about her son’s school concert that he’s finally given permission for her to tell. And she asks if any cat owner (she has three, which is, as she puts it, ‘A f*ckload of cats’) can keep the felines off the kitchen bench. Linking all of these caring stories is a palpable love for her family, but even more so a love for the little shining moments of humanity that shine up at you everywhere (even when you’re stuck behind a f*cking slow walker).