Henning Wehn at Forum Theatre, Malvern – 28th November 2021
Henning Wehn took to the stage in a similar fashion to a former well-known German dictator. From the rear of the theatre through the crowd, to impress upon his audience he was of the people, however, from here on in the comparisons end. Thankfully.
Wehn is well versed in the British preoccupation with the war and uses this ammo to poke fun knowingly at us Brits. He employs the constant reminders levelled at him during his twenty years in our country to reflect just how obsessed we are with a war that has been weaponised by some for less than comedic reasons. The ironic participation of the audience clapping along with a German nursery rhyme, last sang by the Hitler Youth, was a twist that few failed to appreciate for the comedic reasons.
It is reasonable to assume that the large audience in the Forum Theatre were of certain ages; who remember late Sunday afternoons of Victoria sponge, Black Beauty, crumpets, Antiques Roadshow and the comfortable pleasure and easy affability of the whole routine?
The whole of Wehn’s Sunday evening routine was as gentle as these far off affairs. There are no teeth rattling guffaws, involuntarily snorting or side-splitting horselaughs at a Henning Wehn gig. Instead, a controlled gentle ripple of appreciate chortling acknowledges the mild humour of our Teutonic guest. In many respects… “less is more.”
More or less, the German Comedy Ambassador – “a tricky role” – focused the second half of his show on the last twenty months of life in Britain and the world. Observing asides that we could all relate to for what has been a very modern phenomena. He even undertook research in the form of an anti-vaxx rally in London; now depending on your point of view this is either a font of comedy asides or…
Wehn of course, made this experience observational material for his show: “It will all come out in the Wash.”
Wehn simply gets way with his gentle mocking of the British culture as he never “throws the baby out with the bathwater, ”In fact one of the most prominent chuckles of the night was reserved for the way a Goose walks…he is never afraid to laugh at himself and his culture.
When you consider the amount of time the comedian has immersed himself in British life it is not difficult to understand his not inconsiderable understanding of our quirks. Especially our language and idioms, Wehn really has an ear for our quirky sayings. Moreover, he knows how to time his linguistic japes for effect.
And “as long as you have your health” and can fill a theatre of this size in this current malaise you must be doing something right. Just tickety Boo.
By: The Swilgate Scuttler