On his blog, ‘Warming Up’, Richard Herring is frequently self-deprecating about his abilities as a stand-up. While some of the asides about his aptitude are obviously intended to provoke a smirk, the remainder reveal a genuine self-doubt that he may not be as good as his audience numbers suggest.
His latest show, ‘Oh Fuck! I’m 40!’ takes a sideways look at this ominous milestone in Herring’s life and examines the ways he’s fallen into in a bid to stay eternally young. Many other reviews have used the cliché ‘Herring gets better with age’ so this one is just going to mention how appropriate it is. Based upon this latest effort, it seems strange to read of Herring being plagued with any reservations about his talent – he has emerged as a prominent stand-up in his own right.
‘Oh Fuck! I’m 40!’ best represents how far Herring has come and is arguably the culmination of many years hard work. His past few shows (including the really rather good ‘Menage a Un’) have been as much about new material as they have been driven by remnants of the ‘Herring’ character but ‘Oh Fuck!’ serves as an almost self-referential swansong for the latter. It’s that knowing wink to the audience that keeps the act feeling fresher than it should do especially since another you get the suspicion that there’s little place left for the persona to go having realised that he’s about to turn 40 and with a desperate inkling that the old tricks might not work tomorrow. As a coda to a character with a lot of history, this is a fitting finale. There’s something really quite tragic as the show ends to Avril Lavigne’s ‘Ska8er Boi’. Point made. Unfortunately for Herring and lucky for you, he’s going to have to do even better next year.
Richard Herring will be performing Oh F*ck I’m 40 in London from 18 – 22 September 2007. You can read Richard Herrings daily blog here.