Belfast Telegraph review Lord of the Dance Settee

Richard Herring returned to Belfast last night to help close this year's Belly Laughs Comedy Festival.

The two-week feast of humour has seen many fine acts tread the city's stages, and Herring is a dependable favourite with local fans.

In what has become an almost annual visit by Stewart Lee's erstwhile comedy partner, a healthy crowd turned out to the Empire Music Hall to hear the 47-year-old's latest musings.

Yet as entertaining as it was, Lord of the Dance Settee seemed to have less of a cohesive theme than previous shows such as What Is Love Anyway? or Talking Cock.

The near-two-hour affair was more a collection of apparently random anecdotes from Herring's childhood and teenage years.

Being kissed by a nonagenarian relative, a visit to a cheap fried chicken restaurant and an encounter with 3-2-1 star Ted Rogers got some solid laughs, as did the comic's admission that a slapstick gag he performed in 1987 may prove to be his career high point.

With Herring's trademark wordiness mixed with a healthy dollop of smut, there was plenty of both "laughing and learning", as he put it.

And if the laboured and often repetitive delivery was somewhat reminiscent of Lee, he is probably the only one who could get away with it.

And as if we had ever doubted him, the set culminated with a revelation that, while not quite tying everything together, at least explained why Herring is in a nostalgic mood right now.

Four stars