Review: The Bastard Child of Der Wunderlich – Der Wunderlich Revue ★★★★★
A batshit bonkers baffling bonanza of men at their sublime silliest.
A Brighton institution, Der Wunderlich Revue are back with two cult wonder-shows at the fringe. Oh boy, this was an epic way to end their run in anarchic style, in the perfectly ramshackle environs of Luna Parc (part of the Brighton Fringe’s hit new venue, Caravanserai).
The Bastard Child is a hit. It’s the perfect anything-goes, late-night entertainment epic, full of male (and one non-binary person) DIY drag, circus, magic, gameshow and blokes showing off without inhibition. What happens at Wunderlich stays at Wunderlich. The night is very much a fever dream of giant dancing dicks, a punk magic rabbit, a cowboy cancan and some anal beads.
Star turns come from Joel Le Cirque’s ABBAtastic aerial routine in bearded drag, Size Zero Albino’s high-camp energy and electric finale trapeze act, Adriano Fettucini’s gentlemanly hat juggling, an older male pole-dancing triumph Naughtycal Nigel proving sexiness doesn’t age, and TEAM MUD’s frenzied all male cheerleader squad.
Giant group numbers make you grin from ear to ear, and the solo performance pieces are on the whole ace – with a couple of tricky moments, like a drunk punter man walking on stage during a magic act, handled as well as you might hope. Do not be afraid of the stage invaders, Wunderlich, this late night crowd is your audience and they love you!
The night feels edgy, dangerous (in a good way) and the raucous crowd is expertly wrangled by debonaire host Professor Elemental, in the face of a potentially upstaging performance from an apparently inebriated (yet hilarious) audience member called Caitlin – only at Wunderlich!
Congrats to the sound and lighting teams for dealing with the chaos, as well as the whole ensemble for pulling together this marvellous revue. The stunned faces in the audience – reacting to the shocking, surprising and sometimes divinely stupid acts – are just priceless.
The whole night is packed with intriguing oddities, and this feels like proper good old vaudeville with a punk attitude and a whole lot of balls!
I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.