Beyond the Joke

If you want to get an idea of the sheer sweat and graft and toil that goes into preparing an Edinburgh Fringe show you should follow Richard Herring's daily Warming Up blog at the moment. As well as talking wittily about life in general he entertainingly charts the struggle to get to his preview gigs, the difficult audiences and, most importantly, he also dissects his set. It is an indication of how creative Herring is compared to a number of less experienced performers that his problem is not filling an hour, but squeezing everything he wants to say into 60 minutes. Previews give him a chance to work out what has to go as well as what should stay in. The editing process can feel brutal but it is not exactly killing your babies, he can always reinstate those excised bits when he does a longer show on his tour after the Fringe. So, what's this year's show about? After tackling racism, religion and cocks We're All Going To Die confronts death itself. There's no avoiding The Grim Reaper and there will be no avoiding Herring on the Edinburgh Fringe where he will be doing this show, plus podcasts and a special one-off of his cult podcast in which he plays snooker against himself. Go on, admit it, we've all done it – by coincidence Daniel Kitson also talks about playing pool against himself in his current show.

Herring in joined in this double-header by speeding bullet-paced sketch trio JIgsaw featuring veritable veteran Dan Antopolski and whippersnappers Tom Craine and Nat Luurstema.