Get ready for Byrne’s night in Exmouth
PUBLISHED: 18:30 05 January 2018
In his current touring show ‘Spoiler Alert’, acclaimed Irish stand-up comedian Ed Byrne tackles a wide range of topics, including parenting, and how it’s changed in the last 40 years.
The comic – who’s appeared on TV shows such as Mock The Week, Father Ted, The One Show and All Star Mr and Mrs – firmly believes that today’s parents spoil their kids rotten, whether it’s to do with the ever-increasing size of garden trampolines, or his own kids’ demand for elderflower cordial.
“My dad wasn’t a bad dad, he was just a 1970s dad,” he says. “I could never see my children ever again from this moment on, and I’ve already done more parenting than he did in my entire life.
“But, of course, I made a conscious decision that I was going to be an awesome dad. My wife will come back with tales from her friends of how awful their husbands are, and she’ll see me smiling and say, ‘Alright, stop congratulating yourself, just because such and such can’t be left alone with their children for two minutes’.”
“You’re expected to do a lot more parenting than our parents did, and that’s weird because you tend to think that your parents are where you learned parenting from. But really, it’s more that you look around you to see what’s going on with other parents.”
As well as parenting and stories about his two young sons, Ed weaves in routines about running out of petrol in the most awkward place imaginable, helping rescue an injured man in the Cairngorms, and the nation-dividing campaign and result of the EU referendum.
His way of tackling Brexit is to draw an analogy with the time his son was determined to touch an electric fence with his dad trying to warn him of the dangers.
“I was telling the story of the electric fence for a while, and then it struck me that it was Brexit in microcosm. I don’t want to alienate half of the population or maybe a third of my audience, but it works as an analogy whichever side you’re on. The Government told you not to do this and that it would be a terrible idea, but you said, ‘No, we want to do it anyway’. So now we’re doing it and it’s proving a terrible idea. I do think it’s a fair analogy, but no doubt for some it will come across as me being a typical liberal elite Remoaner.”
‘Spoiler Alert’ also continues a theme that Ed has tackled in previous shows, that of his gradual shift from being a working-class Dubliner to a fully paid-up rural-residing member of the middle classes.
Where once he would do routines slating 4x4 owners, he’s now the proud owner of such a vehicle. And in the poster for his tour, he brandishes other signifiers of social mobility: a bowtie and chainsaw.
“It’s one of two that I own: that one is the smaller of the two,” Ed remarks of his chainsaw rather than his neckwear. “I use it for firewood, both for my wood burning stove and also for the barbecue. The first time I used one I was fine, though I think it worried my parents that I had bought a chainsaw.”
Ed premiered ‘Spoiler Alert’ at the Edinburgh Fringe and honed the show during the late summer. His Exmouth dates are in the middle of an extensive 10-month UK tour.
“Being on stage is enjoyable,” he says. “I keep a tour diary now of places where the curries and audiences are good… and where they are disappointing.”
Ed Byrne is at the Exmouth Pavilion at 8pm on Wednesday, January 31, and 8pm on Thursday, February 1. Tickets - £24.50 (standard) and £26.50 (raised) - are nearly sold out. Call for availability.