COMEDY: PICK OF THE WEEK

Ed Byrne Mon to 26 Feb Soho Theatre, London
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The Independent Culture
If you need proof as to how big Ed Byrne has become as a live attraction, look no further than the fact that he is in the middle of a 44-date tour. You don't embark on a nationwide jaunt of that magnitude without hefty support from the public. He is touring with a vibrant show, Me Again, which was a sell-out at the Edinburgh Festival last summer.

Like his fellow Irish stand-ups Dylan Moran, Tommy Tiernan and Owen O'Neill, Byrne is a highly skilled graduate of the rambling school of comedy. His material flows in a likeable, meandering way, rather than coming out as a rat-a-tat-tat attack of one-liners.

Don't be deceived by Byrne's casual appearance, however: he is always in complete control of the stage. As The Independent has put it, Byrne is "a master of the comic diversion and `strange but true' observations that catch audiences squarely under the ribcage".

Soho Theatre, Dean St, London W1 (0870 429 6883) Mon to 26 Feb, 9.30pm, pounds 15/pounds 12.50 concs, 14-17 Feb all tickets pounds 10

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