Ed Byrne

By Megan Blackwell

Artist: Ed Byrne

Date/Venue: Tuesday May 2nd - 6th, 2017 - Skycity Theatre, Auckland

Out on a Tuesday, I’m psyched for Ed Byrne’s opening night. As we’re settling in it’s hard to ignore that the audience is a petri dish of Byrne’s niche market. There’s exasperated parents Facetiming their kids on their one night out. Another couple is loudly judging everyone younger than them for killing time on their phones. Even my own husband is complaining about the late start time.

Byrne bounds on stage with as much adorable prancing as a 45 year old can muster. He dives straight into critiquing what kind of crowd is before him. The show was true to Byrne’s usual self deprecation, introspection and his tendency to have a good whinge. There’s a near seamless balance of spontaneous ranting and polished delivery.

Byrne churns through bit after bit at an unrelenting pace. He rants on how he detests interviews; the horrors of dating; child doctors and parenting. You can tell we’re in the hands of a seasoned pro when there are mere seconds between laughs. Byrne’s style has remained consistent over the last 20 years. He’s still obsessively picky; ready to bemoan whatever gets on his tits; and uses extensive and highfalutin language to express himself. All of these things have always made him sound like a 40 something year old man shaking his fist at the world. The difference now is it’s no longer ironic - he is a 40 something year old man shaking his fist at the world.

An aptly named show that’s brilliantly funny. Totally worth seeing on a school night or spending a precious weekend evening on.