Westmoreland Gazette review of OFIF
Richard Herring, Brewery Arts Centre, 21 June 2008
Anyone attending the Richard Herring gig at the Brewery on 21 June experienced a treat; two separate shows from one of the UKâ€™s most respected comedy performers.
The first half consisted of the advertised Oh Dear Iâ€™m Forty (except it wasnâ€™t exactly â€˜Dearâ€™ but this is a family newspaper). In this show, Richard gave us his observations from the heady heights of hitting the magic four-oh, the regrets at opportunities missed, the perils of trying to remain young, the fear of the approaching descent into the abyss of old age. If this sounds rather sombre, it was anything but: Richard Herring is a superb writer and skilled performer, connecting with the audience the moment he walked onto the stage. His humour was self-depreciating, rarely aggressive and if, at times, the material was extreme, the warmth of his personality carried the Kendal audience along with him.
After the interval, he returned with the first draft of a new show, The Headmasterâ€™s Son, which he is developing for this yearâ€™s Edinburgh Fringe. He apologised for its scrappy nature, its mix of hand-held notes and memorised routines. But this was actually quite exciting; we got to see the show being formed, the process deconstructed. The material drew on his teenage diaries and, in a sense, he became part of a double act with his fifteen-year old self. It had genuine poignancy and resonance, the quieter, self-reflective moments were compelling. A superb showcase for the skills of this engaging and likeable comedian. As always, it was a pleasure to spend time in his company.