Byrne’s natural quick wit and improv skills were immediately put to good use from the start. He helped two latecomers to new seats when other punters had taken their actual seats. It was a messy affair that had Byrne take tickets off numerous punters and ended with a guy seating in a chair blocking the aisle, and a barcode stuck to another guy’s forehead.
As is par for the course for his shows, Byrne scanned the front row for ‘volunteers’ and picked three guys to join him on stage. One of which was the aforementioned barcode-guy. Byrne, with stereotypical charm, rips them to shreds, then directed them to dance around the stage and dance off and back to their seats. There is a true talent for knowing when your audience volunteers are going to be up for a laugh. Thankfully, these guys were happy to have the piss taken out of them, laughing along with Bryne and the audience.
He is a physical performer, known for his unscripted shows and high-energy impressions. This night was no different. He was jumping up and down, running around, waving his arms, and working up a serious sweat throughout the night. He made hilarious impressions of his volunteers and even acted out Aussie rules complete with an okay Aussie accent. He theatricality is part of his overall charm.
Following this hilarious exchange, he regaled the audience with his recent experience getting the snip and how his Irish manners kept him quiet and unquestioning throughout the whole experience — even though a lot of questionable things occurred.
His material can sometimes push the envelope but the audience was well along for the ride. No one could have found anything too offensive or rude because he often broke down into fits of uncontrollable laughter himself.
Byrne kept his audience squealing away and tearing up with laughter until the very end. Be sure to check him out the next time he’s in town!
F&B Specialist. Usually seen with a flat white in hand or on her way to a coffee cupping or whiskey tasting. Needs to stop buying books and start reading them.
The Sydney Comedy Festival runs from now until 20 May 2018. For more information visit: www.sydneycomedyfest.com.au.