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Henning Wehn - No Surrender
Published on Thursday, 28 July 2011

3 stars

Arts Centre - Auditorium
23 Jul, 9:00pm-10:00pm
Reviewed by Alice de Cent

Nearing the end of his run of previews, Henning Wehn stopped off in Buxton to try out material for his Edinburgh stand-up show, No Surrender – the title being the first of many jokes that draw on his experiences as a German living in Britain, and a follow-up to last year’s My Struggle.

The self-styled “German Comedy Ambassador” is brimming with crowd-pleasing material poking fun at British stereotypes of Germany. Full of energetic enthusiasm, Wehn’s delivery is confident and engaging – helped in no small part by his intriguing accent, which is full of German character but with a sprinkling of South London.

Well-placed to make some astute and amusing observations on the more absurd British eccentricities, Wehn is on safe ground in this area, as he is with his charming nostalgia for Germany. Less well-received were the jokes that leant more towards being at the expense of other nations; these placed the audience a little out of their comfort zone, reflected by a general uncertainty about whether or not to laugh.

Wehn’s act will no doubt be finessed in his final previews, and continue developing during its Edinburgh run. With a secure opening half hour, it is only the latter portions of the show that require some fine-tuning to keep the pacing consistent and hold attention throughout.

Something of a novelty, Wehn’s brand of stand-up plays on old jokes experienced from a new perspective, injected with Wehn’s own infectious excitement. A thoroughly likeable character, Wehn’s cultural gags make for a pleasant hour of comedy.

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