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Norfolk Tourism Awards

Iain Stirling review: Brutally honest comedy with an awkward twist

PUBLISHED: 11:24 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:24 05 April 2018

Iain Stirling is the voice of ITVs Love Island  (Picture: Archant)

Iain Stirling is the voice of ITVs Love Island (Picture: Archant)

Archant

Better known as the voice of ITV’s Love Island (and also as a children’s television presenter for the BBC), Iain Stirling is now quickly making a name for himself within the stand-up scene.

During his packed out Norwich Playhouse performance, he touched on the fact that he would not have practically sold-out venues like this before his Love Island fame. While he was jokingly bitter about the ‘millions’ that the untalented contestants from the show are now making, there is no denying that the hit reality series has bumped his ticket sales.

If you were expecting a show about Stirling’s Love Island days, or an expose of what goes on behind the scenes, you would have been left disappointed. For Stirling reminds us that there is more to him than that mystery, witty voiceover.

The tour is titled ‘U OK Hun? X’ and is a brutally honest, and sometimes cringe-worthy, account of what navigating life after 25 is like.

Thanks to Stirling’s colourful past, he had a range of anecdotes which kept the audience thoroughly entertained.

The first section was mainly a warm-up, and Stirling interacted heavily with the audience, relying on them for much of his material. He turned awkward conversations into humorous moments, placing the room at ease and preparing them for next part. Stirling proved equally willing to be self-deprecating and disdainful of the responses he got during audience interaction.

I did fear that the rest of the gig would be mostly audience based which, as funny as it was, doesn’t necessarily showcase the best of a comedian’s abilities. Thankfully, the second-half was driven by Stirling’s well-written yet somehow comfortably natural material.

He jumped from anecdote to anecdote, sometimes not as smoothly as some of his peers do, but this only added to the authenticity and likability of his performance. He openly admitted that he was a skittish performer but his openness actually made the audience feel even more connected and sympathetic to his material. Well, for me anyway.

His act wasn’t fuelled with unthinkable or unimaginable scenarios. He touched on topics such as living alone, being left behind among friends and questionable family members. We’ve all been there, and that’s what made his comedy so fantastic. It is true that comedians have covered these topics many times before, but Stirling’s awkward mannerisms and natural delivery gave the gig a unique and thoroughly likeable feel.

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