Philharmonic of Wit

From the first gong to the last of many bows, Philharmonic of Wit artfully balances Waldemar Malicki’s blunt musings as host/pianist and the big numbers of a shamelessly showy orchestra backed by drum kit and bass. When I say ‘balances’, I really mean that the two are at odds throughout, resulting in a laugh-out-loud onstage skirmish.

Brimming with plenty of tunes you’ll recognise, Philharmonic of Wit is a modern, grown-up Peter and the Wolf with a wicked sense of humour.

The pace changes as constantly as the musical style: one minute the Sabre Dance is picking up speed; the next, we are assaulted by Beethoven’s 5th. You certainly won’t miss the keytar that Filharmonia Dowcipu whack out soon after. This show is full of surprises - you’ll struggle to guess who at one point erupts into a whimsical scat. Music snobs, beware. Nessun Dorma and I Like to Move it are in such close proximity that you’re likely to be royally offended.

The modern soprano we are told is “pretty, slender and relatively young” and the tenor who is said to look “like shit” are both talented and happy to be ridiculed – a great combination. The string players are a flirtatious tour de force that switch from rambunctious hoedowns to disdainful stares with ease.

Sometimes the ensemble could get a bit carried away and let the percussion disturb their timing. The links between episodes felt tenuous at times. But who cares if segments have been tagged on when they include a hilarious pastiche of Celine Dion’s Titanic hit and a questionable dedication to Bach’s 286th anniversary of his application for a job at Leipzig cathedral (yes, really).

Brimming with plenty of tunes you’ll recognise, Philharmonic of Wit is a modern, grown-up Peter and the Wolf with a wicked sense of humour. It might not be perfect, but it’s still the perfect warm-up for a Fringe night out.

Reviews by Jake A Ellamen

Greenside @ Royal Terrace

Perceptual Landscape

Assembly George Square Studios

Jamie MacDonald: Oblivious

Assembly George Square Theatre


Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Lee Miller and Picasso

C venues - C


Pleasance Courtyard

The Falcon's Malteser by Anthony Horowitz


Since you’re here…

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The Blurb

Philharmonic of Wit turns the classics you know and love upside down in this wacky, witty, sexy show created by the most talented instrumentalists and vocalists. The greatest operatic and symphonic hits sound as if they had been composed today, 'drowned in an unusual arrangement of ideas, sounds, voices, instrumental capabilities and volleys of audience laughter. Surprising, elegant, sometimes twisted ... a whole range of positive emotions flows from the stage' ( 'Incredibly funny, intelligent and a huge dose of great music’ (

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