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REVIEW: Ed Byrne: Spoiler Alert @ Theatre Royal, 15/02/2018

The Verse’s Charlotte Crane tells us what she thought of Ed Byrne’s new stand up show ‘Spoiler Alert’ at the Theatre Royal on the 15th of February.

It’s very difficult to write a fair review of a performance that, quite frankly, wasn’t really aimed at me. Ed Byrne’s new stand up show ‘Spoiler Alert’ is based on the notion that we are all spoilt. Ed himself admits that he is spoilt, that his children are also spoilt. As a 45-year-old middle-class white man with a comfortable, well-paying career, it’s probably quite easy to feel that way. However, as a student struggling to pay the bills each month, I couldn’t help but feel a little out of place.

Spoiler Alert discussed all the things that seem to bother Byrne now he’s a bit older. From how much better off his kids are than he was at their age, to his love for hill-walking and how other people are ruining it. Ed is an extremely likeable figure, he’s very self-aware with no sign of pretence. His laid-back style of performance certainly makes audience members feel at ease. That being said, this show was a little bit like what I imagine my dad’s stand up show would be like (minus talking about hill walking, my dad doesn’t like doing that.) Although I think my dad is pretty funny, and I have a soft spot for grumpy old man humour, I can’t say that this stand up would be a hit with the rest of the student population. Byrne created a friendly and non-offensive atmosphere, but in doing so took very little risks with his humour. However, while I thought that the majority of the show was very middle of the road and safe, the show went down a treat with the rest of the (mostly middle-aged) audience.

For a stand up that claims to be about how we are all spoilt, I don’t think it will go down particularly well with any audiences other than middle class, comfortable family types. Perhaps missing the point somewhat? That being said, I had a nice evening and did enjoy the performance. There just wasn’t anything particularly thrilling about it.  The show was a perfect reflection of what I imagine comfortable amounts of money and getting older would do to your attitudes to life. I’m not quite there yet myself but can see how others would enjoy his performance.

Ed Byrne’s tour continues until the 2nd of June, with performances taking place all across the country. The next show will be in Dartford on February 17th, followed by Rochdale on February 20th. You can purchase tickets for the rest of Ed Byrne’s tour by visiting his website here.

Featured image courtesy of Roslyn Gaunt 

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