German Comedy Ambassador Henning Wehn

Article by Lewis Porteous | 16 Mar 2010
  • Henning Wehn

The title of Henning Wehn's show is reflective of a certain amount of gimmickry in the way he markets himself, as is his decision to stage it in the raucous confines of a mock-German brewery.

Constant references to his Teutonic origins have certainly made him a popular live draw.  On the evidence of tonight's show, however, they may be beginning to stand in the way of him and the patient, comedy-savvy audience that he deserves.

With English as his second language, the Bavarian funnyman has an outsider's view of phraseology and meaning which informs his best material, most notably his deconstruction of sectarian terrace chants.

Routines about the efficiency of German trains and Scotland's insubstantial sporting achievements impress to a lesser extent. He eventually acknowledges that his least inspired material is performed in response to the trends of British humour and the country's stubborn refusal to look beyond tired stereotypes. Unfortunately, as he knowingly muses on the shelf-life of his act and the durability of the unpleasant social prejudices on which it thrives, elements of Wehn's deceptively complex material get lost in the boozy Saturday night atmosphere.