Guardian review of Talking Cock

Richard Herring テや review
Purcell Room, London

Brian Logan
The Guardian, Sunday 21 October 2012 16.56 BST

Why are penises funny? Why is there so much anxiety surrounding their size? Half sex seminar, half comedy show, Richard Herring's Talking Cock has risen again, 10 years after its first performance. It's just as successful the second time around. That's because a whole show's worth of knob gags is a gift to Herring, through whose otherwise inventive humour a wide schoolboy streak runs. But it's also because he has something important to say, about men's テや and women's テや attitude to this misunderstood member, and he says it with conviction.

If you are getting a whiff of him having his cake and eating it, you are bang on: Herring wrings every last drop of humour out of the penis, and simultaneously critiques the impulse to do so. That doesn't quite excuse the endless cheeky-chappy remarks about his own endowment. And sometimes テや as with his sequence about kids' rudimentary understanding of different sexualities テや the carnality becomes a bit sordid. But in the main, the balance is well struck between laughing at the answers to Herring's public penis-themed questionnaire and addressing the ignorance, anxiety and shame that they occasionally reveal.

The show is a rallying call, then, for realism and honesty about the male member テや and a great platform for Herring's brand of pedant humour. Witness his zeroing in on the word "spooned" when one correspondent reports experimenting with a loo roll spooned full of jelly. Or his absurd extrapolation of the phrase "at the drop of a hat" to evoke the difference between his youthful and middle-aged sexual energies. It's all reeled off at a clip; Herring doesn't so much deliver the show as download it. But too much information is better than too little, and his urge to communicate makes Talking Cock redux a compelling show.