Simon Munnery: Noble Thoughts Of A Noble Mind

Note: This review is from 2002

Review by Steve Bennett

There's a man dressed all in orange, a ball and chain around one ankle, a town cryer's bell in his hand. He's complaining that he wants his orchid back. And he has a spiked bucket on his head. Welcome to Simon Munnery's world.

Still crazy after all these years, this festival veteran continues to encapsulate the original anything-goes spirit of the fringe - while never forgetting the jokes.

Spurning the large venues and the coveted time-slots, Munnery has this year managed to accomplish the impossible with his early-afternoon show - and found someone even weirder than he is.

A third of the performance is given over to the truly bizarre Andrew Bailey, an absurdist mime/variety act whose brilliantly inventive and sublimely demented visual gags will leave you gawping and bewildered - but in a good way.

As for Munnery, fans will know what to expect - and he certainly delivers the goods. If you're not a fan, you should get along anyway. It's not as if there's much competition at this time.

There's the arrogant philosophising (or shoving his finger into the fecund arse of truth, as he would have it) mixed with gags so perfectly crafted they should be on display at Tate Modern.

For Munnery is a true artist, morphing the world around his own unique viewpoint. Many of his one-liners are as much biting social satire as they are jokes. But some are just puns.

Being on the fringes of comedy means that not every ambitious routine works, but Munnery has the integrity never to resort to a cheap 'banker' to shore up his set.

Still exciting, still groundbreaking, still funny, everyone should see Munnery at least once a year to find out just where that cutting edge is.

Review date: 1 Jan 2002
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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