February 19, 2015
Michael Mittermeier is an exceptionally well-known comedian in his native Germany, but is able to enjoy relative anonymity here in the UK... Well, for the time being at least.
We popped along to the Basement of the Soho Theatre on 12th February to see his latest show, Das Blackout.
Following on from this rather intriguing title, Mittermeier’s set covered an assortment of topics including the blackout of World War II, Nazi excuses, zombie invasions and Oktoberfest-induced comas. Not for the faint of heart then, you may suspect. However, he infuses a wonderful amount of charisma into his 75-minute set and conjured up a brilliant rapport with the audience.
Extremely easy to watch, the highlight was undoubtedly his description of growing up in Catholic seventies Bavaria, though his riffs on timetabled classes in war guilt were rather amusing – “Guilt before lunch and double shame in the afternoon.”
With a lot of German in-jokes and humour based around language and misinterpretation of the German language (and behaviour) when in the UK, Das Blackout definitely appealed to the Germans in the audience but impressively enough managed to translate extremely well to the British crowd as well.
The dialogue skipped around on tangents in a very clever interconnected way; a real emphasis on international stereotypes cropped up in anecdotes and made unexpected cameos throughout. Mittermeier’s strength lies in the satirical and his interpretation of the German/Greek financial relationships was particularly sharp and original.
At an hour and a quarter, the show dragged a little at the end but there is more than enough here to recommend Mittermeier to mature, intellectual audiences who enjoy political satire. A wonderfully enjoyable evening.
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By Mathilda Johnson