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Jason Byrne

Note: This review is from 2003

Review by Steve Bennett

Byrne always lives in the moment, relying on his spontaneity and sense of mischief to carry an audience to unexpected highs. But it doesn't always work...

His set looks like it was stolen from the Father Ted lot, with comfy sofas and Jesus centrepiece - which he repeatedly used to threaten the audience.

But Byrne seemed to suffer from playing such a large room, having to repeat much of the audience's side of the banter for all to hear, losing a lot in the translation.

He invited a couple from the audience on to his lovely sofa and riffed with them for a while, before removing the man's shoes. But this didn't raise too many laughs so he declared them "too posh", and delved into the audience again to look for more unwilling victims.

This was amusing at times, but stagnant at others; a perplexingly lacklustre performance given Byrne has the proven ability reduce an entire audience to tears with his comic genius.

Away from the improvised banter, Byrne had some fabulous stories to share, such as American tourists asking him if he had built the castle himself, and explaining his stance on hitting children.

But for the most part, Byrne's natural funny bones seemed to have deserted him. Forty minutes into the show, many of the audience began to become restless and even "posh bloke" (minus his shoes) left the stage to go to the bar.

It was frustrating to see someone so inventive failing to capitalise on their God-given talent.

Review date: 1 Aug 2003
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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