Independent review of WILA

Richard Herring: What Is Love Anyway?, Udderbelly's Pasture

(Rated 3/ 5 )

By Julian Hall

Monday, 8 August 2011

At the end of his Fringe show Christ on a Bike last year, Richard Herring usurped the atheism of the majority of his audience when he asked them if they believed in one true love. That concluding flourish in turn has laid the foundation for this discourse, one that has a simple mission; "to destroy love".

Not a difficult task, one would assume, given the rational approach we've come to expect from Herring. However, as he discovers along the way to a well-handled emotional climax, the irrational nature of love is an enduring force.

Coincidentally, it turns out that it is this tension between instinct and intellect that ended Herring's relationship with Julia Sawalha. Herring had admired Sawalha since her Press Gang days and featured his passion for her in sketches on the Fist of Fun TV series, with Stewart Lee. Herring tells us that Sawalha was very spiritual whereas he was decidedly not. "I am 95 per cent certain fairies don't exist. I prefer medicine."

A powerful orator with tricks up his sleeve Herring takes off and lands his latest hour with ease, helping it home with a frenzied rant about buying his current girlfriend ever more Ferrero Rocher to satisfy a romantic pledge.

An offering from the heart then, but by numbers.