Jason Byrne That's Not A Badger, Pleasance, Edinburgh

Oddballs ensnared by crazed nutcase
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The Independent Culture

The idea of being sworn at by a crazed Irishman might not at first strike you as the most appealing way to spend an evening, but Jason Byrne proves hard to resist, as audiences who have experienced the comedian's ire will testify.

The idea of being sworn at by a crazed Irishman might not at first strike you as the most appealing way to spend an evening, but Jason Byrne proves hard to resist, as audiences who have experienced the comedian's ire will testify.

The crowd, swelled with the requisite number of oddballs, was in the mood from the start and provided Byrne with the grist to his expletive-powered mill. Even those who weren't ready to join in the party when they took their seats soon found themselves ensnared by the redheaded nutcase, the product of an unholy fusion between Michael Barrymore and Basil Fawlty.

It is, however, necessary to suspend any concerns about the lack of material and any real substance to the comedian's act, and let his game-show antics and extended banter with the audience carry you along. Not every audience will be as ripe for exploitation as this Festival-hardened one, and the 2001 Perrier award nominee worked hard to squeeze every ounce of comic potential out of it, creating fanciful scenarios from the most banal information.

Though you are unlikely to carry away too many abiding memories or punchlines from his show, for sheer energy alone Byrne is worth a look.

To 30 August; call 0131-556 6550

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