Do not be alarmed when Richard Herring, he of controversial comedy shows Christ on a Bike and Hitler Moustache, makes his stage entrance down a little set of stairs and performs in front of a swanky bar.
Dressed in a dapper suit, it’s not his fault that the set of Ex – the show he’s sharing the Soho Theatre with – creates the impression he’s a man about to host a gameshow. But maybe it’s all a slightly oblique fit with the evening’s theme.
Richard Herring, you see, has grown up. Not that he hasn’t spent the last decade doing some of the best-thought out comedy around – we don’t subscribe to the view that using the word “cock” a lot denotes immaturity* – it’s that this show, his latest from Edinburgh, is about love. Him being in love, and what love means. Do soulmates exist? What is the most powerful form of love? Is love even a real thing?
It’s very personal and extremely self-deprecatory. Most of the laughs come from Herring mining the depths of his own, self-confessed, dickishness (including a brilliant routine about failing to properly work out the maths before embarking on a romantic gesture). But does the very act of recognising and sending up dickishness wipe it out? Cos Herring is surely nowhere near as dickish as some comedians with regular slots on the telly, and a damn sight more clever and insightful.
Whatever love is, we went home feeling some for Rich.
*speaking of which, another series of AIOTM (aiotm) please!