jason byrneJason Byrne My Edinburgh

A regular at the Fringe since 1996, Irish comic Jason Byrne delivers a fine line in inspired daftness along with much mischievous interaction with the willing victims in the front row.


Q) What do you always bring with you to Edinburgh?

A) My trainers. Last year, I swore that I would run up Arthur’s Seat on a regular basis but I knackered my knee on the second day of my run. This year, I’m going to get that running sorted. When I first started going to Edinburgh I would party every night and lose a stone because I wasn’t eating. I’m 37 now and need to go about things a bit differently.

Q) Do you have a favourite restaurant?

A) My favourite place is Monster Mash. That’s like walking into your Ma’s house. You know how sometimes you are in a restaurant and don’t know what to eat? That’s never a problem here. Mash and sausage? Brilliant. As for pubs, most of the time you drink in the venues where you perform but I really like the Café Royal; it’s very old and stylish.

Q) Have you ever walked out of a show?

A) Last August, I tried to find the worst show I could and wound up at a student theatre piece about lesbians. There were two posh girls pretending to be on a beach while they told each other that they felt ‘a little peculiar’. Behind them were ten students linking hands and pretending to be waves by making shssssh noises. That was grim.

Q) Is there anything you would like to do in Edinburgh that you haven’t done yet?

A) I’ve done bits of children’s shows but I would love to do a full one. I have a two year old and an eight year old and I know how to make them laugh: scream and fall over. It’s just like stand-up. Failing that, I’ve always wanted to be attached to a wire so you could run out over the audience and then land back on the stage. Or hover over someone. Just to freak them out.

Q) What do you do to relax?

A) I play golf. The Murrayfield Golf Course is mental. Alternatively, because I have two children there is nothing like being in a house where there is no noise. I just lie on the ground and listen to nothing.

Q) Your family and friends are going to visit you in Edinburgh during your run. How would you ensure they have a good time?

A) Lunch at The Dome for my Mum. Golf or a Hibs match for my friends and Dynamic Earth with the kids. I took my sister on one of the underground ghost tours in the Old Town. You walk down five flights of stairs into Hell. We heard footsteps. My sister was shitting it, even the tour guide was bricking herself. It was great.

Q) What would improve Edinburgh in august for you?

A) They should put a slide around the outside of the Scott Monument and make a proper helter skelter.

Jason Byrne is in The Byrne Identity at Assembly Hall, 6-31 Aug (not 10/17), 8.30pm. Tel 0131 623 3030; EICC 21/22, 28/29 Aug.

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