5 star review in the Metro
Shona Craven August 20, 2004
Artist: Richard Herring
Show name: The Twelve Tasks Of Hercules Terrace
Venue name: Pod Deco
RICHARD HERRING HASN'T just written a show for this year's Fringe, he's started a new religion.
Early last year, inspired by a bust on the wall of his new house, the Talking Cock comic began to research the 12 tasks of Hercules. He then embarked on an epic mission to complete a dozen challenges of his own and rid himself of the depression that had taken hold after the break-up of a relationship. He reckoned there could be an Edinburgh show in it, too.
The exact nature of these challenges and the justification for their inclusion is far too complex to go into in any detail here, but they do include feats of endurance, leaps of faith and the procurement of women's underwear.
Those with obsessive-compulsive tendencies will find the agonising ritual of Consecutive Number Plate Spotting too terrible to resist and may risk ruining a few years of their lives only to find that it's not even funny when they tell others about it, because they're not Richard Herring.
By the time he gets to challenge no.12, only the hardest of hearts won't be pounding with expectation.
The concept is mind-boggling and even to describe it as a concept is to take away some of the wonder of what Herring has achieved over the year, then painstakingly documented in order to win the laughter and admiration of rooms full of people who may well have thought they were in for another hour of knob gags with that one from Lee And Herring.
To think that some comics swagger into the Fringe with an hour of observations about fat Americans they cobbled together the week before.
Herring has taken the researching and writing a one-hour comedy show to its extreme and the gods should justly reward him with a sell-out smash hit.