Byrne packs them in

Ed ByrneDifferent ClassThe Corn Exchange, IpswichLAST time Irish comic Ed Byrne pitched up in Ipswich he was greeted by a forest of empty seats in the Corn Exchange - "a barn of a place," as he observed ruefully.

Dominic Castle

Ed Byrne

Different Class

The Corn Exchange, Ipswich


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LAST time Irish comic Ed Byrne pitched up in Ipswich he was greeted by a forest of empty seats in the Corn Exchange - "a barn of a place," as he observed ruefully.

Five-odd years on he must have been relieved to step out and be greeted by a forest of faces with not a seat to spare.

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Mind you, the fact the fact he could see all these expectant faces was down to a temporary failure of the spotlights, which threw him a little and slowed his start a touch.

When he did hit his straps he was a delight, an engaging character with a vibrant storytelling style (though there were occasional slips into what he described as "mumbling with punchlines," a trait he shares with countryman Dara O'Briain.) His material is good solid stuff, not especially edgy nor too comfortably safe. He had some fun at the expense of Mrs Byrne, a snorer of some ability, apparently, and was trenchant on the issue of weddings and wedding fayres.

He told of his fame in Ireland, where people come up to him to tell him they don't know who he is, and how his level of popularity meant that his last DVD was outsold by the WAGS Workout. His next one should do better.

We learned a new collective for teenagers of the 'emo' persuasion - an isobar - and how they are linked to a 'mood' of goths by depression. Meteorological and social observation in one joke - not something you get every night.

He worked hard to engage a room that was appreciative if not the most forthcoming; a little Suffolk reserve is to be expected, but a written heckle is surely pushing the limit?

Still, Byrne appeared to have enjoyed himself and as Ipswich is not too far from his home, we can look forward to seeing him again soon - November, in fact.

Dominic Castle

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