Helen da Silva
Hill & Weedon
Horse & Louis
Marc Blake's fictional German stand-up is a stereotypically stern creation who isn’t going to let his utterly humourless personality stand in the way of a comedy career.
With a pair of out-of-place Eighties comedy braces his only concession to the spirit of comedy, he applies ruthless Teutonic logic to old pub gags, undermining their ridiculous set-ups as effectively as John Thomson’s politically-correct Bernard Right-On did 15 years ago.
That said, Helmut does still get away with some dubious-quality jokes you wouldn’t otherwise expect a modern stand-up to use. Blake gets to have his cake and eat it, using the distance a character provides to tell audience-pleasing pub gags, even if they’re not going to win many plaudits from the comedy-literate.
Blake himself falls into that category, having been a finalist in the very first Hackney Empire new act competition a decade or so ago, and a one-time writer for Frankie Howerd. Helmut marks his relatively recent return to the stage after a lengthy sabbatical devoted to writing novels, and teaching a stand-up course at London’s City University.
That depth of experience certainly shows in the performance, that is so perfectly droll with nicely sinister undercurrents. Also in his favour is a wonderfully dry turn of phrase and some wryly deadpan one-liners.
So while Helmut doesn’t yet feel like much more than a one-dimensional character, Blake does well within those limitations.
|Date of review: Oct 2004|
Thursday 0th Oct, '04-
Show - Misc live shows - Monday 1st Mar, '04-
what a untalented guy, he's about as funny as a broken leg :l
A painful experience. My friend actually threatened to kill me after bringing them to this excruciating show.
How can anyone NOT like this act? Unless you have some PC flag to misguidedly wave.
The accent was more French with a touch of Welsh and Indian than German. He mastered the crowd in Maidstone (Walnut Tree) no hecklers (very rare). Surreal, absurd and amusing observations.
Toe curlingly awful.