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Review: Henning Wehn brings his It’ll All Come Out in the Wash tour to Cambridge



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When arriving at out seats for this show from the German comedy ambassador, there were cards offering us - and indeed everyone else in the auditorium - the chance to win some German wine. All we had to do was highlight out “favourite palaver”: Brexit or Covid. Henning would go on to talk quite a bit about both.

Henning Wehn. Picture: Olivier Hess
Henning Wehn. Picture: Olivier Hess

Entering from the back and running down the aisle and up onto the stage, the energetic television regular began by apologising to the Germans in the audience for the late start and saying “Welcome to my bunker” (the Second World War, and Britain’s ongoing fascination with it, cropped up quite a lot too).

For example, he recalled that on his first night in England, he put the TV on and there was a documentary about the war on. “What are the chances?” he said to himself at the time. “Actually, about 100 per cent,” he joked.

Commenting on popular British stereotypes of the Germans, he noted that Germans like to laugh but that they “like to get the work done first as opposed to instead of”. He made laugh-out-loud observations on British and German culture - and our various differences - all delivered in that very likeable, winning style.

He highlighted the fact that Germans don’t joke about the Brits as much as we do about them, noting that we’re not as important for them, and that they prefer instead to joke about the Dutch, the Danes, the Polish and the Turkish.

He also found a fellow German sitting at the front and conversed with her in their native tongue ignoring everyone else, accurately comparing that to what we Brits tend to do whenever we’re abroad - but without the need to shout.

Henning read out some highly amusing observations on geese from the BBC Radio 4 programme The Unbelievable Truth and then went off for the interval, leaving us with the music of Nena, of 99 Red Balloons fame, revealing that she is also from his home town of Hagen, near the Dutch border.

Henning Wehn: It’ll All Come Out in the Wash
Henning Wehn: It’ll All Come Out in the Wash

After half an hour of Nena, Henning ran back out clapping along to a It’ll All Come Out in the Wash theme tune, noting that it went on too long but that it would help eat into the hour (the second part was the ‘main show’).

He had a fair amount to say on the subject of the pandemic, stating that he was glad he spent it here thanks to events such as Captain Tom, with that all-important connection to the war, walking around his garden for charity, and the Thursday night clapping. “In Germany, we just tried to deal with the problem - admittedly not very well,” he said.

His musings on things like Covid and on being a foreigner in the UK were poignant, witty and varied - although the pace flagged a little once or twice during the second part - without really taking a particularly strong stance on things one way or another (after all, this was a comedy gig, not a political rally).

He also produced some hilarious, self-drawn graphs with some surprising results. “Next slide, please,” he said in between each one, echoing the Downing Street briefings.

Henning was keen to know what we the audience thought of the show, encouraging us to go on his website and leave a comment. He ended the proceedings by reading out a couple of comments, one from an NHS doctor who very much enjoyed it, and one from a woman who was so ‘offended’ that she walked out.

Offbeat, engaging and, most importantly, fun, Henning Wehn has a real amiability and warmth about him, and his use of colloquial English and observations on English culture and our unique idiosyncrasies and eccentricities - all delivered from the point of view of a sceptical and rather world-weary outsider - are second to none. In a word, “wunderbar!”

Henning Wehn. Picture: Olivier Hess
Henning Wehn. Picture: Olivier Hess

For more on Henning Wehn, visit henningwehn.de.

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