Nottingham Post reviews Happy Now?

Posted: April 25, 2016

By Steve Oliver

On the afternoon of this show Richard Herring tweeted that he might die on stage due to fatigue and while enough great artists have left us so far this year and I didn't want one of my favourite comedians adding to the list, I selfishly pictured what an amazing write up that would make. Thankfully (spoiler alert) this did not happen.

The poster for the latest show Happy Now? depicts a contented comfy jumpered man smiling with his wife and baby daughter, but the question mark represents Herring asking himself the question.

As he approaches 50 Herring sets out to find out if he has achieved happiness at last (some of the early shows are quite dark in tone and deal with loneliness and a period of social derailment) and if he has, would that destroy him as a comedian.

Unusually for Richard Herring, there was no Edinburgh run for this show and the structure has been developed along the way, making it a looser show than in previous years, and tellingly one of the lightest in content.

Managing to avoid the hack routines on fatherhood, the show opened with a graphic description of the night his wife gave birth and somehow taking in an advertising campaign for Twix, the first half of the show flew by.

After the interval the show carried on the pace with a skillful deconstruction of the grim themes of nursery rhymes and the grammatical errors contained within a seemingly jolly doormat. I couldn't possibly explain the routine about a t-shirt slogan seen on a jogger in a family newspaper which is a shame considering how well put together it was.

Having been career focused with a huge collection of radio shows, podcasts, and blogs to show for it, he came late to fatherhood and from the findings of this show I would hazard a guess that Herring is indeed happy now, as was the audience once again. The pram in the hallway is not the killer of Richard Herring's creativity thank goodness.