Richard Herring 'What Is Love, Anyway'
Early on, Richard Herring (Garage, 22 March) announces that he's performed What is Love Anyway? a hundred and fifty times. It is in fact a little over a third that number, but all the same the show does seem to have become habit. Although a polished performer, injecting enthusiasm to the jokes, bringing various audience members into punch lines, there's an undercurrent that he's going through the motions.
The show is quite a diversion from his previous material. He has in the past explored politics and tackled Christianity, but this doesn't have the same level of provocation, and the result is altogether safer, more bland.
Not that there is anything wrong with the subject matter in itself, merely that there is little new here. Deconstructing his amorous failures, analysing lust versus love are entertaining yet nothing new, and don't bring out the best in him. Hypothesising on the cost of maintaining a romantic promise does, however, as do some tales of his aging grandmother, and even the expected wank gags.
When he exudes his boyish charm, no matter the crudeness of the material, he's a success, but this show, in all, just seems a little tired.