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Tuesday 6th May 2014
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Tuesday 6th May 2014


It was a bit of a low key Fubar radio show record today, I though (listen in on Thursday) - not really sure if that made it better or worse. But for the last 45 minutes we jumped in a cab to the Duke of York Theatre to interview Robert Webb in his dressing room. He is a very nice man and he put up with Lou commenting on his teeth (she thought they were nice, but it was still a risky gambit, but that's what makes Lou the broadcasting phenomenon that she is). Be interesting to see if they keep the bit where I say Jon Gaunt is a cunt. One would hope so. The station does seem to be interested in creating controversy, so hope that crosses over into insults directed at their own poorly thought out hiring policy. Robert also comments on the conversation I had with David Mitchell back in the 1990s (which David mentioned on the podcast) in which he told me I was not as funny as Eric Morecambe and deals with out stupid questions very charmingly. Hopefully he will be a guest on the autumn run of RHLSTP.

Then off for a most enjoyable evening with my ex-partner and my current partner (Stewart Lee and my wife - two different people) to see the Harry Hill/Steve Brown musical, "I Can't Sing". Despite great reviews this musical is closing on Saturday after a short run.  What an awful shame. It's a really fun night out and would appeal to both people who like the X Factor and those who disdain it. It's silly, it's corny and there were times it looked like a school musical or local pantomime with an impossibly high budget (but in a fun way), but it kept the audience laughing and there was some amazing singing and it's a celebration of daftness, but still has a bit of bite. The cast didn't let the fact that they have only a handful more performances get them down, and a couple of references to their imminent demise were well judged and got big laughs. Hard to put your finger on what went wrong for them, though I think maybe it's just X Factor fatigue. I am not the kind of person who goes to musicals in general, but if this wasn't written by the people it's written by I would have judged it as the kind of thing that wasn't for me. So maybe it just fell between the cracks. There's rarely justice in show business. Less inventive and interesting shows run and run, whilst this original musical (not relying on existing hits) falters. I particularly enjoyed the song by the Dermot O'Leary character (who was brilliantly mimicked) about why he needs to hug strangers. It was an affectionate and yet subtly brutal take-down of O'Leary, made funnier by the real  life version's essential inoffensiveness.

And as I prepare for my own theatrical experiment (admittedly not on this scale) it's a timely warning that I am probably about to set fire to a big pile of money for nothing but disappointment. Though I have been trying to work out a way to get Yusupov's dog into the play and this show had a novel way of doing that. Not sure it would work with my more serious play, but they opted for a man in black, operating a puppet and doing the voice (my dog won't speak) and occasionally breaking the fourth wall.

It was great to be so entertained, but tinged with sadness at the imminent demise of this enjoyable bit of nonsense. Book now if you want to see it before it vanishes into the ether.

It was nice to catch up with Stew too, who seemed less grumpy than usual. By chance, bumped into Ben Moor and Paul Putner (who had snuck into the theatre in the interval to use the toilets). So it was a mini TMWRNJ reunion. We met up with them afterwards for a drink and a chat, Paul as always full of unrepeatable theatrical anecdotes, chastising me for mocking Nicholas Lyndhurst who is the nicest man in showbiz according to the Putt. I didn't think it was fair though. I love Nicholas Lyndhurst. I just question his casting in Goodnight Sweetheart. But am still delighted that he was cast in it.

I laughed a lot at all of these funny people. I don't see them enough any more. Even if Stewart looks a bit like a white-eyed alien in this picture!

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My new stand up show, The Best is touring from September 2016 to June 2017 All details here.
Buy tickets to Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast from the LST website
You can download the audio for free from the British Comedy Guide or iTunes or watch the video on YouTube