Lord Of The Dance Settee is Richard Herring’s eleventh stand-up show and his latest tour DVD and early on there was a moment I remembered from “This Morning With Richard Not Judy” (TMWRNJ!) as he and Stewart Lee ended one episode singing the 1899 hymn, “Were you there?”, but this was no repeat as the comedian with the appointment-to-read Metro column went into his usual intricate wordplay to make you laugh time and time again.
The title comes from being a child and mis-hearing lines from songs, this one being Sydney Carter’s 1963 hymn, Lord Of The Dance, i.e. the bit where he sings, “I am the lord of the dance, said he”. The settee is a jumping off point, and jumping into the stratosphere such is how far we stray from that, but then that doesn’t matter if the title isn’t 100% about the entire show’s contents because… well, stop analysing it and just enjoy!
This DVD follows hot on the annual-like heels of 2014’s We’re All Going To Die, a prophecy that came true for my father who passed away on January 10th this year. I would be talking out of my backside if I tried to insinuate that Mr Herring was responsible for that, but the proof will out if another member of my family begins misremembering lines from songs and goes on to perform sell-out shows around the country… (this probably won’t happen).
With this ‘he’ being very self-referential and very analytical of the routines within, Richard Herring takes in such topics as being cold and naked, the purple-headed mountain, kissing 19th Centry people, Chard Island, wishing for a fortress of solitude, eating a lot of fried chicken (which I did in Prague – well, you get a full meal!), the manager of that shop (possibly), International Women’s Day, swearing at a 10-year-old cyclist and I agree with his opinion on Toploader’s song, Dancing In The Moonlight. It stank and it was even worse when Jamie Oliver became associated with it as it was played in one of his godawful Sainsburys adverts.
Hearing that song was like getting diarrhoea, and then that mockney-tongue goof being mixed in was like suffering constipation straight afterwards and getting one almighty bumquake…. and I had that recently and it was NOT a pleasant month or so.
Lord Of The Dance Settee is another absolute triumph from Richard Herring and Go Faster Stripe – a superb show and the two discs are jam-packed with extras. If you’re a fan, buy this immediately. And if you’re not, then you’re wrong, and you should still buy this immediately.
Check out a clip of the show below.
The DVD is presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen, as you’d expect, and there’s no problems with the picture whatsoever. I’m more used to Blu-rays, so when watching a DVD on a 50″ plasma, the image looks a little soft, but that’s no defect with the DVD itself.
Similarly, the audio is in Dolby Digital 2.0 (Dolby Pro Logic) and there’s nothing going on in the rear speakers but you don’t expect them to be – it’s not a special FX film. It’s mostly Richard Herring with the mic, and that’s all you need.
The extensive extras are as follows:
- The Interval (4:52): How Richard Herring spends his time. I thought he meant he was going to play a full-size Addams Family pinball machine, but it was an iPad app.
- Philip Fry interview (9:09): Not the Futurama guy, as Herring pointed out after it had also occured to me, but the friend he refers to in a shop-based routine.
- Christian Reilly (5:31): The man from the superb Radio 4 show, As It Occurs To Me.
- Easter Egg #1 (2:48): “Before We Started”. Keep pressing up on the main menu and it’s just above “Watch The Show”. I inadvertently found it when pressing ‘next’ during the interval extra, and it took me through a few others until it got to this.
- Easter Egg #2 (1:16): Do as above and, after that one, there’s another one where Richard mentions a celeb’s name, but despite it being blanked out, it still wasn’t the one I was thinking of.
- Easter Egg #3 (0:29): And do as above again and here’s an out-take as someone shouts out from the audience.
- Chris Evans (NTO) Trophy 4 (Audio only): A new snooker match featuring Me1 vs Me2. Who will win? The trophy is named “Chris Evans (NTO)” after the producer/director Chris Evans (Not that one). The only downside with the audio pieces is that it doesn’t tell you how long it is, nor gives you a chance to pause, rewind, etc.
- The Chorley Heckler (2:14): The time a woman took great exception to the religious content of the show. However, it shows that if you’re going to heckle Richard Herring, you’d better be good because he will quickly and expertly put you in your place. And she was not at all good!
- Chorley full show (Audio only): After the above short piece, it leads straight into this.
- British Stand-up Comedy Archive Interview (89:35): The disc 2 extras begin with this extensive interview with Richard Herring. Sadly, it’s not really chaptered. There’s a second one placed around the one-hour mark, but it’d be easy to auto-chapter every five minutes, so please can that be done for the 2016 DVD.
- Easter Egg #4 (1:52): “Rich in the audience”. How the inception came about of Richard setting in his own audience, including filming this DVD’s one. Again, go to the top of this DVD’s menu and find the easter egg!
- Lord Of The Dance Settee podcasts (Audio only): All eleven for your delight and delictation. I’m not sure of the exact length, but the total audio across both discs is nine hours, so the one thing you CANNOT say is that you are being short-changed.
- Mosquito trailer (0:44): A spoof arthouse trailer.
- The Lord Of The Dance Settee (12 Shows Of Herring) (Audio only) (104:33): Earlier this year, Richard Herring brought back all 12 of his Edinburgh shows over six weekends, including his 2015 show (and, hopefully, the 2016 DVD) “Happy Now?”, and I’d have loved to have attended these but I’m in the wrong part of the country. This is playable from either the DVD in your machine, or as an mp3 by putting the disc into your PC.
You can also buy the audio for the first 10 Shows Of Herring here. Why not all 12? Because one of the other two is this very show, and the other is his new one.
- Themes Of The Dance Settee (15:04): Recounting tales from the tour with Christian Reilly.
- Easter Egg #5 (0:30): An outtake found by clicking ‘next’ while the above interview plays. This is also available by going to the bottom of the main menu on disc 2: “Underneath I’m jelly”.
- Easter Egg #6 (1:00): And another! This time discussing re-doing the first joke.
There are no subtitles, while chapters are very thin on the ground with just two during the main performance. I feel one should normally come every five minutes on average whether a performance or film, but at least they should be placed inbetween routines. The menus on each disc feature the packshot but with some subtle animation Richard Herring ‘dancing’ around the settee with all the dexterity of a ‘Game & Watch’ inbetween-games demo animation.
Richard Herring: Lord Of The Dance Settee was recorded live at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London. There’s the 2-disc DVD for £15, or for £17 for also yet a copy of the gig programme, and they’re available to buy now from Go Faster Stripe.com
And how many other comedians put so much free content online such as the Youtube channel featuring his Leicester Square Theatre Podcasts and Meaning of Life episodes, and check out more info about him and his work at RichardHerring.com.
Running time: 86 minutes
Released: December 15th 2015
Widescreen: 1.78:1 (16:9)
Sound: Dolby Pro Logic (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Disc Format: 2*DVD9
Director and Producer: Chris Evans
Music: Christian Reilly
Sound: George Lingford and Tom Joyce
PS. I am wanking as I write this…
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.