Review: Ed Byrne: Tragedy Plus Time: An evening of healing, humour and Junction 7a of the M11

Entertainment / Fri 14th Jun 2024 at 05:00pm

THIS may be the only performance by Ed Byrne on this Tragedy Plus Time tour where he will be extolling the merits of Junction 7a of the M11. But as he lives close to Stansted, he was only too keen to tell us it was his first use of the new junction.

But Ed could be anywhere and he has that immediate connection with all audiences. In fact it was a pleasure to watch how a skilled comedian, storyteller, raconteur performs.

As he enters his 53rd year, there is an element of, if not angry old man, then exasperated middle aged man which he carries very well.

This was illustrated by his discussion on comedians in the royal box at Wimbledon to the use of the phrase “That won’t be a problem” when getting his damaged car repaired following a break-in.

However, at the heart of this performance was the death of his brother, Paul, from liver failure, aged 44.

His brother died in February 2022. That was six months after Ed’s previous performance at Harlow Playhouse. At the heart of that performance was his two young sons and so this felt like a companion piece.

This reviewer’ s older brother died in Ireland in 2018, so there was so much about the sibling relationship which resonated.

He is also able to use his dark sarcasm to hit home with important points, especially regarding Covid. He believes that his brother’s death was hastened by the pandemic.

But Ed Byrne is a master of painting pictures; whether it is carpets in Melbourne, the audience in Chiswick or the final moments of his brother’s life, they are so evocative.

And sometimes, the images of text conversations or funny YouTube tributes do the rest.

This is a long tour, taking in the whole of the United Kingdom and then on to Australia and New Zealand. We hope this is cathartic. His voice cracks a few times. But it also may help others.

Ed Byrne has now become a fascinating comedian. He may be a little bit bitter about TV gigs etc but is such a warm, rich, storyteller and communicator, that you look forward to seeing him again in a few years time to see where life takes him next.

A rewarding experience. Plus very funny.

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3 Comments for Review: Ed Byrne: Tragedy Plus Time: An evening of healing, humour and Junction 7a of the M11:

2024-06-15 20:46:49

This really was a fantastic show. I hope we get more comedy at The Playhouse!

2024-06-17 11:04:57

Was absolutely excellent! Hope we get more comedians of Ed's calibre going forward!

2024-06-21 19:44:35

It was worth the ticket price alone just to hear Ed Byrne’s attempts to convey the unpronounceable names of some of his tour audience. Ed’s support act however was terrible.

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