Jason Byrne is Propped Up

The varied and chancing comedy of Jason Byrne sees his fringe expose arrive as largely hit and miss. The night is a mixed affair, dampened by an excessive use of the f-word that is eventually dulled by over usage. Byrne’s over reliance on using f*** in the loudest possible way doesn’t make his jokes any funnier. If anything it only lessens the intended effect and reduces his show’s authenticity akin to a school boy who has just discovered swearing.

Lowbrow antics not worthy of his previous Fringe efforts.

The Irish comic is highly mobile, and uses audience members to aid him on stage. There is no lack of energy; that much is true. But he is heavily dependent upon his flamboyant persona and the audience to the extent that it feels wholly insincere. Indeed, Propped Up seems a fitting title to Jason Byrne’s show. The humour may appear to display an adaptable mind at work, but when you look closer it is clear he cherry picks who he takes aim at with jokes that, far from improvised, feel rehearsed.

He does nonetheless eventually grow on you, and saves the best material for the last 30 minutes which makes up for the first lacklustre half an hour. His comedic athleticism is overstated with brash one-liners, mostly at the expense of his fans whom he involves with great artistry, but often takes many unwise turns into skewering popular topics which, let’s face it, have all been done before. For example, his mockery of Gwyneth Paltrow’s renown frigidness leads into a chastising of Coldplay, a funny ripping but nonetheless a common target that seems all too expected. He does show some more promising comedic output towards the end, mostly at the expense of Donald Trump; again, a popular topic, but one he twists just enough to make original.

I wanted to enjoy this more, but it crosses over the line from trailblazing to self-indulgent, lacking the necessary pathos required to make it function as a memorable comedy. Ultimately, Byrne does not graduate from his merry frivolity to prolific eminence, settling instead for lowbrow antics not worthy of his previous Fringe efforts.

Reviews by Stuart Mckenzie

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The Blurb

False chins. Giant ducks. Mouse with a moustache. Portable igloos. Mops for legs. On his last British and Irish tour, Jason re-introduced prop comedy mixed with stand up and audience participation. They loved it. So here is a brand new show from the very experienced, very funny, very absolutely trouser-wetting, very can’t watch much more else I might die, comedian. ‘Unmissable’ (Evening Standard). ‘Watching a new Jason Byrne show is a bit like witnessing lightning in a bottle’ (Edinburgh Evening News). ‘The outright king of live comedy’ (Times).