Saturday, 29 March 2014

Jason Byrne, March 28, 2014 ****

You Name The Show 
Atheneaum Theatre, until April 20, 2014
Star rating: ****
Reviewer: Kate Herbert 
Plenty of jokes about sex, wives and latecomers.  

Review also published  online in Herald Sun. KH

Jason Byrne’s astounding entrance, accompanied by Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball, has the crowd whooping and roaring before he even speaks a work.

That riotous moment is hard to beat – but he does it again, after spending 10 minutes berating the sheepish latecomers who include his favourite audience members, the Prahran bogan family and the student nerds.

It’s impossible not to like this Irish comedian with his wild-eyed demeanour, impassioned delivery, Irish accent and his inimitable ability to milk the audience’s comic potential.

His improvised work with the crowd provides the funniest material as he teases the caravan-builder and his tiny girlfriend, the teens who can’t survive an hour without their phones, and the video gamers who shout out “Head Shot” which has Byrne scanning for a sniper.

The fact that he is wearing only a saggy white singlet, y-fronts and a merkin (It’s a pubic wig), only adds to the hilarity.

Byrne is strangely limber and very physically active on stage, and his rough mime of diverse, sexual acts is an education to the teens – and probably some adults.

If you love scatological language, lurid sexual jokes and graphic visual gags, then Byrne’s material is for you.

His tales of woe about marriage, his wife, idiotic men and being Catholic in Ireland are funny, but may wear a little thin for some audiences.

Byrne is a charming, animated, fast-talking, funny guy who keeps up a relentless pace for an hour and leaves the crowd wanting more.

Kate Herbert

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