Sheep Were Invented In 1952 And Other Such Madness!

Iain Stirling

Walker Theatre

Saturday 11th February 2017

It is known that any role or act in the performing arts offers up its various challenges, how  the artiste deals with those challenges is a measure of how able or talented they are. Consequently measures are met and the reviewer can reflect on those times and how the artistse did or didn’t handle those challenges. That said one is acutely aware of the lonely furrow a stand-up comedian ploughs, and how they can live or die by their own hand.

There are no barometers, no guidelines, no manual and no training. You are either good or you ain’t and if you ain’t you had better watch it, prizing well- earned sheckles from the hands of the hapless punters.  We will catch you buster!

However Iain Stirling is a funny man; he is deliciously irreverent, quick, hilarious and very sharp. His connection with his audience is unbreakable from the off. It was more like a marriage than a show. He connected and stayed connected, remembering things in the latter minutes of the show, that  had arisen much earlier on.

The show began and  Stirling took the first twenty minutes range finding. Rather like lesser troops are sent in front of the guns first so the General can get the idea of fire power. Iain Stirling’s first bit was much like that. The heckles were great fun and Stirling quickly got the measure of his audience and he was on top from the start.

Heckling is a part of modern stand-up comedy and Stirling fended it off beautifully. Some were heroic heckles some fell short of the mark, whatever the size Stirling was one bigger, and batted all comers out of the park.

His second half was a  more formulaic style of stand up, the important stuff , the material. Delivered brilliantly with impeccable rhythm and timing, it was obvious the night was in a great pair of hands.

Exploring  issues as varied as  friendships, money, relationships, babies, and so much more, he held court and people were delighted. His observations were so spot on. The heart of good comedy is offering up a scenario that one either sees oneself in or someone one knows. Situations we can identify with and make us  believe we maybe the only one that could possibly understand. Then we find we’re not. That’s human comedy. Opening up our bonnet and identifying what it is that makes us tick, that makes us humans.

It takes a very special skill and a mercurial mind to deliver such an act. Stirling has both in spades.

With just a bottle of water, a haircut and yellow tee shirt Stirling was where he should be, in front of an audience that loves him and his work.

Stirling is refreshing and feels new, he has taken the wire wool to the copper bottom of comedy and given it a really good polish. Every now again someone comes along and does that.

Right now Stirling is that man and consequently, one imagines, has become a pretty hot ticket and if not …why not?

This is a Four Star Review.

Owen J.Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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