Gigglesbeat interview

Herring: I need to keep pushing myself
Andrew Dipper
テや August 5, 2011

テや狼his yearテや冱 show [What Is Love, Anyway?] isnテや冲 much like Christ On A Bike; Christ On A Bike wasnテや冲 like Hitler Moustache; Hitler Moustache was nothing like Headmasterテや冱 Son; Headmasterテや冱 Son was nothing like Oh Fuck, Iテや冦 40. Theyテや决e different shows every year and I suppose the only linking thing is me.テや

Despite attracting much unwanted publicity for previous tours Christ On A Bike and Hitler Moustache (テや聾alking around with a toothbrush moustache on your face is quite a confrontational imageテや, he confesses) Richard Herring admits he was looking for another big subject in his twentieth year at the Fringe. And you canテや冲 get much bigger than love. So what can Herring tell us about this yearテや冱 hour of stand-up?

テや狼his year I wanted to challenge something that everyone can relate toテや, says Herring. テや露tテや冱 quite fascinating that, for example, when I suggest to audiences that love is the same as religion thereテや冱 this silence and then they go, テや廸o, no, thatテや冱 not on. He canテや冲 have a go at a magical thing I believe in.テや I thought that was interesting to look at.テや

Herring tells me heテや冱 always been a romantic テや a cynical romantic テや so the idea to create an Edinburgh Fringe show about love, he says, came from the heart. テや露テや况e always wanted to be in love and had a romantic attitude as a youngster; but my life has turned out to be quite different to that. I hadnテや冲 settled down until fairly recently, which certainly wasnテや冲 my plan. When I first came up with the idea for a show about love I thought that I could just do an hour of autobiography, reallyテやヲwhich is more of less what itテや冱 turned out to be. What Is Love, Anyway? is definitely a sweeter show than previous years, though. Iテや况e basically got an hour to destroy love.テや

Those ambitions テや no matter how flippant テや have been at the heart of Herringテや冱 comedy for much of his solo career (テや弄y job is to create debate テや not come up with answers, but make people think and try to be funny all the way through as wellテや); and he cites his first Fringe show Christ On A Bike as inspiration for his current successes.

テや狼he first time I did Christ On A Bike was the first time I really stepped out as a solo act; and I was overcoming demons doing that. Seeing the audience laugh and knowing I had an even funnier bit to come was a really important moment for me in my career テや I realised the power of stand-up and realised that I could do it on my own and not just in a double-act.テや

His pal Stewart Lee returns to the Fringe this year with work-in-progress show Flickwerk, but Herring doesnテや冲 envisage an on-stage Lee and Herring reunion in Edinburgh. テや露 donテや冲 think either of us are massively keen to revisit that partnership but itテや冱 really nice that weテや决e still friends and that relationship will always be there. We still enjoy what each other do and itテや冱 amazing to see him doing so well テや itテや冱 great that all his hard-work is being recognised. Iテや冦 just hoping heテや冤l come and guest on the Edinburgh Fringe podcast Iテや冦 doing at The Stand. Weテや决e releasing Fist Of Fun at the end of the year テや which we bought from the BBC ourselves テや so we may do something for that, too. I donテや冲 think itテや冤l happen during the Fringe, though.テや

So, with a total of 32 shows under his belt, has Herringテや冱 preparation for Edinburgh changed over the years?

テや郎es, definitely. I think Iテや况e got a lot more fastidious about it; the show is now the main thing and thereテや冱 a more professional approach. When I was younger, going to the Fringe was partly about having fun テや I was in my twenties, working hard the rest of the year, and it was almost like that month in Edinburgh was a chance to hang out with people, get drunk and meet women.

テや露t was as much about the social aspect, then, and Edinburgh was a little bit about developing the shows as much as anything else. I think the focus of Edinburgh has changed and the focus of my career has changed, too. Itテや冱 important for me to go to the Fringe with a show that is very good from day one. I need to keep pushing myself テや殿nd Edinburghテや冱 perfect for that.テや

Richard Herring will be performing テや聾hat Is Love, Anyway?テや at the E4 Cow Barn, Udderbellyテや冱 Pasture, at 8:50pm, daily throughout the festival. For further details see: