The Philharmonic of Wit
Polish symphonic comedy troupe leave a lot to be desired in uneven and stilted show
This article is from 2014.
There is more whimsy than wit in this uneven show from Poland's leading/only symphonic comedy troupe. While I can't deny the exceptional talent of the nineteen-piece orchestra, their hokey comedy shtick leaves a lot to be desired.
It's a pity, as their fluid marriage of classical, pop and traditional European music is occasionally quite infectious. But everything else about the show is curiously stilted. Even allowing for the fact that pianist and compère Waldemar Malicki is performing in a second language, his patience-testing monologues suck the energy from the room. He's deadpan and droll to the point of torpor.
Their humour is also far too reliant on incongruous juxtaposition, e.g. a white-haired conductor rocking out on electric bass, and an operatic tenor singing Real 2 Real's I Like to Move It. And what's with the casual sexism? While the men are dressed in semi-formal attire, the female string section wear glamorous outfits while being treated as a sexy novelty.
This dubious element reaches its nadir when a demure violinist strips down to a leather bodice and hot-pants to roar through AC/DC's Highway to Hell, leaving an acrid odeur de 1980s holiday camp in her wake. Embarrassing.
Venue 150 @ EICC, 0844 847 1639, until 24 Aug (not 21), 6:30pm, £12--£14.