Comedy Review: Henning Wehn
We went along to see German comedian Henning Wehn perform his new show at PLAYHOUSE Whitley Bay
Part of me was surprised that his visit to the region was at this more intimate venue, but I think my love for the comedian had caused me to forget that he's still a relatively fresh act. A figure who is renowned for being rather controversial, it was fantastic to see a really eclectic audience with a huge mix of ages.
From the very beginning of the show, which started when Henning introduced himself by skipping through the audience to the stage, the atmosphere was brilliant. He himself pointed out the lack of in-your-face ‘showbiz’ that surrounded him – the tour, the audience, and even the venue. In his words, it was clear that no-one had made much of an effort. But instead the vibe of the evening was extremely laid-back with a real one-on-one feel.
As you’d expect, Henning made much of the social differences between the UK and Germany. He even had us all clapping along and chanting 'Eins, Zwei, DIY' (the name of his show) every time he came on stage. But his blunt, unapologetic, and very stereotypical view of the British was not offensive. A true crowd-pleaser, in the end he had the whole audience howling with laughter... at ourselves.
He warned us that we were in for a lecture. This was clearly meant as a joke, but he did cover a range of subjects from the harsh realities of renting versus having a mortgage, to racial stereotypes and unrealistic expectations of the government. But whether you agreed with his views or not, his naturally funny and unarguable reasoning was very entertaining. He offered true comic value. Henning isn’t for the fainthearted, but I don’t think anyone really minded whether his digs were in jest or not.
We may just have been lucky enough to catch Henning at the beginning of his tour, but immediately after the show he was greeting guests in the foyer, shaking hands, accepting pictures and discussing the evening with us all. A really down-to-earth and naturally funny guy, it was like catching up with an old friend at the pub, which is probably the greatest thing about having such an intimate venue.
Already a regular face on British television alongside the likes of Jimmy Carr and the 8 Out Of 10 cats crowd, we’re sure that Henning’s reputation will grow and grow, and boy we’re looking forward to seeing more of him. But for now, if you get the opportunity to go and see him then you should definitely take it – you won’t regret it.
For more information about Henning Wehn’s current tour, Eins, Zwei, DIY, and to book tickets visit www.henningwehn.de. Full listings for PLAYHOUSE Whitley Bay can be found at www.playhousewhitleybay.co.uk