RICHARD HERRING-TALKING COCK

Richard Herring- Talking Cock –Udderbelly 8.15pm (August 1st -26th)

 

Billed as ‘The Vagina Monologues with Balls’, Richard Herring brings his tale of his fascination and studies of the much discussed, worried about and exaggerated male genitalia to the Edinburgh Fringe. It is a show which has already courted controversy due to the title which for some reason has offended the Edinburgh City Council. Personally they would be better concentrating their energies on censoring another bunch of cocks-those responsible for the multi-million pound trams debacle- rather than a show which approaches its subject with humour, insight and more than a little intelligence.

Herring has done his research, apparently to the level of obsession, and now finds himself ‘thinking of cock’ at random moments almost to the point of embarrassing himself on occasion. It is a well constructed show which sets out to debunk certain myths-length or girth- and examines men’s attitudes to their own appendage and the resulting differing relationships which arise due to these attitudes. Insecurities, arrogance and confusion are just some of the areas explored and Herring even takes matters back to boyhood reminiscences and at this juncture the humour often takes a turn towards schoolboy humour territory although this is only to be expected really.

Taking a lot of his act from research and questionnaires the results are often extremely funny although unfortunately they  never quite stray into hilarious territory and the laughter- most surprisingly notably from the females around me- was occasionally stifled, embarrassed and knowing; in some cases maybe a little too knowing.

Herring does know how to work a crowd however and his show never once flagged or faltered sustaining a level throughout. It would have been better if it had reached more peaks but it was entertaining nevertheless. It also showed a more sensitive side to Herring and his attitude towards his subject matter was intelligent, informed and not just the usual bunch of crude, cheap jokes. As far as evening comedy goes Herring is ahead of most of the pack it is just his material needs that extra push to take him out of their league.

***

David Marren

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