By Bruce Dessau
24 Dec 2010
Richard Herring certainly likes big subjects. His last show, Hitler Moustache, tackled racism and this one, Christ on a Bike, first performed a decade ago, explores religion. It is both personal, with Herring mock-arrogantly comparing himself to Jesus, and lightly theological, irreverently unpicking the Bible. Hitler Moustache was wittier by a whisker but this is still graced with memorable gags.
The monologue, framed by an imagined cycle race with Jesus, contains numerous enjoyable set-pieces, most notably when Herring recites chunks of Gospel text by heart. This miraculous feat is worth the entrance price alone. Another entertainingly frivolous routine is the reading of his application to be Pope, which the Vatican ignored. Maybe because he began it with Dear Popefinder General.
At the Edinburgh Festival this was squeezed into a non-stop hour but it works better here with an interval, allowing Herring time to breathe. If you are looking for alternative Christmas shows that question faith in a gentle, overgrown undergraduate way, this fits the bill.
Serial pedants will particularly relish his editing of the Ten Commandments. Maybe there should be another one thou shalt buy a ticket for Richard Herring.