So, the night after I went to see Courtney Barnett, and TW went to see Murdoch’s Crazy Eyes, we treated ourselves to a second night of ‘cultcha’. I’ve been a long-time fan of Richard Herring, I remember being blown away by TMWRNJ, and apparently it might be out on DVD this year. I’ve listened to his Leicester Square Theatre podcasts, AIOTM, and the Collings and Herrin chats. I’ve bought a couple of his DVDs and I even pay (more than) a pound a month to support his wacky and way-out internet-based ventures which are bound to end in disaster.
So when I heard he was coming to the Ropetackle Arts Centre, I was overjoyed. I bought tickets for myself and TW in a wild act of celebration, and then sat back and waited for the date to roll around.
I like the Ropetackle. It’s staffed by ageing volunteers who do a damned fine job, while still leaving it a little rough around the edges. They let you pick up tickets on the door, and they serve Long Man beers, which are locally brewed, so it’s all good. We turned up and the guy on the desk spent a minute or two searching for our tickets before admitting defeat and printing off two new tickets for us. The couple before us had experienced the same issue, so I think we got our tickets slightly more quickly; the guy behind the counter was muttering darkly about having a chat with someone as he handed our tickets over. We bumped into some friends so sat with them as we nursed our soft drinks; I still felt a bit fragile from the previous night, and TW was driving, so we were both on the wagon.
Then it was time to go in, so we filed in and sat near the back. Herring was a few minutes late on, apparently this was because he hadn’t done his local research, the slacker. Overall I enjoyed the show. It was good, but in parts it seemed like he was reciting a speech. The bits where he freestyled, about Shoreham-BY-Sea, and chatted to a harp player in the front row were more sparky. But it was a heart-warming show, especially the finale. Now that he’s married and a father, it seems that he is enjoying life, and that certainly came through. As I say, I enjoyed it, and I would recommend going to see him if you get the opportunity. I think he’s added a date in Worthing, here. It would be an interesting experiment to go and see him again, to see whether the show was different at all. But I think I shan’t.
We got out of the performance pretty quickly, being at the back, and Rich walked past us. He really is very short. I’m not tall, weighing in at 5′ 8″, but I reckon I towered over him. He was busy setting up his stall, and TW asked if I was going to get my programmed signed, but I chose not to. And then he was swamped and there was no chance. Maybe next tour? We’ll see. So we got out sharpish, got back to the car, and drove home. We stopped for sandwiches at Tesco once we got back to Worthing, and relieved my baby-sitting parents, and normality resumed.

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