Ed is a Roaring success...

Ed Byrne

Ed Byrne

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Ed Byrne: Roaring Forties

Blackpool Grand Theatre

Ed Byrne brings his Roaring Forties show to Preston Guild Hall next Friday, February 21. We sent our Colin Ainscough across the border to Blackpool to bring you a preview of what you can expect...

In a time when modern comedy is most at home in an arena, it’s nice to see so many comedians opting for a more intimate experience with their choice of venue.

So seeing Ed Byrne at the Blackpool Grand certainly felt like it could be one of those gigs, but having only ever seen this familiar face on TV, I nervously hoped for great things.

If you have seen Ed before then you’ll know that he has a slightly hyperactive, no holds barred type of comedy, with a style that harks back to a more traditional time, and this show began in much that way.

He gently eased us in with a few quick jokes about his journey to Blackpool, which initially felt like he could lose his audience, but I should have known better.

Roaring Forties is Ed’s take on his own adult life and how he has changed over the years. Bouncing the audience from hilarious observational stories to one liners with such intelligence and ease you barely had time to stop laughing.

Ed covered everything from air guitaring to vasectomy dodging, and while the stories came thick and fast, you always felt like he was engaging with you rather than just delivering gags.

As with every good comic he jousted brilliantly with hecklers, and the material gained momentum throughout, bringing the gig to a crescendo of laughs at the end.

Modern comedy always seems to be totally polished, arena driven, DVD fodder, but Ed manages to bring raw personality to his shows, which for me make him one of the best stand-ups I have seen in the last few years, and trust me, I’ve seen a few.