Ed Byrne tells the trials of fatherhood at Birmingham Town Hall show - review

By James Vukmirovic | Birmingham | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

Fatherhood, getting older and reflecting on your life aren't normally the basis for material for a stand-up comedy show.

Photo by Idil Sukan

This isn't the case if you're Ed Byrne, however, who has taken his experiences as a father of two boys and created his latest tour.

The second day of the tour brought him to a sold-out Birmingham Town Hall where, after a medieval poem played out, the Irishman bound onto the stage.

A bundle of energy from the start, Byrne joked about how he thought fatherhood would hold him back from performing and being a comic, then said: "I realised I need this more than ever."

The 47-year-old had the crowd rocking with laughter as he talked about Irish women being kidnapped by Vikings, but being less angry about it after discovering their first hot-spring.

These asides added to the main theme of fatherhood and getting older, with Byrne stating "nothing in this world will annoy you as much as your own children."

He went on about how his son Magnus kept getting the last word in arguments and how he kept getting twinges and wondered if that was his defining life-long injury.

Byrne might be a household name and a television regular, but he can also leave an audience gasping for laughter with a dirty one-liner.

The cavernous town hall echoed with laughter throughout the 90-minute set, with Byrne playing off the laughs to take his routine in different directions.


These included a very funny dissection of the Superman introduction, a rant about internet trolls, passwords being the bane of his life and how he can never sell his house because it's under a flight path.

The theme of children was also explored through interactions with the audience, asking what their kids liked that they'd couldn't understand.

Ed Byrne has an excellent ability to work with people and tell stories which are close to the knuckle, but really funny at the same time.

The highlight, and the joke which got the biggest laugh, was when he described a family holiday where his kids were making up a story in the back of the car.

His son Magnus was getting into the story and said: "Yeah, and then he died and went to heaven and then god punched him!", a line which left not a dry eye in the house.

Ed Byrne will be touring throughout 2020 and the basis of his performance in Birmingham, he will be making audiences laugh across the world.

James Vukmirovic

By James Vukmirovic
Community Reporter - @jamesvukmirovic

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Wolverhampton. Contact me at

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