Evening Standard review of Headmaster's Son
Richard Herring keeps it real
By Bruce Dessau, Evening Standard 20.02.09
Grim childhoods inspire comedians but Richard Herringâ€™s consistently amusing autobiographical shows prove that stable upbringings reap comedic rewards, too. The Headmasterâ€™s Son, however, entertainingly reveals that not everything was rosy during this fast-talking stand-upâ€™s Somerset schooldays.
We are hardly talking miserylit gloomfest. Herring was a nerd, whose dad ran the school. If he flunked his exams, friends said he was an idiot. If he did well, they said sir slipped him the answers over breakfast. Sporting briefcase, blazer and trumpet he was the â€œBuckaroo of bullyingâ€.
Laughs pepper this wry monologue. Herring has a sharp tongue and can weave a yarn, whether recalling youthful crushes or imagining an encounter between his young and old selves. He certainly knows how to mock himself, reading some of his truly excruciating adolescent poetry.
Ultimately this is as much about ego as anything by Russell Brand, albeit with less sexual braggadocio, more self-deprecation. Plus a welcome closing dash of sentimentality as the ever-childish Herring finally sees things from an adult perspective. A glowing pass with no help from dad.
Until 28 February (0844 847 2475, www.leicestersquaretheatre.com).