Ed Byrne, Different Class, Corn Exchange, 17/10/08.
Ed Byrne’s latest show ‘Different Class’ is an energetic and engaging romp through his unique brand of everyday observational humour, which picks apart class traits, gender relationships and his not unusual obsession with ‘what I should have said’.
The ‘bespectacled funny man’ – as he imagines himself described in print – retains the ability to be fresh and funny about the well-worn topic of class.
Byrne’s focus on the large proportion of the population (himself included) who are trapped between their working class backgrounds and increasingly middle class professions and ethics, goes down well with the audience.
He is at his funniest when absorbed in his guilt-ridden, self-deprecating and neurotic persona, trapped between his manual labourer father and ‘properly posh’ friends.
Byrne loses sympathy, however, in the latter part of the show when he becomes more arrogant and resorts increasingly to insults to win some laughs. Indeed, when discussing male/ female relationships he only just avoids regurgitating clichés, and is saved by his charming and beguiling idiosyncrasies.
Although not exceptionally innovative, Ed Byrne’s show is entertaining, amusing and overall an enjoyable night out.