Dark chat review of WILA

Richard Herring : What Is Love Anyway?/10/10

I had worried that last year’s show, Christ on a Bike was Richard Herring’s pinnacle. That, when at last I had stumbled on his comedy, he had worked himself into a cul-de-sac of comedy brilliance. But I needn’t have worried. Herring’s “What is Love Anyway” equals, if not surpasses previous years. Coming on the stage to Howard Jone’s What is Love? Herring’s show centres around seeking to define the concept of love, and then destroy it! He plunders his life experience with an astonishing honesty and his delivery is perfectly pitched to squeeze out every last laugh from the audience. Herring mocks his own teenage vitriolic poetry about a fellow inter-railer, a guy more sexually successful than him. And all the audience relates to the fact that holding hands in the playground is far less fun than playing British Bulldog! But the stories that really seal Herring’s comic talent is his grandma, Ferrero Roche and Julia Sawalha. An odd and eclectic mix! Herring holds the audience in his hands as the story of his relationship with Sawalha unfolds in all its painful comic timing. And the reasons for buying chocolate for a loved one is a tale of economic warning for any potential suitor. Herring’s talent is in the telling of his tales. He has a commanding stage presence that relishes details and the audience’s anticipation of plot. But there is a warmth and sensitivity to his material. In discussing his love for his grandma and her journey into dementia, you can feel that the audience are verging on tears with empathy. But Herring brings you back....glitter and snow globes. You know you shouldn’t laugh, but you have to. This is as good as comedy gets. A show that has no dips; Herring is faultless. So, if you want to find out what happens when you finally get to go out with the person you’ve been secretly stalking for years....go see Richard Herring. For many, he is their ideal man. That is, the head of Richard Herring and the body of Richard Herring. And we said nothing about them being attached.