Richard Heri Is All Man

Richard Herring is a fourteen-year-old boy trapped in the body of a bloke in his late 20s, with a fondness for alcohol and food and as ever, detennlned to bare all to his audience.

He’s back with another personal foray, this time confronting his sexuality. Describing the essence of Richard Herring is All Man, he says: ‘What it is to boa real man, and whether or not I am a real man, which obviously I’m not . . . In the show I say i had to do what no man has ever done before and that’s sit down for a second and think: “What the fuck am I doing with my life?”’

Herring is a fine comedy writer with


Richard ilerrlng: a fine comedy writer with an athletic wit


an athletic wit, more than capable of taking the piss out of his own intellectual leanings for the sake of a gag. Last year it was the interweaving 1 of a Dickensian motif with attempts at ';

; slimming; this year, well, there’s facial j

hair involvement. lie’ll hit you with the

3 full weight of his comic skills, and

success of Fist of Fun, Richard

with his confidence boosted by the

Herring is All Men could be the funniest therapy session on the Fringe. (Gait liurley)

Richard Herring is All Man (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 555 5550, 10-27 Aug, 7pm, 27/28 (£027); £3.50 on 10 Aug.

Stuck In The Middle

:‘ .. ., M- l , Parrot: ‘I didn't want God to have any particular clear answers’ ‘You will be disappointed!’ promises Greenock comedian Parrot in parody of the usual seif-aggrandising publicity that accompanies new productions. The new production in question is the Parrot-penned Stock In

The Middle, but curtail those thoughts of Stealers Wheel and Mr Blonde lopplng off appendages, ‘because it sounds exciting but it’s just pleasant’.

Pleasant. Another descriptive no-no. However the whole concept doesn’t sound comfortable at all. Parrot plays Everyman with God to the left of him, lievil to the right and he’s . . . stuck in the middle, of course, asking the sort of questions everyone would love to ask God.

‘l didn’t want God to have any

particular clear answers,’ says Parrot. :

‘At the end of the show the point wasn’t to make the audience Christians, it was to bounce around a few ideas. The opinion I’ve get of God is that lie/She doesn’t give you all the answers that you want or sometimes you don’t get answers at all.’

So of course the obvious choice to play God (in pre-recorded voiceover

fashion) was .lo Brand - ‘she's got that 1

dry, sarcastic element’ - and as the Devil’s voiceover the silver-tongued Greg Proops. ‘Greg’s got a very seductive, effete voice, but he’s also got a fantastic turn of phrase.’ Let spiritual battle commence. (Fiona Shepherd)

Stuck In The Middle (Fringe) Parrot, The Gilded Balloon (Venue 381225 2151, 11 Aug-2 Sept, 5.30mi, £6.50

(1‘5. 50).

j canny coWANs

; ‘I kind of see society as a

rock pool. The men are in the water because they‘ve created the rock pool and feel very comfortable with

it. while the women are

sitting on the edges not fully involved. 1 see myself as sitting on the edge throwing rocks into the water. And that's how i see my comedy.‘

Rising Australian talent Gerry Gowans. now based in London. is busy making analogies to explain why the press Down Under went gaga over her gleeful set that revolves around dismantling female stereotyping. Most notable. apparently. is her ‘hymen routine'. attributing the fate of

- everyone from Tess of the

d'Urbervilles to Camilla

Parker Bowles to the fact

they possess a broken


Another feather in her cap is Gowans‘s unusual love of studying. leading to the dubious mantle of the first comedian ever to work towards a PhD in stand-up comedy ‘l’ve got 300,000 words to

write by next year.‘ she

grimaces. Combining comedy and

v brain power into one act sounds promising given

that the smart-talking Australian credits everyone from art-lover Billy Connolly to French feminist philosopher Helene Cixous as inspirational sources. (Ann Donald)

, I Gerry Gowans (Fringe) Hill Street Theatre (Venue

4i) 226 6522. ID Aug—2

Sept (not 13).6.30pm. £5 (£4).


It was love at first sight and the inspiration for Scots stand-up comedian and actress Lynn Ferguson's first foray into stage writing. it was wet and slippery. It was a fish. Ferguson is describing how an innocent visit to a Norfolk sea life centre with her boyfriend resulted in a chance meeting with a fish and the conception of her debut play Hear! and Soul. ‘Basically this woman falls in love with a fish and it‘s her business. but everybody gets involved in it.‘ she says. Billed as a true romance for our times and starring Ferguson herself. the play dissects the relationship between woman and fish. taking a side-swxpe at the tabloid press and religious cults. Writing for stage is

v a refreshing change for

Ferguson. who is keen to prove she is more than a joke machine. ‘l didn't want to do an hour of

; jokes for no reason.’ she

says. ‘1 dojokes twice a

week so i know l'm alright at that.‘

lfshe can keep a straight face playing opposite a fish. Ferguson will have proved something. (Kathleen Morgan) I Heart and Sole (Fringe) Lynn Ferguson. Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151. ll Aug—2 Sept. 7.15pm. £6 (£5).


Lynn Ferguson: fishy tales

KATE noeems

l l

Kate Robbins: the talking sanitary panty-llner

‘1 am the talking sanitary panty-liner.‘ proclaims Kate Robbins proudly. ‘1 am the voice of Kotex.‘ says the voice-over artiste and female voice of Spitting Image.

Robbins’ solo show aims to fill the gap of no- nonsense. good old- fashioned singing impressionist slot with a dose of armchair philosophy and incidents lifted from the life ofa voice-over artist all chucked in for good measure.

it could all have been very different for our Kate. though. After releasing her first record at the tender age of seventeen. Robbins progressed onto the session-singing circuit. dubbing dodgy euro hits for tone-deaf Dutch and Belgian outfits. before peaking with songwriting credits for the Surprise Surprise theme tune.

A Festival Fringe virgin.

Robbins has now found a happy medium between doing voice-overs for sanitary products and imitating esteemed members of the Royal Family such as Fergie (‘1 just snort') or Lady Di (‘throwing up noises') or Barbara Windsor (‘Lovely pair of melons dahn the market'). Also promised in this lampooning jamboree are Doris Day sings Disneyfied Vietcong songs and Victoria Wood doing cheery northern piano medleys of James Bond theme tunes. (Ann Donald) I Kate Robbins (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. 1 1—29 Aug. 6pm. £7.50/£8.50


List 11-17 Aug 1995