Mark Grainger

DVD Review: Ed Byrne – Crowd Pleaser.

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Ed Byrne | Giggle Beats

Ed Byrne

And so it begins. The inevitable is now upon us and a biblically proportioned flood has begun; the flood of 2011 stand-up DVDs. As festively traditional as mince pies and a renewed hatred of Cliff Richard, the new offerings from every week mocker and Apollo regular will all soon be vying for your attention from supermarket shelves; and, to be honest, it’s hard to see how you could do much better than to pick up Ed Byrne’s Crowd Pleaser.

Filmed in Newcastle’s City Hall, Crowd Pleaser sees the Chegwin-bothering Byrne at his most likeable, ostensibly chatting around typical Byrne topics such as parenthood, religion and science fiction.

For anyone who has seen him in previous years some themes may well be familiar, but there is always at least a new point if not a new spin on each subject. And listening to Byrne, who often lets his hatred of parents in social situations be known, talk with a mixture of pride and sharp reality about his newborn child proves compelling.

Byrne does sometimes tread a fine line between observational comedy and simply rattling off a list of the irks of a successful/famous middle-aged man (a routine about not getting into nightclubs for free because eastern European bouncers don’t watch Mock The Week is hard to identify with), but there are more than enough boundary pushing, audience jarring moments here to convince you that whilst he may have mellowed lightly, Byrne’s material hasn’t got too flabby as he approaches his middle years.

With the ability to expound genuinely observational theories and anecdotes as well as a talent for shocking when the crowd have settled into relaxed complacency, Byrne proves again with Crowd Pleaser that he is just that; one of the best, and truest, all round comedians on the go.

We have two copies of Crowd Pleaser to give away.To enter, simply answer this question: Where was Ed Byrne’s DVD filmed?

Answers must be sent to Andrew Dipper at [email protected] before Tuesday 6th December.