Ed Byrne at The Grand Opera House

Mock the Week regular Ed Byrne performed to a full audience at the Grand Opera House in York with his new stand up show, Spoiler Alert.

By Katie Manning

As the title suggests, Byrne’s show is all about how after gaining success he has found himself at home in a spoiled, middle-class society. No longer is he a working class Irish man, but he now lives a life traveling around the world with best friend Dara O’Briain at the taxpayers’ expense and has ended up raising two posh English boys.

His laid-back storytelling makes for an easy evening, and he fits well into the ‘disgruntled middle-age man who moans about first world things’ typecast, with pleasant, well-timed comedy. And he does so without an air of arrogance; the show is not about ‘look how well I’m doing’ but is more about relating to the ‘everyman’ struggles of having your young children demanding elderflower cordial.

There’s no doubt that the things he talks about are relatable to a certain crowd and did produce laughs and nods of acknowledgement from the other ski obsessed, Aga cooking sympathisers in the crowd. But it felts like the kind of gags that anyone could reproduce, and more like the self-deprecating yet privileged musings of a group of mums chatting over brunch. Everything in this show was predictable and safe, which works for people who like a chuckle about domestic life, but that also meant that it was not the most innovative and original side-splitting humour.

Perhaps stand-up shows are not Byrne’s best work, or at least until something can shake up his creativity and liven up his content. For now, his style is better suited to quick-witted exchanges on panel shows.

Ed Byrne performed at The Grand Opera House on Wednesday 21 March 2018.