Simon Munnery Sings Soren Kierkegaard | Review by Barrie Morgan
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Simon Munnery Sings Soren Kierkegaard

Note: This review is from 2014

Review by Barrie Morgan

For years Simon Munnery has been entertaining his fanbase, and himself, with shows that plunge the depths of his complex and intricate comedic mind. This latest offering from the cerebral comic seeks to pay homage to the existential musings of 19th Century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. It's an ambitious task to say the least but does he succeed in his crusade to create a coherent, well-rounded show on such a deep subject? Well, unfortunately, after an hour-long set it's still unclear and the concept still seems to be a work in progress.

The main problem with the show is the depth of the source material. There are countless books of Kierkegaard and it's just impossible to surmise in a one-hour comedy show, along with a biography. Munnery does his best to keep it light when he needs to, a hip-hop song about Putin is a notable highlight, but he also falls into long soliloquys, babbles between thoughts and doesn't conclude his own musings succinctly or with the clarity required. It's unclear what he has set out to achieve here and, more importantly, why.

The technical prowess of Munnery as a comic is never in question, however, as he gently introduces the crowd to concepts, integrates well-placed cultural references and backs his ideas up with everyday, relatable anecdotes. He's a seasoned veteran and an assured driver for such a heavy vehicle.

There are long sections of silence from the audience as he recites diary entries, But these sections never seem overly long as they're always backed by a relevant and insightful gag or punchline and he infuses the material with his charm. It's a pleasure to watch, even if it is a little difficult to grasp, due to the blurred reasoning behind the show, rushed finale and verbosity.

Such an in-depth examination of a philosopher is a high-reaching concept for a comedy show and Munnery has not quite nailed it but you must respect the ambition of such an undertaking even if it doesn't quite come together.

Review date: 7 Aug 2014
Reviewed by: Barrie Morgan
Reviewed at: Stand 1

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