3 and a half stars form reviewshub.com


Richard Herring was once quite famous back in the 90’s, as he keeps telling the audience during his latest stand-up set in a mockingly self-effacing way, his first performance of a six-month tour starting off at the Leicester Square Theatre.

Indeed, Herring is a regular on television and radio, though younger audiences will probably know him from Channel 4’s Taskmaster where he won champion of champions in 2022. He will also be familiar for his double act with Stewart Lee and his, virtually, yearly tours. However, this is his first stand-up tour in six years due to COVID, having very young children and then getting a testicular cancer diagnosis in 2021.

Luckily for the audience, he is still here to give his uplifting spin on the events of this traumatic time. There is an irony to his diagnosis, well a premonition he tells us, from various prior projects, his book Talking Cock (2002), in raising over £10k in Movember 2020, and partly for raising awareness for ‘how to check your nuts’ campaign (diagrammatically shown in the program). However, he neglected to do this himself and, most weirdly, appeared in a short film While You Were Away (2016) in which he plays a man who castrated himself whilst his wife is away.

The first half of this show starts with Herring talking affectionately about his lockdown experiences with his family, his children and their hilarious disdain for him. He then goes on to reveal how he was diagnosed, his experiences with the NHS and his treatment. All of this is done in a very upbeat way which will be well-known to Herring’s many fans, who respond with laughs.

The break itself would have made great material for Herring, with a never-known-before, zero queue for the ladies toilets, whilst the male ones had one winding through the bar area and down the stairs into the auditorium, almost certainly due to the audience being made up of mostly men of a certain age who take just that little longer. Or perhaps they were doing a testicle check in the single cubicle.

The second half is not so funny, a skit with a dummy. Having been practising ventriloquism since lockdown, following a family tradition proved by the most scary of puppets from 1892, Herring made a talking bollock but sadly this talking bollock didn’t have anything particularly funny to say. Herring realises that this section is perhaps a little underdeveloped and assures the audience it will be less rusty by the time it returns to London.

The second half doesn’t overly detract from what is an extremely amusing show, much appreciated by his audience and is certainly going to improve over the course of its run.

Runs until 9 May 2024 and then tours until 18 July 2024

The Reviews Hub Score