This is Nottingham review of Hitler Moustache
Review: Richard Herring, Nottingham Playhouse
Sunday, January 31, 2010, 18:33
Richard Herring's new show, Hitler Moustache, was certainly funny â€“ most of the time â€“ and it was fascinating all of the time.
There were some background throwaway songs about moustaches and Nazism before Herring came on, and a snatch from Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries immediately before he appeared. He was the exact image of Hitler, except that he was wearing a somewhat baggy, shiny grey suit, was more than nicely overweight and had long fair hair and a pony-tail.
He made the convincing claim that he was "trying to reclaim this moustache for comedy". He also told us jokes about Jesus and Madeleine McCann and, after asking if there were any racists or paedophiles in the audience, told us he was living in Shepherd's Bush, West London. (Judging from what we've been told at previous comedy gigs, that particular suburb is populated almost entirely by slightly broken-down stand-ups).
To a great extent, it's not what Herring says but the way he says it. He has excellent timing: his ability to turn a gag on its head at the last minute with a passing comment is at times miraculous. And he draws out a lot of the ironies implicit in racist attitudes.
Arguably Herring undercut his own argument with, for instance, an obscene and sustained personal attack on Carol RThatcher and her mum. But hardly ever did he patronise or under-estimate his audience â€“ he himself thought it a bold gambit to use the word "hubris" at the outset and assume we knew what it meant.