Who would have thought that the best way to do modern alternative comedy would be to take everything right back to an era somewhere between early vaudeville and the invention of the “talkies”. Wereldband have drawn inspiration from Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and the Marx Brothers (my favourites) to put together a classic comedy show featuring brilliantly played old timey music.
Just a glance at the stage on entrance transports you back in time and before long we’re introduced to the Wereldband and their fair ground. This theme carries on throughout the show with frequent appearances of a Chico Marx-esque carny who selects rubes from the audience to participate in his near unwinnable carnival games.
Video is used to pay tribute to Laurel and Hardy as chaos ensues on the stage in front. With lots of accidents the show certainly lives up to it’s title.
Another recurring bit involves the group performing pop songs on old fashioned instruments accompanied by German singing. This causes small eruptions of laughter throughout the crowd as we each figure out what the song is at different moments. The music is terrific throughout, with each performer picking up numerous instruments and at one point all five playing the same one.
The thrills come to a head in a magnificent scene that pays ode to Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill Jr. Pulling off this scene is testament to their comic timing and ambitious showmanship. The show concludes back at the fairground, for a terrifically silly finale.
On exiting this show I realised it left me with goosebumps, as was the quality from start to finish. If you’re a fan of old time comedy then this is one absolutely not to be missed. Even if you’re not a fan, there’s so much to enjoy in the performances here that it would be enjoyable for anyone, from kids to those old enough to remember the originals.