Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Went to see comedian Richard Herring at Cardiff's Chapter Arts Centre on 2nd June - the first of two shows that night, being filmed for DVD by Go Faster Stripe. Very funny and highly provocative. An object lesson in putting together a two-hour set: start with a few apparently random one-liners; then the main body of the show, consisting of a number of discrete segments, during which he both referred back to the opening gambits, and picked suitable members of the audience with which to build an onstage relationship (a couple on whom to hang his somewhat cynical take on relationships, a young woman with whom he could "fake" lechery); building up to a climax which consisted of him riffing on the absurdity of joke-telling, and doing a good impression of a man on the edge of a breakdown; then tying things up neatly at the end, to rapturous applause. Fascinating how likeable he was, given some of the ideas he played with (sexism, fascism, extreme blasphemy), and the self-conscious outrageousness of some of his material (e.g. the thing about the sexual possibilities inherent in stigmata); maybe because of his self-deprecating persona (he pointed out that despite his former TV fame alongside the now rather more high-profile Stewart Lee, he was "reduced" to playing 120-seater venues). Although, like most Oxbridge graduates, he wasted little time in establishing that he was an Oxbridge graduate, but fair enough. Great fun, though, and the fact that one’s mind was fizzing with ideas afterwards took the sting out of having to negotiate the obstacle course of alcohol-inflected weirdness which is Cardiff city centre on a post-match Saturday evening.


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