Jason Byrne – People’s Puppeteer

Get the latest from Beat


Jason Byrne – People’s Puppeteer


Within the glittering glory that is the Athenaeum Theatre, the show begins with a rousing orchestral introduction, when Byrne appears dangling on the end of puppet strings. Dressed in a top hat and gold-buttoned jacket, the puppet strings snap, and he takes off in an impressive display of Irish dancing. Later we learn that the dance was choreographed (Much to his dismay) for him to perform on the British television show Born to Shine.

Irish-born Byrne has mastered the art of ‘taking the piss’ and the audience loves him for it. Whether he’s making fun of himself, Aussies, or the two latecomers who he makes sit in the front row, Byrne doesn’t miss a beat.

The laughter was fever pitch as her recounted his story of the crazy Qantas lady on a recent flight who had her passengers quaking in their economy-class seats.

There’s something to be said for Byrne’s ability to take an embarrassing, intimate moment and turning it into a room full of raucous laughter. But there’s no holding him back when he relives the moment he mistakenly applied toothpaste to his itchy bum and the strange, minty burn that quickly followed.

It wouldn’t be a Jason Byrne show if there wasn’t some form of audience participation. He ended the show by teaching two audience members his Irish jig, which was kind of like watching Michael Flatley’s uncoordinated, slightly inebriated and considerably less talented cousins.

This standout performance was a definite highlight of this year’s festival and is a must-see for all comedy lovers (Just don’t forget to wear your Depends.)