Shouty, sweary, hyperactive man-child
This article is from 2010.
Jason Byrne is a Fringe institution, a literal poster-child for the festival. Every year, his face is plastered over a hundred walls, perhaps with some bizarre, almost rhyming title (see ‘Sheep for Feet and Rams for Hands’ or ‘Cats Under Mats, Having Chats With Bats’). The fact that this year’s show is lazily titled ‘2010’ says a lot about Byrne’s current level of involvement.
That’s not to say he doesn’t expend a ton of energy on stage – the man is a whirling ball of sweaty hyperactivity, who starts the show off with a skipping routine – but the material is generally restricted to easy observations without punch-lines, embarrassing people in the audience, or saying ‘fuck’ very loudly. It’s known in the industry as ‘Billy Connolly syndrome’ – you’ve been around so long, people will laugh no matter how uninspiring the jokes may be.
He hits his stride around the 45-minute mark (bear in mind, this is an hour-long show), but even the funniest material is the usual ‘sex after marriage’ or ‘ungainly childhood’ material that’s as familiar to the Fringe as Byrne himself. Ask anyone who was present, and they’ll tell you they laughed their arse off – but they’ll be hard-pressed to quote any of it with the same effect.
Assembly @ Assembly Hall, 623 3030, until 30 Aug (not 16, 23), 9pm (plus 12am on 21 Aug), £17–£19.50 (£16–£18.50)