Put-upon parent Sam Avery is bringing the challenges of fatherhood to a Dorchester stage in his comedic, insightful show Toddlergeddon. He tells Laura Hanton more.

A comedian will share the trials and tribulations of raising twin toddlers in a UK-wide tour taking in Dorchester

Also a viral blogger and best selling author, Sam Avery, aka The Learner Parent, started a blog when his identical sons were born four and half years ago. Now a published author with a previous sell-out tour under his belt, Sam, 41, returns with a brand new show, Toddlergeddon.

He brings the live version of his award-winning blog to Dorchester Corn Exchange on Friday, March 27.

In it, Sam confronts the reality that 'parenthood is a crafty beast'. 'The second you master something it changes the game so you're rubbish at it again,' his show publicity states.

Sam launched his blog when his twin boys were born. A million nappies, Peppa Pig episodes and a head-full of hair loss later, he shares all the lows, highs and hilarious in-betweens of his experiences of first-time parenthood.

His honest, messy account of wrestling with sleep deprivation and breast pumps - right through to his botched attempts at discipline and pathetic bids to stifle various toddler tantrums that registered on the Richter scale - will have you testing your pelvic floor with laughter.

"It's about the challenges of raising toddlers, and how it differs from looking after babies," Sam says.

"Before the twins were born I had this vision of me as a dad, completely blissful and in control. In reality it's absolute chaos. I'm learning on the job."

Sam has been doing stand-up comedy for 17 years and is used to sharing the big events of his life on stage, but the success of The Learner Parent was beyond anything he imagined.

In the show he poses the questions: How do you raise a toddler with more attitude than Kanye West? Can you negotiate effectively with a pre-schooler who knows you’re clueless? And will any of us survive Toddlergeddon?

The show has been praised as full of 'quick wit and painfully funny' by the Metro newspaper and Sam has been described as 'a gifted storyteller' by The List.

"I started the blog mainly so I wouldn't forget anything," he says. "When people began sharing it and a few posts went viral, I was gobsmacked."

Confessions of a Learner Parent was published in 2017, and Sam embarked on his first tour last year.

"As a comic, it's a real gift being able to talk to your audience," he reflects. "But it's hard being away from the twins and my wife - the first night in the hotel is bliss, but then I just want to go home."

Both on stage and online, Sam, who lives in Liverpool, shares a messily honest account of first-time parenthood, complete with nappies, breast pumps, and the pain of sleep deprivation, of which he says: "My pre-kids sleep used to be the nocturnal equivalent of deep sea diving. Nowadays I’m lucky if I can submerge my toes in a puddle."

Yet despite being a comedy show, there is a deeper meaning to much of Sam's material.

"I used to think it was me against the kids," he says. "Now I know it's me and the kids against the world. I shared that message on my last tour and I received some amazing responses from parents. I never set out to help people - I just wanted to make them laugh - but it's great that I can do both."

Sam also makes appearances on BBC 5 Live and Radio 4, and is a regular on BBC Radio 6 Music's show, Steve Lamacq Roundtable.

*Sam Avery: Toddlergeddon comes to Dorchester Corn Exchange on Friday, March 27. The show starts at 8pm and tickets are £19 per person, or £17 for members and concessions and available from the Dorchester Arts website or box office.