First Published in The Independent, June 29th 2006


‘Allo ‘Allo, where are the stereotypes?


The World Cup is the biggest party in the Fatherland since the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. What makes the World Cup even better than overthrowing communism is its international character. As far as I remember, there were neither Mexicans with massive sombreros nor African witch doctors celebrating in the streets of Berlin last time round.

Then again, there aren’t any now, either. Unlike at previous tournaments, all quarter-finalists bar Ukraine are European or South American heavyweights with an impressive track record of footballing success. Thank God for that.

I’m sure we all enjoyed Trinidad & Tobago earning a draw against Sweden, Senegal beating France at World Cup 2002 or Northern Ireland winning against England last September. But the minnows must not outstay their welcome. Nobody wants to have random countries such as South Korea or Turkey in semi-finals ever again.

I therefore ask Ukraine to see the bigger picture and leave next Tuesday’s semi-final to the two great European football nations – Italy and Germany. I know for a fact that the Argentines have a plane to Buenos Aires waiting to take-off immediately after their quarter-final defeat against Germany.

Without trying to pander to you Britische I must admit that I was very pleased to see the back of the Australian team. Those annoyingly positive Antipodeans are hard to like even for a neutral. Having a Dutch manager didn’t endear them to me either.

The World Cup is my first extended trip back to Germany since moving to the UK. I must admit that I am surprised about the good-natured, humorous, friendly character of my countrymen.

Having lived in the UK for the past four years, I am so used to the British stereotypes about Germans that I had expected to find locals wearing Lederhosen, goose-stepping up and down Hauptstrasse, eating huge amount of bratwurst whilst singing David Hasselhoff’s latest songs. This is ludicrous of course: we prefer the Hoff’s old material.

So it took me a few days to rediscover Germany as a country blessed with natural beauty and populated by pleasant people; not the grotesque version of popular British folklore.

This message seems to hit home with travelling England contingent. All the supporters I spoke to were impressed by German hospitality. Not that it’s too difficult to provide better service, food, and transport than what they get at home.

But old habits die hard, and I’m sure that once British telly and the tabloids realise that you might be about to drop the German stereotypes they’ll bombard Britain with ever more reruns of ‘Allo ‘Allo! and Dad’s Army and war movies full of fake Germans shouting “Jawohl Herr General”. Let’s hope so or I might have to write a new stand-up routine.

Posted by Henning Wehn on Thursday, June 29th, 2006.
Filed Under: Writing



CLICK HERE TO GO BACK



Enjoy this blast from the past? Here's some up-to-date live shows coming up..

March 2017

2 – SHREWSBURY – Theatre Severn – SOLD OUT – Extra date added 12th November
3 – CHELTENHAM – Town Hall – SOLD OUT
4 – BRISTOL – Colston Halls – SOLD OUT
9 – HARLOW – Playhouse – SOLD OUT
10 – PETERBOROUGH – The Cresset – SOLD OUT
11 – LINCOLN – Engine Shed – SOLD OUT
16 – BEDFORD – Corn Exchange – SOLD OUT
17 – LANCASTER – Grand Theatre – SOLD OUT
18 – GLASGOW – Kings Theatre – TICKETS
19 – BARROW IN FURNESS – The Forum – TICKETS 
Leicester Square Theatre – Limited number of standing tickets available 48 hours before each performance
EXTRA LONDON DATE JUST ANNOUNCED – Hackney Empire 26th October – TICKETS
23 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
24 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – SOLD OUT
25 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – SOLD OUT
29 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – SOLD OUT
30 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – SOLD OUT
31 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – SOLD OUT

April 2017

1 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre –TICKETS
2 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – SOLD OUT
5 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – SOLD OUT
6 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – SOLD OUT
7 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – SOLD OUT
8 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – SOLD OUT
27 – BIRMINGHAM – Town Hall – SOLD OUT – Extra date 13th October 2017 – TICKETS
28 – SOUTHPORT – The Atkinson – SOLD OUT
29 – DOUGLAS – ISLE OF MAN – The Gaiety Theatre – TICKETS

