Wereldband: Släpstick

On first viewing the stage I thought I would try and count all the instruments I could see scattered around waiting to be played. My attempt did not last long as I soon realised there were far too many. Wereldband’s incredible musicianship is at the heart of this piece. Each new instrument featured is a delight and provides the perfect live soundscape to their slapstick comedy.

I cannot imagine anyone leaving without a smile on their face.

Taking a nostalgic look at the golden age of physical comedy, Wereldband produce a hilarious hour of laughs and music. The piece uses the idea of a fairground as framing device and this works very well; providing interactive opportunities for the audience to compete in various fairground games (with the exciting possibility of winning a packet of raisins) while the rest of the band members set up for the next section. The show builds well starting with a charming tribute to Laurel and Hardy gradually rising to a riotous pillow-slinging ending.

Fans of slapstick comedy will find this show irresistible. The comedy is well executed with precision timing from each member of the company. The talent of the performers seems boundless, displaying mastery of both the music world and comedy. It is a complete delight to see how they manipulate the music to form punchlines, weaving the two art forms together. It is a shame that for some of the slapstick moments they abandon live sounds in favour recorded effects, which drained some of quality from the immediacy of the overall soundscape.

It is often difficult to find a show that will please all ages, but this is a safe choice. Succeeding in keeping a large audience in the palm of the performer’s hand for the full length of the show can often be a challenging task, but this is something at which the cast appear to excel. I cannot imagine anyone leaving without a smile on their face. Also don’t worry – there is a ladder routine! 

Reviews by Gillian Bain

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Flying violins! Speed skating ballerinos! An ode to musical comedians like Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers and Spike Jones. A spectacular collection of musical and humorous acts rooted in the music hall tradition, but with a modern twist. The Wereldband, based in the Netherlands, consists of five world-class musicians who, between them, have mastered more than 200 instruments! With a flare for eccentricity and a hint of melancholy, their new show Släpstick has left audiences and critics breathless. The perfect blend of virtuosic musicianship, nostalgic sentiment, and lung-bursting physical comedy in the true slapstick tradition!