I used to be an avid listener of Richard Herring's podcast, so was very excited to see him in person. In a venue appropriate for his status, we filed into Pleasance One ready for an hour of comedy.
It's a year of anniversaries for Herring, both for 30 years at the Fringe and, more importantly, the turning from 49 to 50 years old. A decade ago he did a show 'Oh Fuck, I'm 40', so it's only apt he returns with a slightly older, refined show, allowing him to reflect on how life has changed in ten years.
It would appear that quite a lot has changed. No longer going through a midlife crisis, Herring has settled down with a wife and a child, with a second on the way. He plays a very exaggerated version of himself, as he points out, and likes to pretend that he misses that crazier period of his life.
His jokes revolve around change, both life changes and physical changes that come with age. There was some prop based humour, some gentle ribbing of other comedians, and talk about children's TV - Herring's new obsession.
The issue with the show was that, for the overwhelming majority of it, I wasn't laughing. I wasn't just not laughing, I was bored. Many glances around the audience showed illuminated faces as people checked their phones. Herring himself acknowledged that this wasn't his best performance, and I think mediocre is a nice way to phrase it.
This wasn't the Richard Herring we knew or expected, and there were many points which indicated that, perhaps, this was just a bad night - a one-off blip for the comedy legend. When Herring did find his groove, he was funny and relatable, with juvenile jokes that sometimes crossed into the dirty. In these moments, the crowd were eager to get behind him, willing to lose themselves in the narrative of his show.
But all too often it felt like a collective slog (for both him and us) towards an end that came with a dribble rather than an explosion, and left both parties unsatisfied.
For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.