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Edinburgh Fringe 2015

Ed Byrne Outside Looking In

Ed Byrne

Genre: Comedy

Venue: Gilded Balloon


Low Down

Ed Byrne is back in Edinburgh for his fans.



We love Ed Byrne, we really do and we’re not the only ones, as demonstrated by the large and loyal crowd he draws to his gigs. He refers to his commercial work – being on television (he’s best known for Mock the Week) and that is what has made his name and his money, one can only assume.

Byrne knows what he’s doing. In a tale about a heckler his retort was: “I’ve been a comedian for 22 years. How long have you been an audience?”

The set is simple – the focus and spotlight being on him, his table and a beer. His repertoire includes two highlights: the first is an extended account which started at a previous gig, about a woman’s daft partner who really put his foot in it when talking about her weight to the crowd – it’s too good a joke to ruin it by telling you here.

The second is about what he calls “Self-defeating treacherous arseholes, slagging women off for having a reputation – when it’s them that have given them the reputation.”

In every Ed Byrne gig you’ll hear him talking about his family – that, after years of seeing him, is an absolute certainty. He quips that he was quoted as saying his marriage was “A one night stand gone wrong” on foreign TV only to realise his wife and kids were watching the transmission in the hotel.

Now that he is married and a dad of two, his angst is about his offspring and how they are treated by other children. That is a concern for all parents and something we can all relate to. Let’s just say he’s liberal in his parental politics put it that way. Especially when it comes to what might be called, “fashion fascism” and the effect it has had on his son.

The show felt a bit slow in places, especially at the start and would benefit from better pacing. It was also hot venue (which he pointed out).

Ed Byrne is as nice a guy on stage as off it as attested by my brother who serendipitously and oddly enough got the fare to take him to the show in his taxi (my brother didn’t know I was reviewing Byrne’s show). It’s a funny old world.

I’m happy to recommend this show for Byrne’s good jokes in a show that, and after a slow start soon connects with its audience.