MICF - Jason Byrne

As we entered the bowels of the Victoria Hotel to see Jason Byrne, my companion and I debated the merits of a front row seat versus a spot way up the back, a decision forced upon us by our pre-show tardiness. In haste, we opted for a spot right up the front... and it was one of the better decisions we made for the evening. Byrne IS an audience participation comic. Most of his act is spent in a dizzying banter with the front three rows, which usually evolves into a rapid-fire monologue on Byrne's part in response to each utterance from his soon-adoring audience. The structure of Byrne's comedy is not at all complex - it lies in the silliness of ordinary people and ordinary communications, with a desperate Freudian yearning to relive his childhood thrown in. There are a few set pieces that Byrne embarks on, although it seems to be reluctantly on his part. If it were at all possible, you'd imagine that Byrne would love to spend his entire hour bouncing off the audience (intellectually, although probably physically as well) and completely disregard the prewritten stuff. A deceptively smart comic with boundless enthusiasm, Byrne and the first four rows are bound to be caked in sweat by the time we get to the last punchline.

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