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Richard Herring: Fringe 2012

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Corry Shaw

Richard Herring returns with an updated version of his 2002 show, which he conceived as the less fair sex’s answer to the Vagina Monologues.  More of a presentation than a show, Herring has gone through thousands of answers from an online questionnaire he posted about all things penile and collated the results into a throbbing hour of laughs and revelations.

To be fair, a lot of what pops up is not unexpected. Lots of men have tried to suck their own and lots of women care more about girth than length. Most of the statistics are nothing more than a springboard for Herring to launch into the more gory details the participants have given.

This isn't a show for the faint of heart or easily offended.  That's not to say that the show is crude, threatening or vulgar, it can just be a little bit sensitive at times… but from Herring’s description, nowhere near as sensitive as a snapped 'banjo string'.

Herring is an amiable and honest host, prepared to share some of his secrets, and thankfully he never polls his live audience on any contentious topics, choosing to purely refer to the anonymous survey.  I made a point of filling out my online questionnaire before going to the show, which certainly helps prepare for what delicate subjects may be covered.

The main meat of the show may be the facts and figures from the survey which, nestle in nicely with numerous historical points about the move from penis worship to censorship.

Herring’s performance is flawless, his timing, tempo and enthusiasm cannot be knocked.  The one slight downside to his impressive offering is that some of the main stories are not from the updated questionnaire but featured in the 2002 show.  Herring fans may remember the jelly-filled toilet roll holder from a decade ago.

Despite the artistic licence to use some old results this show still feels fresh and important. Yes, it may just be one big excuse to make some knob gags but Herring does it so well and does break down some barriers while providing a solid hour of big laughs.

Review date: 22 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Corry Shaw
Reviewed at: Underbelly Bristo Square

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