Reviewer: Matt Forrest
We’ve all done it: knocking up a compilation tape or CD for that special someone in our life (I know I’m showing my age).Putting our favourite tunes all in one place can be an arduous task and one that requires a great deal of time and patience, but thoroughly enjoyable in the end. For his latest tour, Richard Herring has gone one better and decided to cram the best bits from his previous twelve stand-up shows for his Richard Herring – The Best.
Most stand-up shows have a recurring theme running throughout: but for Herring – he must link twelve shows, which he does so near seamlessly. The first half sees Herring tackling fresher material about becoming a father for the first time and the perils of grand romantic gestures. It is quickly apparent that in Herring there is a puerile naughtiness to his comedy: silly, crude but never mean or offensive. You can certainly sense from Herring when he is going to say something shocking – a little ‘cheeky’ smile appears: he knows it’s wrong but who cares?
The second half of the show sees Herring tackling more weighty topics such as death, racism, and religion. Despite the near-taboo nature of these subjects, Herring’s material is pitch perfect. A look at a magazine which focuses on the holocaust and the rail network is so ridiculously absurd because it was published in the first place: anything Herring says is secondary. However, Herring saves his best material for last: a staggering feat of memory that takes a playful swipe at the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
Herring masterfully weaves his way through his material linking everything together as if it was a purposefully written show rather than ‘greatest’ hits compilation promised at the start. Herring is a confident natural performer, with material that is as clever as it is silly. He plays the part of the class clown or naughty school boy to perfection: you don’t really want to laugh along with it, but sometimes you just can’t help it. Now I’ve seen the best of Herring I have to say I’m looking forward to seeing more in the future from one of Britain’s best comics.
Reviewed on 19 March 2017 | Image: Contributed