Richard Herring – What Is Love Anyway?

After sorting out racism and religion in his previous tours, this year Richard sets out to destroy love. He explains that he hopes he isn’t successful, as his girlfriend may not approve. This is a much sweeter show than previous ones, and he explores love from different angles. Are children capable of love? Richard thinks not. Is is impressive when a father tells people how much he loves his kids? Again, Richard thinks not.

I got to the Soho Theatre around 945 giving me just enough time to get a beer before going upstairs to the venue. I’ve never been here before and it’s quite a nice room. Steep seats, and it’s a surprise to find that the room holds 150 people. It feels much more intimate than that. I got a second row seat and we awaited Richard’s arrival. There was of course a love theme to the pre-show music, and of course Howard Jones signalled the start of the show.

A very unusual heckle came right after Richard’s logically twisted routine about doubling the amount of Ferrero Rochers he has to buy his girlfriend each year, resulting in a new slave trade in order to build the eventual full size pyramid. “You should have thought about that earlier” came the shout, before Richard mentioned that that was indeed the whole point of the routine.

The end of the show was beautiful, discussing his 100 year old grandmother who has Alzheimer’s disease, over a soundtrack of Debussy’s Clair De Lune. This was emotional without being mawkish, and gave the show a real punch with the audience laughing one minute, then being close to tears the next and back again. Richard said on Twitter yesterday that audiences seem to like this, but the critics see it differently. Personally I think it wraps the show up gorgeously, and like most Herring shows, gives us something to think about.

I overheard someone in the loos after say to his friend that it was like a lecture with some jokes, which i thought was a little harsh, though I imagine he was hoping for a one-liner merchant like Tim Vine or Jimmy Carr. A slight annoyance for me was the man sitting directly behind me who kept muttering the punchlines, sometimes before they were even said by Richard. I don’t know if he thought he was impressing his mate, but he wasn’t impressing me!

I’m seeing Stewart Lee next, and to beat this show he will have to be on top form !

I haven’t mentioned my favourite phrase of the whole show. In case you are wondering though, it is “Vaginal Frubes”.

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