The Slab Boys is a comic play. It is intended to be watched, not read. When performed, the rhythm and richness of the language is clear, and the emotive undertones of the humour can be felt.

The play is naturalistic, partly due to the fact it is semi-autobiographical, and partly due to its workplace setting and real time action. Byrne’s use of colourful Scot’s language breathes life in to the characters and adds realism to the play, such as Sadie’s vivid description of her husband as a stupid scunner.

Humour is a key component in the development of characters, plot and theme. Byrne uses a range of comic devices including wordplay, farce, parody and black comedy to guide the audience through a complex and eventful day in the life of a Slab Boy.