Leamington Courier review of WILA

Published on Thursday 8 March 2012 09:33

Richard Herring: What Is Love Anyway? at Warwick Arts Centre, March 4.

LOVE, as those familiar with the cynical views of stand-up comedian Richard Herring may expect, is not looked upon through a rose-tinted lense in this breathless and extremely funny one-man show.

So soured is Richard, in fact, on the idea of it, that he declares with absolute conviction that there is no such thing as teenage love, children are incapable of feeling it and they themselves - if they belong to people other than oneself - should be considered as nothing more than “sexual excrement”.

A cold and harsh view that steamrolls over the idea of romance - particularly when it comes to bedroom antics - is presented by Richard with so much enthusiasm and passion that it comes across as hilarious. He taps into those moments and ideas that are familiar to most of us so that whatever he says is just funny - no matter what our own views are.

I particularly enjoyed a routine about a Ferrero Rocher gift to his girlfriend. What starts out as a simple enough anecdote is complicated beyond imagination and the tale is told with such exhilaration that the more we get into it, the harder it becomes to stop laughing. If you canÂ’t get to see the show live, IÂ’d highly recommend viewing it online.

Yet alongside this destruction of the idea of love, Richard draws on some very poignant and personal moments from his life which add a bizarrely touching element to the show. It all works together because Richard, as usual, has thoroughly done his homework. This is intelligent comedy that we can all take enjoyment from - so long as they donÂ’t mind a lot of jokes about sex and strong language.

Sundari Sankar