Photo of Ed Byrne

Ed Byrne – The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury – 9th September 2021

Sometimes, I like to enter a venue early and just luxuriate in the memories. On this occasion, those Saturday morning Cinema Club events run for the eager kids and the even more appreciative parents, who always did their shopping on a Saturday morning…along with every other family! 

It’s funny what you remember as an adult, from your childhood, and of course, vice versa. Ed Byrne proved this for a solid 90 minutes.

The comedian was clearly, in footy talk, over the moon to be back in front of his audience. More than content to present his show: “To be honest…”  An hilarious “one family show” exploring parenthood – complemented with highly amusing observations we can all relate to – whilst discovering more about his children and, yes, himself.

YES, Byrne was highly comfortable in his working environment and his beautifully structured comedic narrative; our lyrical raconteur was primed and pumped for this evening; even if he is a “reluctant gainer in the gym.” His uncensored ability to laugh at himself is only matched by his audience’s desire to laugh along with him. Like any skilled craftsman, Byrne makes it look easy and as we know, making people laugh is not easy…

However, when the volunteer usher is applauding unashamedly and the staff, behind the mixing desk, are guffawing unapologetically in the dark you are clearly hitting the back of the net.    

The easy warmth our narrator is able to foster in an auditorium is enviable. We know we are in safe hands and the waves of appreciative laughter rolled down the gradually sloping seats as approbation of the content of his jokes, gags, japes and double entendres. Picture him, informing his son that you shouldn’t say to someone: “I have told you once and I am not going to tell you again.” With Mr. Byrne informing his son: “…makes you sound like a dickhead!” For his son to casually respond: “…but you and Mum say it to me?” Ahem. The tensions and conflicts of parenthood produced two halves of incisive jocular commentary.  The Byrne demographic made up of the full spectrum of “OAPs and the, er, middle-aged” thoroughly savoured the opportunity to laugh at life itself.  

The minutia of family life was combed, much like Ronaldo’s agent looking for potential sponsorship deals off the pitch. Comedic asides were explored with a pundit’s enthusiasm. Who knew printed mugs, chalk paint signs in the house and computer passwords could be so bloody funny? Where would you buy a mug printed with the legend: “I should have married Dara O Briain!” ?

The first half of the evening was a precursor to the exquisitely structured second half. The second half milked the set-up of the previous 45 minutes with punchlines volleyed in from 50 yard passes no one saw coming. The writing and delivery were sublime. Ed Byrne admitted he sometimes looks at his house and thinks: “jokes paid for all this.” Weighing up this evening’s performance Mr. Byrne Sir, you deserve to live in a house paid for by your jokes. You would do well to remember this fact…even if the house is on a flight path.

The Roses is a confection box of memories and of pending reminisces. Although, as much as we enjoyed the evening’s performance, I didn’t feel the need to throw sweet wrappers around or run up and down the stairs, during the interval, as we did all those years ago at Cinema club. To be honest, I guess I must have grown up a bit. Life is funny isn’t it, much like Edward Byrne Esquire, consequently, I am glad I caught this jester live!

By: The Swilgate Scuttler

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