Sometimes when you’re on tour, death does seem an enticing alternative.
The gig was another one that was slightly hard work and there were more walk-outs – one bloke leaving during the potarto bit which is only 20 minutes in – I don’t think he can have been too offended by that and just thought I was shit (incidentally I saw an Agatha Christie film yesterday afternoon in which Tony Curtis said "potarto" so that’s who it is who does it- slightly ruining my joke, the bastard). I can’t work out if I am doing something differently or if I have just been unlucky to have three slightly more reserved audiences in a row. I am a bit tired and ill and being a little more bitter in performance and pushing some of the naughtier ideas a bit further. Is it too self-indulgent? Have I stretched the elastic too far and broken things? Or is it just that I have had three slightly more middle-class, middle-aged Arts Centre kind of audiences in a row. The Free Beer Show in Oxford tomorrow should sort out the confusion.
The second half picked up a bit and someone put some white powder in my water which made it look like monkey semen. I wasn’t going to risk drinking it, it could be a date rape drug or poison or monkey semen. But the old people on the bonfire, perversely decided they would try and murder me by drinking some of the concoction. Why do they hate me so? Apparently they are rather like the kind of characters who talk to schizophrenics in their heads, becoming increasingly unpleasant and self-destructive. I don’t think I am mad though.
Review by Starbuck Powersurge: The Studio at Warmington-on-Sea's certainly not a good venue - the audience always seem dangerously exposed to the comedian on "stage" (or "floor", to be accurate, and the front few rows of the audience actually share the "stage" with the audience, scarily for them), so those not familiar with the lovely lovable Herring might admittedly have felt a bit intimidated, especially with the more caustic material. And anyway, the Sunday night Arts Centre comedy crowd are often a bit quiet I find - let's call it "reverential".
Those of us in the safety of the "rear" seemed to all be having a whale of a time, however - fucking brilliant stuff, as Brian Sewell might put it. Even Mrs Powersurge really enjoyed it, and she's a hard audience to crack (though Rich wasn't the person she thought Richard Herring was going to be; perhaps she was confusing him with Rich Hall having spent the duration of that gig asleep a few months back).
And talking of the "safety of the rear", of all the blasphemies that comedians have launched from the stage, and most of them seem compelled to flaunt their despicable atheistic credentials, Rich proved to be the blasphemer of blasphemers, even topping Stewart Lee's "90's Comedian" tour for gross-out Jesus abuse. Very naughty, and perhaps not an ideal show for St John's Church Westwood's monthly cultural outing, but very funny for the heathens amongst us...