Ed Byrne: Spoiler Alert (2 stars)

This article is from 2017

Ed Byrne: Spoiler Alert

Safe and tame hour of middle-class and middle-aged musings

No offence is taken in this smooth show from the Irish comedian and ever-popular Fringe regular, but also not really any risks either. He's packed out the 500-seater venue, and there are lots of loyal fans here who've loved his performances in the past, and see him popping up intermittently on Mock the Week or Dara and Ed's Road to Mandalay with his travel pal Dara Ó Briain.

Ed Byrne's laid-back delivery sails along; his timing is instinctive and he's settled into his character of friendly but deeply disgruntled, middle-class middle-ager, ranting about his spoiled children and the impracticalities of Aga cookers. He plays it very safe though, with pleasant but not exactly rib-tickling material about running out of petrol, those non eco-friendly plastic bits in exfoliating gels, and people who name their cars. Weirdly, the bits he considers most 'boring old fart' – when he talks about his love of Munro bagging and escaping the crowds to get up a hill – actually animate things a bit and seem to reveal his lesser-spotted, genuinely quite excited side.

At one point he ponders whether we should 'rewild Britain' by reintroducing wolves to the countryside. And after confessing that he thinks he may be stagnating to the point that he's contemplating a divorce if only to liven up his act with some new gags, it feels like Byrne might need to rewild his set a bit too.

Assembly George Square Theatre, until 27 Aug, 7.30pm, £17–£18.50 (£16–£17.50).

Ed Byrne: If I'm Honest

The observational comic discusses whether he has any traits worthy of being inherited by his progeny. In addition to his time on the comedy circuit, Byrne has also become a recognisable face on the telly, featuring on Live At The Apollo, Mock The Week, *The Pilgrimage, Top Gear and QI.