COMEDY REVIEW: Richard Herring @ Live Theatre (30.7.17) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Sleeping on the floor of a masonic temple between comedy shows at the 1987 Edinburgh Fringe – the viability of your virginity only briefly interrupted by future legendary double-act companion Stewart Lee attempting to softly masturbate you with the hand of your very-own great grandad’s ventriloquist dummy to “cheer you up” – the life of a seasoned cult comedian five years married with one child in the bag and another imminent would seem vanishingly far away; the world of a pepper-haired and perky 50-year old seasoned comic impossibly distant from your spelk-mattressed twenty-something idyll.

On the cusp then of yet another Fringe with a run of preview shows – and ten years on from ‘Oh Fuck I’m F40’ – Herring straddles colossus-like over his post-mid life crisis comedy domain; one turd-flecked foot ankle-deep in truculent toilet humour, one dipping its toes confidently in the waters of male existential ennui.

It’s that necessity of ruthlessly embracing your inner child in the face of an ever-more bracing understanding of the enormity and apathy of a godless universe that gives the show some neat cosmic weight, wrapped around a bunch of brilliantly personal and self-sabotaging tales; after two years away Herring’s return to the Fringe sees him 50 years beyond his birth, 30 away from unsolicited wood-handed wanks and as bracing as ever.

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