The gloves are on - Jason Byrne becomes the People's Puppeteer for his 2012 UK tour

Posted: 4th January 2012
Jason Byrne

Judging by the list of acknowledgements on his website, Jason Byrne's last UK tour was played out to an, er, eclectic audience. He name-checks the whole of Britain, pausing to single out Orla in Dunfermline, Bury where he was called 'Jedward's dad', philandering Bristolian submarine engineers and dangerous chippies and dogs in Dudley. Add in the requisite cock-eyed members of the paying hoards in Norwich, Middlesbrough and beyond and you can see just how far Jason Byrne has come since discussing his visually-challenged myopic disparity on TV just a couple of years back. He's clearly had an effect on a variety of punters - and they've no doubt affected him in some way. It's all in a comedian's work.

As well as charming all and sundry with sharp and energetic stand-up routines, Byrne has been dabbling with the odd bit of acting, where variety has been the proverbial star-anise of life. He's played a football hooligan, a referee, a gardener and most recently a hotelier in the 2011 final Pete Postlethwaite movie, "Killing Bono". All of which has probably contributed to his various stand-up shows - which leads me on very nicely to the next plan Byrne.

Anyone else with an impending 40th birthday looming on the horizon like a darkening cloud, would already be planning which retirement home they ought to start saving up for - not Jason Byrne. Instead, he's heading out on tour, billed as "The People's Puppeteer". Is this a show which turns the tables and allows the audience to control what Byrne does and says? You'll have to go and find out. It's brand new and it's bound to be funny, job done.

First stop in the autumn, after the Edinburgh Festival Fringe of course (1st to 12th Aug at the EICC), is Aberdeen on 6th Sep, followed by Dunfermline, Glasgow, Leicester and many many more until closing out the jaunt in Hammersmith on 23rd November.

We have tickets available now, priced at £17.50 or £18.50 for most, and just £10 for the first two Edinburgh dates, then £17.50 - £19.50 for the remaining Fringe dates.

Paul Pledger