Richard Herring – Lord of the Dance Settee 4 **** - One4Review
one4review | On 06, Aug 2014
Richard Herring – Lord of the Dance Settee
There’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. He’s clearly at an age where he should know better, there’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 – “I am the Lord of the Dance Settee”. 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.
It’s a silly start to Herring’s 23rd year on the Edinburgh Fringe, but it serves as a sign of what’s to come. Herring admits that there’s no grand theme to his show this year, just a load of daft stuff strung together – 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. It’s performed at Herring’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 it’s through an analysis of why it hasn’t.
The abandonment of a major theme (although there might have been something in there about movement vs. inertia, I’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. It’s perhaps not as accomplished as previous years’ work that I’ve reviewed, but it’s still a lot of fun. I’d definitely catch Herring whilst you can, before he does himself an injury.
Reviewed by Diane
Assembly George Square Theatre – 22,45