Finding hope in the wilderness years

Richard Stainbank The Wilderness Years Camden FringeComedian Richard Stainbank brings his debut show The Wilderness Years to Camden Comedy Club, 8-10 August, as part of  Camden Fringe 2016.

For Richard, every day is a struggle. Down on his luck, unemployed and living in his parents’ spare room, Richard finds himself at the home of the Greatest Briton with the National Trust. As he finds himself going through his own “wilderness years”, he wonders what Winston would do.

Richard said: “It is a one-man standup show, very autobiographical, the events of my life over the past five years. I have been working for a long time at Winston Churchill’s house and that’s really where the title comes from.

“Winston Churchill’s wilderness years are considered to be the years he was out of office in the 1930s, before he returned to lead the country to victory (in World War Two).

“Whereas my wilderness years are rather different, going through a few periods of upheaval in my life. Various difficulties surrounding my job status and my mental health. So I think as a show it is really about overcoming adversity and finding the positives in difficult situations and coming out the other side.

“Hopefully it is something that will be uplifting for people but also something that is very relatable. This is a brand new production, a world debut, me and a microphone for an hour, no frills but a lot of good jokes.

“There is a political side to the show. There might be a little bit of Boris and referendum, the political upheaval we are all experiencing at the moment.”

Can Richard too achieve greatness with nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat? And jokes? Will he ever find his Clementine? If the Camden Fringe lasts a thousand years, will they say that this was its finest hour?

In addition to finishing runner up in Comedy Knights Fresh Comedian Of The Year in 2013, Richard has twice been a finalist in the Chortle Student Comedy Award (2008 and 2011), a finalist in the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year competition (2013) and participated in the Manchester heat of the BBC New Comedy Award in 2012.

For more details visit www.camdenfringe.com.

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