Richard Herring Press


Richard Herring

Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh
Rating: ****

Brian Logan - Tuesday August 7, 2001The Guardian

Richard Herring, erstwhile partner of Stewart Lee and Fist of Fun co-host, has been on a religious journey. He was brought up Christian, by God-fearing parents, before deciding that faith was "stupid". His show, Christ on a Bike, describes how, on turning 33, the age at which Jesus died, he began to compare his achievements with those of God's son.

The show veers between lazy "How long was Jesus's knob?" moments and passages in which Herring's spiritual quest is allowed to seem significant. He returns compulsively to a dream in which Jesus challenges him to a bicycle race, and also fantasises that he is Jesus, citing a passage from the Bible - "Behold a man gluttonous and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners" - to prove his point.

Herring may overestimate the impact that scatological Christ gags have on the non-religious, but his best sequences do derive their force from the gulf between the vestigial reverence that surrounds these subjects and the comic reality. Having memorised a slab of New Testament text - "Salmon begat Booz . . ." etc - before realising that none of the improbable characters it lists are related to Jesus, he pronounces it a con with inflated outrage, and produces his own ridiculous, hilarious alternative.
• Until August 27. Box office: 0131-556 6550.