Aficionados of Richard Herring’s themed standup comedy shows know what to expect, and having sorted out such subjects as racism, love, penises, and yoghurt, his latest tour, We’re All Going To Die, tackles the biggest taboo of all; our mortality.
“Imagine you’re dead” is not the most upbeat start to a comedy gig, but Herring was in full swing, laughing at death and celebrating life. There aren’t many comedians who could attempt a Peter Kay style nostalgia routine about 9/11 and not cross the line, and with a routine about an inappropriate magazine called Railways and the Holocaust, in the wrong hands the first half could have gone very wrong.
The second half contained larger set pieces; deconstructing the nursery rhyme ‘There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly’ as an extreme suicide attempt, and the soliloquy from Hamlet. Plenty of laughs were had by pondering what age you are in heaven, based on his grandmother, a sequel to the tear inducing routine in a previous show What Is Love Anyway. For the true fan, there’s call backs to old routines, and of course the obligatory mention of The Tales of Robin Hood closing, he’s not letting that go.