Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
You don’t have to spend long looking through Bouquets & Brickbats reviews to realise that we are Richard Herring fans. We’re delighted that he’s returned to the Fringe this year; we felt his absence in 2015 and 2016. And we’re even more delighted to see the huge queue forming around the Pleasance Courtyard and to hear that his show has sold out tonight: if he does well, surely he’s more likely to come back again next time?
Oh Frig, I’m 50! is a call-back to his 2007 show, Oh Fuck, I’m 40! Unsurprisingly, it focuses on the differences ten years have wrought: the physical ignominy of aging, and the changes to his personal life that have occurred in the last decade. From footloose to family-man, from hot-head to… slightly less hot-head, this is an honest and sometimes brutal account of what it means to grow older.
As always, Herring is at his best when engaged in pedantic deconstruction: here, he homes in on an email and a children’s game, neither of which sound like ripe topics for comedy, but both are mined for maximum laughs, and the audience is clearly appreciative of this obsession with the minutiae. Maybe there isn’t as strong a theme as there was in Christ on a Bike or Hitler Moustache, but it’s a fine show nevertheless, performed with absolute authority by an assured and confident comedian who knows that what he’s got is good.
Definitely, as always, this is worth trying to see. Although I do hope it’s sold out, and that you have to wait for it to go on tour.