Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast is the London version of RHEFP (rhefp), the daily Edinburgh Fringe podcast which debuted last year, but running weekly and with higher profile guests. Upcoming guests I will be seeing in this series include Charlie Brooker, Stewart Lee, Atrmando Ianucci and Graham Linehan.
I wasn't planning to go to ths one as I was working a night shift and couldn't get leave, but once Jonathan Ross was announced as the guest, after a failed attempt to get Stephen Fry, I toyed with the idea. Rose said she wanted to go, and I was surprised to find that plenty tickets were available and there were two front row seats which I nabbed.
Unfortunately a few days later Rose told me she couldn't go as she had been involved in a bus accident (it's OK everyone, she is still alive!) and I asked my friend / landlord Ben to go, who sighs every time I mention the name of Richard Herring. He isn't really into comedy and don't think he's been to any shows before, but he surprised me by saying "yes".
We headed to Chinatown and he treated me to a meal before we headed to the theatre. We took out seats and bumped into Robin, who I had met at both the Christ On A Bike recording as well as an AIOTM (aiotm). Nice chap!
Ben was a little worried by sitting at the front, but I told him we were over at the edge, and Rich was more likely to chat to people nearer the middle. He was relieved. Although the mins point of sitting here was that even though we were in the front row we could only see the back of Jonathan's head, and the table between them rather obscured Richard.
At this recording, Francesca Martinez was also on as Jonathan had to leave early so Rich decided he was going to record 2 podcasts. This cut down on the stand up he would normally do before the show, and very soon Jonathan was introduced.
I'm a big fan of Ross, and it was great to see him chat with Rich totally unscripted. Of course Rich asked him about the Russell Brand and Andrew Sachs incident, and JR managed to handle it well, and not say anything stupid, but I imagine he has been asked about this enough in the past. Rich and Ross spoke at length about his history in broadcasting with some real laugh out loud moments, but Rich seemed more than a little nervous, and although he was a little bit naughty, he didn't quite go as far as he did in last week's Tim Minchin show. No prolapsing rectums discussed at all, and even more disappointingly, Richard had forgotten to ask Jonathan if he had tried to suck his own cock. Looking at Twitter after the show it seems Richard was holding back a little as he didn't know him that well and didn't want to go too far too soon.
Francesca joined the podcast for the last few minutes and she got a huge laugh when being "understanding" about Jonathan's speech impediment (Francesca has cerebral palsy in case you didn't know.)
A stand out moment for me was Richard's cutting edge reference when talking to a DJ in the front row, asking him "Are you one of those real DJs who does scratching, like Malcolm McLaren"?
I left literally 10 seconds before the end so I could get to the loos before anyone else and run off for my tube to work, which, I am glad to report, I arrived at with a minute and a half to spare.
As is tradition in Richard's live podcasts, the tickets are cheap to attend live, but of course, they are all released as soon as possible, usually the next day, for free on iTunes, and you can find them here
You know, when i bring non-comedy fans to gigs I always feel a little responsible if they don't enjoy it. I texted Ben afterwards and said that I hpoed he had fun. His reply... "It was great!"
Roll on Charlie Brooker...