May 2017

4 – REDHILL – Harlequin – SOLD OUT
5 – NOTTINGHAM – Playhouse – SOLD OUT – Extra date added 25th November – TICKETS
6 – BROMLEY – Churchill Theatre – SOLD OUT
10 – OXFORD – Playhouse – SOLD OUT – Extra date added 31st May – TICKETS
11 – STAFFORD – Gatehouse – SOLD OUT
12 – SHEFFIELD – Octagon – TICKETS
13 – COLNE – The Muni – TICKETS
14 – BUXTON – Opera House – SOLD OUT
19 – BASINGSTOKE – The Anvil – SOLD OUT – Extra date 2nd November – TICKETS
20 – COVENTRY – Warwick Arts Centre Butterworth Hall – SOLD OUT
21 – LEICESTER – The Curve – TICKETS
24 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – TICKETS – NEW MATERIAL NIGHT – NOT A SHOW
26 – WESTON SUPER MARE – The Playhouse – TICKETS
27 – YEOVIL – Westlands – TICKETS
28 – SOUTHAMPTON – Nuffield Theatre – SOLD OUT
31 – OXFORD – Playhouse – TICKETS

June 2017

1 – NORTHAMPTON – Derngate – TICKETS
2 – TORQUAY – Babbacombe Theatre – DVD Recording – TICKETS
3 – TORQUAY – Babbacombe Theatre – DVD Recording – TICKETS
9 – GUILDFORD – G Live – TICKETS
10 – READING – Hexagon – SOLD OUT – Extra date added 8th November TICKETS
11 – BOURNEMOUTH – Pavilion – TICKETS
17 – JERSEY – Opera House – TICKETS
19 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – TICKETS – NEW MATERIAL NIGHT – NOT A SHOW
21 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – TICKETS – NEW MATERIAL NIGHT – NOT A SHOW

July 2017

24 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – TICKETS – NEW MATERIAL NIGHT – NOT A SHOW
25 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – TICKETS – NEW MATERIAL NIGHT – NOT A SHOW
26 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – TICKETS – NEW MATERIAL NIGHT – NOT A SHOW
28 – BARTON on HUMBER – Ropewalk – TICKETS SOON
29 – YORK – Barbican – Great Yorkshire Fringe – TICKETS SOON
30 – MACCLESFIELD – Gawsworth Hall – TICKETS SOON

August 2017

3 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
4 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
5 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
6 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
10 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
11 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
12 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
13 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
17 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
18 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
19 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
20 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS

September 2017

20 – EPSOM – Playhouse – TICKETS
21 – DUNSTABLE – Grove Theatre – TICKETS
22 – DARTFORD – The Orchard – TICKETS
23 – TUNBRIDGE WELLS – Assembly Hall – TICKETS
29 – CLACTON-on-SEA – Princes Theatre – TICKETS
30 – IPSWICH – Regent Theatre – TICKETS

October 2017

1 – LOWESTOFT – Marina Theatre – TICKETS SOON
6 – HIGH WYCOMBE – The Swan – TICKETS
7 – WATFORD – Colosseum – TICKETS
8 – LEAMINGTON SPA – Royal Spa Centre – TICKETS SOON
12 – WREXHAM – William Aston Hall – TICKETS
13 – BIRMINGHAM – Town Hall – SOLD OUT
14 – BIRMINGHAM – Town Hall – TICKETS
15 – KETTERING Lighthouse – TICKETS
19 – DONCASTER – Cast – TICKETS SOON
20 – KENDAL – Westmoreland Hall – TICKETS
21 – CARLISLE – Sands Centre – TICKETS
22 – NEWCASTLE – Theatre Royal – TICKETS
26 – LONDON – Hackney Empire – TICKETS
27 – WOLVERHAMPTON – Wulfrun Hall – TICKETS
28 – MELTON MOWBRAY – Melton Theatre – TICKETS
29 – CHESTERFIELD – Pomegranate Theatre – TICKETS

November 2017

2 – BASINGSTOKE – The Anvil – TICKETS
3 – CRAWLEY – The Hawth  – TICKETS
8 – READING – Hexagon – TICKETS
9 – CANTERBURY – Marlowe Theatre – TICKETS SOON
11 – STOCKPORT – Plaza – TICKETS
12 – SHREWSBURY – Theatre Severn – TICKETS
16 – CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange – TICKETS
17 – BRIGHTON – Dome  – TICKETS
18 – HAYES – Beck Theatre – TICKETS
19 – SALISBURY – City Hall – TICKETS
23 – BARNSLEY – Civic Theatre – TICKETS
24 – SCARBOROUGH – The Spa Theatre – TICKETS
25 – NOTTINGHAM – Playhouse – TICKETS

Eins, Zwei, DIY

New DVD & Download
DVD on Amazon
Download at iTunes

See Henning Live!

Henning Knows Bestest DVD

You've got some catching up to do!
Have a look at Henning's previous offering.
Download now!

No Surrender DVD

You've got A LOT of catching up to do!
Have a look at Henning's earlier offering.
Download now!

Henning’s Newsletter

Pop your email address in here!