Irish comedian Jason Byrne is celebrating 20 years of stand-up comedy and he uses every day of the experience he’s gained on the road tonight in Salford (not in Manchester) as he expertly dealt with hecklers from all corners of the auditorium.

From the second Byrne took to the stage he displayed energy beyond his years (despite a cracked rib) as an unsuspecting member of the audience was pulled onto the stage to assist with the opening sequence. The ability Byrne has to marshal people around the stage in a brash fashion and then look exasperated when this is not done is both fascinating and hilarious to watch.

Much of the first half of this two hour show involves the audience and a number of these are invited to join Byrne on stage to assist with a variety of magic tricks amongst other things. As an audience member watching you know what the joke is long before it happens and this makes it even funnier. The title of this show is ’20 Years a Clown’ and there couldn’t have been a more apt title.

During the interval whilst walking around the bars in the theatre I heard on more than a dozen occasions audience members commenting that they hadn’t laughed so much in a long time. Looking closer there was quite a bit of smudged make up as well, no doubt from the tears of laughter rolling down their cheeks.

The second half of the show was more of a typical stand up performance with Byrne regressing to the 80’s and growing up at home. His family not blessed with huge financial wealth, Byrne recalls sleeping in the box room and the draughts within amongst other childhood memories. All struck a chord with the audience made up in the majority of people the same age as their host.

Whilst the stand-up section of the show was without question hilarious there was an extra spark when interacting with the audience. Byrne bounces off them as well as the audience do him and the audience revenge section towards the end of the set was pure comedic genius.

If you get a chance to see Jason Byrne live grab it with both hands. Due to a large amount of swearing, which is in no way offensive, this show is not suitable for the younger audience. He is a true comedy clown.

Reviewer: Paul Downham

Reviewed: 30th October 2015