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Menage Aug 10

It’s that time again: the Edinburgh fest. I’m not planning to indulge too much this as a result of time and budget constraints, but I did last night make my annual pilgrimage to see The Comedian Richard Herring. His show, ménage à un at the Underbelly, is, like last year, your basic no-frills stand-up: one man and his microphone. And a glass of water. And some fruit and veg. OK, few-frills.

With donkeys years of comedy and Edinburgh Festivals behind him, Herring’s delivery is relaxed and polished. There were plenty of funny moments throughout, only some of which depended on the innate comedic value of rude body parts, and the intertwining of apparently unrelated subjects marked out a well-structured routine. An attempt to “push the comedy boundaries” just about worked and was worthwhile, and did succeed (if that was the intention) in making some of the largely-receptive audience uneasy.

There were, unfortunately, some moments that detracted from the show: the set was a little slow to get going, some gags didn’t really gel with the rest of the act, and a few bits of observational comedy were a bit naff. The nadir was a section on the de Menezes shooting which, while trying to make a worthy point, failed to say anything fresh or original and came 13 months too late to be topical.

Slightly underwhelming, then, but not at all a bad show by any means and there were more than enough laughs scattered throughout the set to make this an hour well spent.

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