EVERYONE wants to feel like they fit in somewhere, and comedians seem to be no exception. It’s been a recurring theme this year at the Fringe, and it’s provided us with some of the best comedy on offer. Fortunately so far none of it has felt like listening in on a therapy session.
Lucie Pohl: Hi Hitler
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Dane Baptiste: Citizen Dane
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Paco Erhard: Worst. German. Ever.
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Take Lucie Pohl, for instance. She grew up in Germany, the child of two melodramatic and artistic intellectuals. She and her family moved to New York, where she struggled because she was so different. Returning later to Berlin, she found she was by then too American to belong there anymore – she couldn’t win.
Not so much stand up as a comedy monologue, complete with vignettes as other characters from her life, Pohl’s show is stylistically a breath of fresh comedic air. As for how Hitler fits in, you really will have to see the show.
Dane Baptiste doesn’t think he fits in either. Born of Grenadian parents, he grew up in London. Baptiste perfectly remembers and captures a kids’ view of the world. His memories of being a cub scout and having a twin sister are highlights of the show.
His deadpan delivery comes over as serious, world weary and maybe a little defensive, but there’s a gleeful twinkle in his eye as he stands there, bemoaning his lot.
As the title of the show suggests, all he wants is to be a citizen of somewhere, but comedy is surely where he belongs.
Paco Erhard, on the other hand, has travelled and lived all over the world. Never truly belonging to the German culture or lifestyle, he tried Spain, Malaysia and currently, the UK.
He’s an affable, endlessly cheerful traditional stand up, but in no way could he be described as a typical German. Scathing about Berlin and the real reason Germany is happy to help bolster poorer EU countries, he seems at his happiest randomly jabbing at worthy targets, wherever he finds them.
With not a spare seat in the house, the audience seemed to have a pretty good idea of exactly where Erhard fitted.