ichard Herring â€“ Lord of the Dance Settee
Thereâ€™s something quite joyful about watching a middle-aged man bouncing up and down on a battered green settee in front of a couple of hundred people on a Monday evening. Heâ€™s clearly at an age where he should know better, thereâ€™s every chance that he could seriously hurt himself, and yet there he is, jumping away. Jumping, jumping and jumping, because 40 years previously this man misheard some hymn lyrics and thought that this is what Jesus did â€“ â€śI am the Lord of the Dance Setteeâ€ť. Unfortunately, Jesus only stretched to feeding the poor or healing the sick, leaving him with little time left to pogo up and down on a couch. This is probably why Jesus died in his mid 30s whilst Herring has made it to the grand old age of 47.
Itâ€™s a silly start to Herringâ€™s 23rd year on the Edinburgh Fringe, but it serves as a sign of whatâ€™s to come. Herring admits that thereâ€™s no grand theme to his show this year, just a load of daft stuff strung together â€“ musings on kissing old people, reminiscences of the very best gag he ever wrote, his one-man Twitter war against Misogyny as well as the jaunty impact of wearing a sombrero. Itâ€™s performed at Herringâ€™s usual frenetic pace and if any of the punch lines fall flat he is secure enough to throw this back upon his audience, finding a way to make the material work even if itâ€™s through an analysis of why it hasnâ€™t.
The abandonment of a major theme (although there might have been something in there about movement vs. inertia, Iâ€™m not sure) allows Herring a chance to play about a bit more, stretching gags to breaking point and making giant leaps between topics. Yet even with a mishmash of material, he still finds a cleverly ridiculous way of pulling the whole hour together at the end. Itâ€™s perhaps not as accomplished as previous yearsâ€™ work that Iâ€™ve reviewed, but itâ€™s still a lot of fun. Iâ€™d definitely catch Herring whilst you can, before he does himself an injury.
Reviewed by Diane