Jason Byrne and Harry Stachini – St James Concert Hall, Guernsey – 09/11/22

Jason Byrne at St James - poster

St. James in Guernsey carried on its regular series of comedy events on Wednesday 9th November 2022 with a visit to the island from Jason Byrne, supported by Harry Stachini.

Stachini started the show off and right away his (comparatively) youthful energy and demeanour felt somewhat at odds with the majority in attendance, something he pointed out right away describing the view from the stage as being like an exceptionally white game of Guess Who and feeling like his mum was having a party and called him downstairs to say hello.

Harry Stachini
Harry Stachini

This broke the ice, somewhat, and he proceeded to do the classic warm up man thing of engaging the audience and working them into his stories, which in this case were about his previous job as a teacher, his troubled journey to the island today and more.

Despite his best efforts it was clear the audience, while happy to laugh a lot, were somewhat reticent when it came to getting directly involved, despite some enthusiastic cajoling by Stachini, with many of the answers to his questions drying up after one or two very short answers, but he did a great job of working with this.

After a short break Irish comedian Jason Byrne was greeted similarly by the audience and did an even better job of working it into his performance, pointing out that the venue made it feel like he was at a village meeting as much as a comedy club, something he referred back to throughout.

Jason Byrne
Jason Byrne

Finding a few slightly more responsive audience members, and otherwise riffing off those who weren’t, he worked his stories in among the back and forth and, while not really pushing boundaries, seemed to find the perfect limit of tonight’s crowd.

His stories, very much in the classic observational style looking at his life but with a slightly irreverent twist, we’re terrific and touched on entirely relatable subjects culminating in a great one about his father’s response to the modern world in a way that poked fun without being mean and found a truth we could all recognise in some way.

His references to Guernsey were equally hilarious and he openly used the fact that this was first visit to the island and he didn’t know a lot about the place to make the joke as much on him as the island’s particular quirks.

This all made for a terrific night and one of the most outright, laugh out loud, funny evenings since St. James started their series of comedy shows, but it does feel like the performers should be given a bit of a warning about how the audiences can be somewhat quiet when it comes to divulging any detail about themselves.

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