“It’s finally happening Aberdeen” shouted Ed Byrne as he energetically bounced onto the stage – beer in hand and a mischievous glint in his bespectacled eyes – as he unleashed two years of pent up comedy frustration with his long-awaited show If I’m Honest.
As the 850 strong crowd settled back into their seats, it wasn’t long before shoulders collectively started to shake as Ed let rip about the realities of lockdown at home with his wife and two children, Cosmo and Magnus, while his tour got put on hold and his material started to expire before his very eyes.
Without giving too much away – Ed is in Inverness tonight – one incident involving his wife and a broken mug had the audience doubled over.
Comedy in the mundane
Turning the banality of every day life into pure comedy gold is what Ed does best.
And his 28-year career as a stand-up was evident as he interacted with the audience at ease.
Big shout out to Sandra, Johno and Anna who were excellent sports and left everyone in stiches with their banter.
From marriage and kids to gender identity and ‘cancel culture’, no subject was off limits for the self deprecating comic genius who is a well known face on TV shows including Mock The Week, The Pilgrimage, Top Gear and QI.
But it’s appearing on TV shows that scares the comedian the most, as he opened up about the “intrusive thoughts” that have always plagued him and make him want to do spontaneous things like “rugby tackle a priest”.
Again, this mix of raw honesty and humour went down well with the packed Music Hall as his sharp-tongued Irish lilt prompted claps, whistles and cheers.
His humour is so sharp in fact that Ed revealed that he spent most of lockdown in his shed using a new metal sharpening tool to hilarious effect (I won’t reveal the punchline but it’s brilliant),
“Observing the middle class”
Without coming up for air – apart from taking the odd swig of his pint – Ed’s stories about the woes of being middle aged – “saying I’m in the my late forties sounds better than saying 49” – and his reluctance at being middle class went down very well.
“I observe and record the middle class”, he quipped as he let the audience into some of the frosty reactions his jokes received in a certain upmarket place in England.
There was no sign of that in Aberdeen though as the crowd lapped up his jokes on “party gate” and other political references.
Strictly Come Dancing confession
One of the stand-out moments of the show was when Ed talked about how he “just doesn’t get” the BBC dancing phenomenon Strictly Come Dancing.
And an even funnier moment came when Ed revealed the reason why he turned the opportunity to star in the show down, to the dismay of his sons.
Ending the two hour show in stripped back style – those of us who were there will understand the reference – the audience went wild as the comedian disappeared off stage.
Leaving the venue in high spirits. laughs echoing through the majestic building as families, friends and couples could be overheard saying “that was honestly one of the best comedy shows I’ve seen”.
And quite frankly, I couldn’t agree more.
To book tickets
Don’t worry if you missed Ed at the Music Hall last night as there are still tickets for his show at Eden Court tonight.