Comedy fest review: Paco Erhard in 5 Step Guide to being German

Some friends and I were discussing what we would expect to see from Paco Erhard’s show “5 Step Guide to being German”. The promo for the show said:

Wanna be German? Of course you do. And now you can, as German comedian Paco Erhard teaches you how.

So from this we assumed that there would be lots of Nazi jokes, jokes about punctuality and efficiency and a few other tropes. We weren’t disappointed. Well we were a bit disappointed by the show, but not by our predictions.

It’s a bold choice of show topic, and one that immediately puts a goose-stepping elephant in the room. So of course Paco has to address it, but it would have been cool to see a subversion or original take on it, instead of well-worn cliches. There was the odd clever line around Nazism, particularly in comparison to other empires but they were largely exactly what you’d expect.

The show has lofty ambitions of deconstructing the German psyche, identifying what it truly means to be German. And if it achieved this it would have been a remarkably good show. It did not achieve this. There were some very funny lines in the show, for sure, and the largely international audience enjoyed a lot of Euro-centric gags but there was a geographical disconnect.

But then a lot of it felt like a plea to forgive and forget Germany’s past because not doing so was holding back the youths of Germany from moving forward to a multicultural paradise. Without wishing to get to Political Science 101

The show felt like it was a show that had been developed for the UK market and just picked up and plonked in NZ with a few New Zealand place names thrown into the mix in an attempt to connect with us.  Which was a shame, because Paco is a likeable stage presence, with a good comedic mind; it just wasn’t quite honed for this show.

Paco Erhard in 5 Step Guide to Being German

Wellington, Wellington Rowers Club, May 2-6, 7pm

TICKET PRICES
Full Price $28
Concession $23
Group 5+ $23
Cheap Wednesday $23
*service fee may apply

Auckland, Herald Theatre, May 9-13, 7pm

TICKET PRICES
Full Price $28
Concession $24
Group 5+ $24
Cheap Wednesday $24
*service fee may apply

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