Ed Byrne: comedy of the highest order

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A FAMILIAR face will light up the Villa Marina’s Royal Hall tomorrow (Friday) evening, for a comedy gig of charitable proportions.

Top TV funnyman Ed Byrne will become the latest big-name comedian to bring their show to the island, with tomorrow’s event organised to raise money for Junior Achievement.

The charity works to help the island’s young people with skills training for when they leave full-time education. It runs workshops in schools with the support of more than 300 volunteers from business and the wider community.

Sue Cook, from Junior Achievement, said: ‘We are really looking forward to welcoming Ed Byrne to the island this week, it promises to be a great show.

‘There are a few seats left for anyone who has not bought their ticket.’

She added: ‘This event kick starts our fundraising calendar for 2013, which also includes Ruby Wax on April 12 at the Gaiety Theatre and Tenors Un Limited on April 13.’

The Irish stand-up star has taken his brand of satirical observational comedy to mainstream audiences through regular guest appearances on TV shows such as Mock the Week, Have I Got News For You and Live at the Apollo, and most recently on Dara O’Briain’s Science Club on BBC2.

The 40-year-old voice of the Carphone Warehouse adverts started on his comedy path while still a student, of horticulture, at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

As an events organiser at the Students’ Union, he appeared on the bill at a newly-conceived comedy night, a new direction that would eventually lead him to leave his studies to pursue a stand-up career in the club scene of London.

Wider recognition arrived when Byrne was nominated for the prestigious Perrier Comedy Award at the 1998 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which was a launch pad for bigger venues, festival slots and tours around the world.

He’s happy to point out Ed Byrne is an anagram of Be Nerdy, and this is an aspect of his comedy that sets him apart from the crowd, with him often at his funniest when he rants on a humorously nit-picky subject. The bread and butter of his show is sharp observational comedy on everyday life, from politics, religion and domesticity to the fact that stray cats seem to be afforded greater hospitality than stray humans.

He had a hit with his stand up DVD release Crowd Pleaser in 2011.

Filmed in Newcastle’s City Hall, the routine showcases his skills as a likeable story-teller, as well as a skilled deliverer of theories and anecdotes, with more comfortable material punctuated with boundary-pushing stuff.

Ed Byrne’s Villa Marina show starts at 8pm. Tickets, costing £25, are on sale at the Villa Marina box office on 600555, at www.villagaiety.com or at the Villa Marina reception or the Welcome Centre.

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