Richard Herring reveals his Edinburgh Fringe plans
Richard Herring has announced that he is skipping the Edinburgh Fringe for only the third time in 24 years next summer.
The comedian, a staple of the world’s largest arts festival, said rising costs that squeeze “acts in the middle” meant Edinburgh wasn’t necessarily the best place to develop a show anymore.
Speaking to the comedy website Chortle, Herring said: “At last year’s Fringe I found things a bit frustrating for lots of reasons. The expense involved in taking a show up is becoming impractical and I resented paying £3,000 for a month in a not luxurious flat.
“But I realised that for acts in the middle, who are neither new and trying stuff out, or on TV and very established, the Fringe is becoming increasingly difficult and we’re all being squeezed.
‘The Free Fringe is a great development allowing newer acts to go up and try stuff without losing money, and punters are bound to prefer to take a chance on that than paying £15 for someone they’ve not heard of. If you pay you’re more likely to choose a bigger name where you know what you’re getting.
‘So if you want to do a bit of a bigger and more produced show it feels like the Fringe is no longer the place to be. There’s too much competition, the money you have to spend on marketing and everything is too great for the likely rewards.”
Instead, Herring plans to revive 12 of his previous shows – Christ On A Bike!, Talking Cock, The 12 Tasks Of Hercules Terrace, Someone Likes Yoghurt, Menage A Un, Oh Fuck I’m 40, The Headmaster’s Son, Hitler Moustache, What Is Love Anyway?, We’re All Going to Die! and Lord of the Dance Settee – at the Leicester Square Theatre in August. And at the end of the month, he plans to unveil a new full-length show.
He added: “It seems more sensible for me – and I would say a lot of acts in my position – to do things differently. And I thought this might be a fun way to show that. And get to go and sleep in my own bed at night.
“It will be a challenge to relearn all the shows and work out the tech aspects of the early ones – especially Hercules, which I am not sure I have the animations for any more. But hopefully most of it will come back to me.
“I think some of the material will feel a bit weird to do, especially the angrier shows like Menage A Un, when I was in a very different personal head space, but it might be fun to address that. And to add new bits where necessary or discuss how my life has changed.”
Herring first performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1987 as a student. He returned to the festival in 1992, first with comedy plays and, from 2001 onwards, with his stand-up shows. The only years he has missed are 2000 and 2003.
Richard Herring: Lord Of The Dance Settee is touring the UK until May 2015. For full dates and ticket information visit Richard Herring’s website.