York Press review of Talking Cock

Richard Herring, Talking Cock: The Second Coming, York Grand Opera House

10:02am Sunday 10th March 2013 in Comedy By Dan Bean,

IN this re-visit of a ten-year-old comedy show, PocklingtonÂ’s own Richard Herring discusses male sexuality in a way that is informative, yet still funny enough to unite an audience.

As the former comedy partner of Stewart Lee, whose material has become more subversive and deconstructive, Herring has retained the silliness that made him a brilliant foil to LeeÂ’s straight man, while also finding a strong, universal theme which combines lecture and stand-up to great effect.

Remarkably, although the show manages to take a close-up look at male sexuality and the role of psychology and religion, as well as the social expectations and physiological concepts surrounding the male member, complete with slide show and genuine survey responses, the audience, male and female, are at no point made to feel uncomfortable.

Yes, there are frequent references to the male member, sexual shenanigans, and even the occasional photograph, but rather than present them with a cheap nudge and a wink, they are presented alongside facts, statistics and anecdotes which explore the “secret vulnerability of man”, symbolised perfectly by this “flap of sponge and sinew”.

While the show is a decade old, it has been updated, with throwaway references to disgraced 70s celebrities, and all-new survey responses which keep it fresh and, importantly, very funny.

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HerringÂ’s energetic delivery, boundless enthusiasm and charm mean the show never flags under its two-hour runtime, a duration which flies by and is in itself impressive for a show which assures the audience length is not important.

* Talking Cock: The Second Coming, is at Leeds City Varieties tonight (phone 0845 644 1881 for tickets), and Harrogate Theatre tomorrow (phone 01423 502116 for tickets).