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Iain Stirling is Failing Upwards

Iain Stirling's stand up show Failing Upwards is coming to Lynn Corn Exchange on Wednesday, October 13 ,writes Jenny Beake.

The term failing upwards can be described as the subtle art of seeing failure not as a negative but giving opportunities that might not otherwise have come our way. Without failure how do we measure success.

Now I have no idea if this is what Ian Stirling's show is about, I will be going along to watch without any preconceived ideas.

Iain Stirling performs his show Failing Upwards at Lynn Corn Exchange October 13. (51650457)
Iain Stirling performs his show Failing Upwards at Lynn Corn Exchange October 13. (51650457)

I chatted with this jovial Scotsman about comedy and his upcoming tour where he will be visiting some 47 towns and cities. With all those on the list it is no wonder he can't remember the last time he visited Lynn - possibly when he was on tour with Russel Kane.

Mr Stirling said: " I am looking forward to coming back. I remember the theatre space and that it was a lovely gig."

"Norfolk in general is really nice and a lovely part of the world. I see Norfolk because of Alan Partiridge but it's probably best not to mention that."

The Corn Exchange in Lynn. (51704830)
The Corn Exchange in Lynn. (51704830)

In a similar way that Bob Mortimer changed his career from law to comedy, so did Iain after graduating in law he had already started dabbling in stand up comedy.

"He said: "I graduated during he credit crunch and there weren't many legal jobs and I got lucky in kids TV."

As a comic he pioneers diversity, seeing more females in the industry and the need for working class voices to be heard.

He said: "When I started there was definitely a gluttony of while male straight comedians. There is a lot more representation now including gender and sexuality. Comics who have been big influences on me are Josie Long, Sarah Silverman, Maria Bamford, so we definitely getting there. It is so hard if you are working class to get in to this industry without being bank rolled. I want to see more working class faces. ."

The pandemic affected Iain in a surprisingly positive way. After a long break from live performance many comics had to get back in to gigging.

He said: "When people ask me if stand up is scary I would say no, and I don't get nervous, but after a year and a half break I realise I had normalised it it in my head. It's scary how traumatic it can be but it makes me do better."

With all of the tour being in theatres and art centres this should bring confidence to audience members to come back to live comedy and performance.

Iain said: "Audiences are just venturing in to the live comedy domain again. Theatres are a good starting point. People are generally more sober and respecting personal space and it is a safer space to enjoy going out in public again. All theatres are following government guidelines and after all this time on our hands we have realised just how important the arts sector is. It gives people a much needed outlet in life."

With so much experience on the live comedy scene and having been fortunate to have met most of his idols, meeting his comedy hero would leave him speechless.

"Billy Connelly, he's just got it. If I ever met him I wouldn't know what to say."

No doubt Failing Upwards will be a Stirling success.

A review of the show will follow.

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