Scotsman review of WILA

Comedy review: Richard Herring, The Stand

Published on Thursday 22 March 2012 15:23

A LOT has happened in Richard HerringÂ’s life since he performed a full Edinburgh Fringe run of What Is Love Anyway?

The self-confessed “cynical romantic” has only gone and got himself engaged to his long-term girlfriend. Still, he feels no desire to hold back on making her appear slightly foolish, marginally dishonest and quite possibly even an alien from another planet. Yet in typically disarming fashion he merely awaits the moment when she realises that he is utterly out of his depth.

Of course where Herring is right at home is researching, writing and delivering high-impact concept shows which leave most contemporary British comics trailing in his wake. Having analysed Hitler’s moustache and demolished organised Christianity, he now admits his mission here is “to destroy love”. To that end he debunks myths and finds fresh angles (stalkers offer the purest form of unconditional devotion while parental love is surely the least you’d expect from a father) finding examples to back up his passionate thesis through insincere pop stars and overly-friendly dry cleaners.

Followers of HerringÂ’s back catalogue will be familiar with the obsessive dissection of written texts and he throws himself into a line by line destruction of his own teenage poetry with the same compulsive relish with which he dismantled the book of Genesis for Christ On A Bike. His elongated maths-heavy Ferrero Rocher pyramid scenario might be too much for some to stomach, but if this is the kind of show that Richard Herring delivers when heÂ’s in love, letÂ’s hope CupidÂ’s arrow forever pierces his heart.

Richard Herring ****

The Stand, Edinburgh