Nottingham Post reviews The Best

'Criminally underrated comedian' Richard Herring delivers The Best at Nottingham Playhouse - review

February 05, 2017

By Steve Oliver

The arduous task of compiling a band's greatest hits album is usually left to a record company bean counter who knows very little, if anything, about music and just wants to be the winner when it comes to the unimaginative end of Christmas present shopping.

This is probably a good thing as the real fans would have differing ideas and nothing productive would come out of the meeting. Comedy routines on the other hand are a little harder to put together as a best of package, so it is a job best left to the comedian.

Richard Herring has written and performed twelve one man shows that cover a central theme and has made his fans laugh at subjects ranging from yoghurt to death, taking in love, penises and Hitler along the way. There was therefore the danger that putting together a condensed mixtape would make for a disjointed show.

Of course this wasn't the case because Herring is one of the most skilled comedians working today and can weave in and out of topics without exposing the join.

Once he had dispensed with his usual ribbing at Nottingham for closing down The Tales of Robin Hood the first half took in material from early, pre-marriage and baby shows with only one example of, to use his words, 'grinding gears' moment.

The material, although well known to die hard fans, sounded as fresh as it did when first performed and was delivered by a man confident in his work.

The second half of the show concentrated more on two solid routines, firstly from Hitler Moustache in which racism was put to bed, sounding oddly topical for a show written in 2009 thanks to Donald Trump becoming president.

It was the complicated 'begat' sequence from Christ on a Bike that was the most impressive part, and a great finale.

Like all greatest hits collections there were bits that I would have liked to have seen again, but I assume everyone in the theatre felt the same.

All in all this was a useful introduction to one of the most criminally underrated comedians around although some back-references might have been missed by newcomers, who I recommend buy his DVDs and listen to his podcasts in preparation for the 2029 greatest hits tour.