Four World Cups and One World Pope review - SkinnyFest 2

At times, it's like being in the room with a borderline misogynist.

Article by Diana Kiernander | 14 Aug 2006
A toy guitar, a garden gnome and a cluster of ping-pong balls sit to the side of the stage. In the distance, German folk music is starting to sound. An older gentleman, sporting downmarket war wear, shuffles into view. Clutching a vintage accordion and beaming broadly, he starts to sing. Three minutes into the Hello song and the audience feel like they have travelled back to 1944.

Four World Cups and One World Pope certainly seems stuck in a timewarp. German comedy duo Henning Wehn and Otto Kuhnle have created a show with a World War Two vibe that is centred around the age-old conviction that Germans are not funny. There are references to Hitler, a Paul Daniels-inspired magic trick and some wholly unnecessary jibes about women and baking, all of which raise more laughs than they deserve.

At times, it's like being in a room with a borderline misogynist. However, clever commentary about Christianity, nationalism and the war on terror brings this show bang up-to-date. When Wehn observes that "nationalism is stupid and a thing of the past" or ponders the fate of a black Pope, you wonder why these two are not on a bigger stage. But grubby slapstick and an over-reliance on national stereotypes force serious issues to be sidelined. For a sketch so centred on past events, you leave the show asking what lessons history has really taught us.
Four World Cups and One World Pope, Holyrood Tavern , until August 27, 19:00, £6/£5.