Iain Stirling: Touchy Feely

Iain Stirling has an excellent way of working a crowd. Straight from the off there's a level of production value that means we're in for a good-looking, slick show. Taking issue with his grown-up friends and his new-found worries about life, Stirling gives a great performance with nothing too adventurous.

With a show title like Touchy Feely, you might expect some more blue material: a CBBC ident this ain't.

Stirling has a brilliant on-stage energy. He's at once welcoming and unafraid of picking on latecomers and responding to hecklers, and it's clear that he feels at home on stage. Starting with a piece on last year's referendum, he offers a great new take on Scotland's reaction which works superbly. Some other segments of the set don't meet with as strong a reaction, which is a shame because when Stirling has an idea going he's great at working the concept. A little fine tuning might be in order to cut segments and offer a punch line earlier, but he rambles with so much ease it's lovely to watch anyway.

With a show title like Touchy Feely, you might expect some more blue material: a CBBC ident this ain't. At first the ruder stuff doesn't land as well, but there's a question Stirling puts forward which absolutely kills by virtue of being the kind of observational material nobody expects. It's silly but it had me and the audience completely off guard and in doing so made for one of the biggest laughs of the set.

True, you might see a couple of the punch lines coming, but Stirling has a great on-stage presence and he's well practised in the art of working the crowd. His ending brings in a call back at exactly the right point and offers a fantastic conclusion to the show.

Reviews by Louise Jones

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The Blurb

Edinburgh's very own double BAFTA nominated Iain Stirling is back at the festival following three successive sell-out runs. A show about post-referendum Scotland and that time he annoyed the armed forces! Credits include: Russell Howard's Stand Up Central (Comedy Central), The Now Show, Dilemma (BBC Radio 4), Russell Howard's Good News (BBC Three), The Josh Widdicombe Show (XFM) and The Dog Ate My Homework (CBBC). 'Possesses all the born-with-it-or-you're- not-qualities associated with the world's leading comics' (List). 'One of Scotland's hottest newcomers' (Scotsman). 'A very bright, peppy prospect' (Independent). 'Lovely satirical description' (Chortle.co.uk).