Edinburgh Fringe Interview: Richard Herring
Â– June 28, 2011
ItÂ’s that time again and TNC is set to make the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival one of the biggest one yet and kicking off our Fringe previews is an interview...
ItÂ’s that time again and TNC is set to make the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival one of the biggest one yet and kicking off our Fringe previews is an interview with a comic GQ called of Â“the best comic of his generationÂ” Richard Herring whoÂ’s new show Â“What Is Love AnywayÂ”.
For more information on RichardÂ’s show at Underbelly you can find out everything you need to know here, Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the worlds biggest arts festival and runs from 4th-29th August and you can find out the shows that are for you here.
Tell us a little bit about your show?
ItÂ’s called Â“What is Love, Anyway?Â” and in it I want to see if it is possible to define, debunk and destroy the concept of love? When I suggested love wasnÂ’t real at the end of COAB the audience (who had happily watched me rubbish religion) seemed a bit perturbed Â– Â“Oooh now heÂ’s having a go at a magical thing that I believe inÂ” so I thought this would be a good subject. I am both a cynic and a romantic and I think ultimately this will be quite a sweet show about the times I have fallen in and out of love. But weÂ’ll see. I have about an hour at the moment, but think itÂ’s going to change a lot over the next month or so
These are forming part of the Edinburgh Fringe Preview tour your doing, how much do you think the show will change?
It will change loads. Previews are a chance to test the water and find out what works best and try and create a framework. Doing this every night you quickly get a feel for what is right and wrong and I tend to adlib a lot and do a lot of the Â“writingÂ” on stage. It can sometimes be a bit painful, but audiences seem to be enjoying this half-formed show at the moment, so i am hopeful it will be pretty good by the end of july
It is hard trying out new material?
It can be yes as youÂ’re taking a leap of faith and until youÂ’re really familiar with a routine itÂ’s hard to loosen up and mess around with it. It can involve reading stuff out which is never ideal. And some things donÂ’t work. But most preview audiences get that they are seeing work in progress and in some ways they see more interesting stuff and might get information that is deemed too personal or inappropriate later on
Has there been a time you though something you had written was really good but the audience didnÂ’t react as you had hoped and you had to cut it?
ItÂ’s very hard to guess how a joke will go down. Sometimes you know youÂ’ve got something amazing for sure, but often a seeming banker falls flat. But usually itÂ’s possible to find a way to make it work and sometimes I quite like it when the occasional joke just works for one or two people. As long as thereÂ’s another laugh round the corner the people who didnÂ’t get it wonÂ’t mind, but the ones who did will remember it more than anything else. The audience is a great barometer, but sometimes I keep in a joke that only I like.
Is bringing a show to the Ed Fringe still difficult after all your experience?
ItÂ’s never going to be easy, but it mainly gets easier with experience Â– but thereÂ’s also a case that the more experienced you are the less satisfied you are with things and the harder it is to get them working or even try them. But itÂ’s exciting doing new stuff and I love the danger of approaching deadlines. Each year you leave behind a fully formed two hour show and think how on earth did I get that together, IÂ’ll never do it again. But by working hard night after night the next one starts to get as good and as layered. I think my shows are getting better year on year, so it shows that hard work can pay off.
What was your first time like at the fringe?
A proper roller coaster of emotion. It was so exciting to be in Edinburgh, but we were young and everything was new and it was easy to take things too seriously. Both with shows and with friends and lovers. But I met most of my best friends that year, people I still see regularly and it clearly ignited a love affair with the Fringe as I am back here 24 years later, doing my 20th Fringe and my 32nd show.
What can people expect from your new show?
I hope I can surprise my audience every year, either by giving them something a bit different than they might have expected from the title or poster, or by shooting off at a tangent from the stuff theyÂ’ve seen before. I think this year things might be a little more lyrical and thoughtful than my audience has been used to. But itÂ’s still impossible to predict
And what advice would you give someone thinking about bringing a show to the fringe?
Do it. You learn by doing in this job. Throw yourself into it, do the best you can, learn by your mistakes. And in 24 years time you might still be here and still be learning. ItÂ’s easy to sit on your arse and bitch and complain about how you donÂ’t get the breaks or itÂ’s too hard to get started. The opposite is true. It is easy to get started. You just have to get on with it. And be prepared to work hard and learn the craft. However good you might think you are, you will get a lot better if you apply yourself. So go on, stop reading this and get on with it