Hegley's Journals and Playlet With Simon Munnery

Note: This review is from 2001

Review by Steve Bennett

This one's an oddity all right.

The fact that two of comedy's finest talents are involved will draw the punters who - as the cliche goes - might expect the unexpected.

Of course, you wouldn't expect anything from this pairing to be mediocre, so if you consider that to be the unexpected, and expect that - well then you won't be disappointed. Confused, but not disappointed.

The show is bookended well enough, with Hegley doing what he does best - reading his wry, dry poetry with that familiar Luton rhythm. The loose theme is travels, foreshadowing the later playlet, and it's a typically fine collection of work.

Then we are introduced to Munnery, who jumps back to some very early pre-League Against Tedium material. The Security Guard routine from his God and Jesus days of the late Eighties has stood the test of time remarkably well, and shows that Munnery had talent aplenty even when he was barely out of his teens.

But then to the main event, the playlet that sees the pair perform together.

Taking two of Hegley's travelogue poems as a launching point, they recreate the tale of couple of mates on a weekend away, playing all the parts between them.

And given the hard-won reputations of both parties, it's a bit of a disappointment.

A plot that would serve a two-page poem has been stretched to 45 minutes, then loosely performed with some fairly amateurish acting.
There are flashes of pure genius, as you might expect, but not enough to raise this to be something special.

If this had been performed by an unknown double act - as well it might - it would have attracted little attention and few plaudits.

And while you won't come away unhappy, you might feel a little let down that these two undoubted geniuses couldn't have come up with something just a little more special.

Review date: 1 Jan 2001
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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