Who's laughing Now review of Headmaster's son
Review: Richard Herring @ The Glee Club
October 11th, 2008 by simon
Young meets old as Richard Herring looks back on his teenage self
The educational system might have its flaws, but is it to blame for the way that Richard Herringâ€™s life has turned out? That was the premise of his latest show, The Headmasterâ€™s Son, where he attempted to gauge how being the offspring of the head teacher at his school has impacted on everything that has happened to him since.
The endearing stand-up, whose partnership with Stewart Lee saw them both propelled onto mainstream television in the 1990s â€“ with Fist of Fun, This Morning With Richard Not Judy, and radio success as part of the team behind On the Hour - has written a string of critically acclaimed one-man shows and well as presenting his hit podcast with friend and writing partner Andrew Collins, and this saw him on terrific form.
His fatherâ€™s son
Part psychological analysis and part confessional, this was set was like a cathartic exercise, built around the dual personalities of Herring â€“ pitting his current outlook against his 16-year-old self, and acknowledging that the two perhaps arenâ€™t that different after all.
What started with the tale of Herring trying to win back the approval of other pupils â€“ against the backdrop of an Ascension Day assembly â€“ morphed into an engagingly frank journey of self re-discovery. Diary entries were read aloud as though pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, drawing together fragments of memories recorded at the time, which often differed from his distant recollection.
Young meets old
Herringâ€™s knack for storytelling meant that the pace of the show never dropped, even during some gags and ideas which he playfully drew out and tested to their full capacity, never being afraid to challenge the audience or slip into pedantry.
He reflected on relationships, interests and the family dynamic, and revelled in a frenetic dialogue between his young and old selves. It made for an exhilarating hour of self-deprecation and insight into the life of someone who must surely still rank among the countryâ€™s most cherished stand-ups.
All the proceeds from programmes for Richard Herring: The Headmasterâ€™s Son were given to the charity Scope.