Kings Of The Road
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2003
Top comedian Ed Byrne stars in this hilarious and warm-hearted story of three generations of Belfast busmen, set against the danger of The Troubles. Cameraderie, bravery, duty but mostly having a rip-roaring time!
Temporarily tired of stand-up following a gruelling UK tour, Ed Byrne has taken to dramatic acting for his Edinburgh appearances this year. And the play he's chosen is this touching tale of uncomfortable father-son relationships across three generations of Northern Irish bus drivers.
The production opens with a crop-haired Byrne talking to his father as he lies in a hospital bed, in a coma and swathed in bandages. Facing up to the impending death, he angrily reminisces about their past, evoking the whole gamut of emotions between man and boy. An emotive scene, it was played out to an audible heartbeat, enhancing the eerie, sombre atmosphere.
A ghostly grandfather then joins this family gathering to impart further tales of woe, hardship and dedication from life in the bus lane; before we flashback to Byrne's character as a 16-year-old, undergoing his rites of passage under the eye of his happy-go-lucky father.
As an actor, Byrne often seemed nervous and out of his depth, but fantastic performances from Michael Smiley and James Ellis more than compensated.
The parochial setting proved warmly endearing, contributing to the success of a moving and sentimental play. It is not the hilarious comedy billed in the Fringe's comedy section, but a mildly amusing, heartfelt piece.
Paul Burns - 04/11/2003
Total rubbish. Don't waste your time with this.
Jerry Spencer - 05/09/2003
I dont think he should give up stand up, because he clearly can't act. Go back to what your OK at Mr Byrne.
Jackson D Lloyd - 02/09/2003
Louis - 19/08/2003
I didnt enjoy it at all, it was boring and very badly writen. The acting was good Michael Smiley and the well known James Elli. However, like in Sam's Game, Ed Byrne is yet to prove his acting skills to me. I wasnt impressed at all.
Richard Dunnes - 05/08/2003
It was really good and I didnt know that Ed could act, but he really can. Its only has a few funny lines and I was expecting more, but its really very good. It's actually a very deep play about Belfast bus drivers. His accent is good too.