Theatre Review: Richard Herring at Nottingham Playhouse

Words: Ian C Douglas
Friday 24 November 2023
reading time: min, words

Ian C Douglas enjoyed some chuckles courtesy of Richard Herring when he performed at Nottingham Playhouse...

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Richard Herring brought his famed but unpronounceable podcast show (RHLSTP) to the Playhouse last night. Basically, it’s a mix of stand-up and celebrity interview with the emphasis on fun. Richard has done hundreds now, with the crème de le crème of his guests including Stephen Fry, Dawn French, Brian Blessed and David Mitchell among many more household names.

Richard breezed on stage, a picture of unflappability and warmth, with that twinkle in his eye visible from the backrow. He kicked off with a few local jokes to convey to the audience that he ‘got us’. Goose Fair, Robin Hood, Boots and a long-lived hamster featured here. The gag about Tales of Robin Hood, which closed so long ago now, might need retiring. He also teased our regional rivalries with some digs at Loughborough (he once lived there) and Leicester. 

And then on with the first guest, Lloyd Griffith: comedian, actor, presenter, singer and chorister from Grimsby. You might recognise him from Ted Lasso. In any case, he was incredibly funny and was probably the highlight of the evening. He was also very learned about British cathedrals, although only Anglican. He drew the line at Catholic cathedrals for some reason. Near the end of his segment, he dropped the clown mask briefly to share the hurt at being a victim of hate posts on social media. Massive empathy to him, nobody should have to tolerate that. Then, to round things off, Richard threw one of his infamous ‘emergency questions’ at him. A question too salacious to repeat here but the answer involved Peter Schmeichel and Peter Mandelson. Imagine!

This part of the show was also a tale of two testicles

After the intermission, Richard brought on local heroes, man and wife comedy double act, Scott Bennett and Jemma Bennett. A couple known for their podcasts during lockdown among other productions. It was interesting how they turned lockdown into an opportunity to be more creative and ultimately more successful. They went on to talk about the highs and lows of life on the comedy circuit (sounds rather lonely at times), working together, podcasts and living in the East Midlands. They were very funny as well as endearing for their down-to-earth honesty. Hopefully, we will see more of them in the near future.   

This part of the show was also a tale of two testicles, only not owned by the same man. Richard, of course, has spoken at length about his testicular cancer, with refreshing candour. Scott has a similar experience to share. And talking about good causes, this might be a good time to mention Richard supports the SCOPE charity and his shows offer chances to donate. 

The auditorium was about nearly full. The theatregoers, mostly in their thirties to fifties, clearly relished every moment. All-in-all an evening that made you chuckle and at times, pause to reflect. As we filed out after the show, you could see everyone was already looking forward to Mr Herring’s next visit. 

Richard Herring played at the Nottingham Playhouse of Thursday 23 November 2023

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