Simon Munnery is responsible for two of the key strands in my life: when I was 17 I saw his then Fringe show ‘Simon Munnery Sings Soren Kierkegaard’, and it both inspired me to go into the performing of weird comedy, and to study philosophy at university level. So my love of Munnery isn’t quite at God-worship level, but it certainly meant I was more than excited to see this year’s offering- ‘Renegade Plumber’- and I was certainly not disappointed.
Basically, Munnery is a genius. Not just in terms of comedy, but also more generally. As with most of his work, this isn’t quite stand-up, and a large swathe of this show is dedicated merely to him describing an invention of his (a type of central heating for tents), and (from my admittedly layman perspective) it seems like the work of an amateur genius. This section of the show is, noticeably in the mid-afternoon Stand audience, divisive- those there simply to laugh fell by the wayside as the blueprints became more elaborate, but those willing to stick it out found an intriguing premise, and a belated but incredible punchline.
Other easier to get into routines include a doubling of the badminton calendar, the begging of his daughter for an Iphone, and a John Cooper Clarke-esque refrain of ‘things that go beat’. Again, it’s not exactly a laugh-a-minute, but when the punchlines come they are expertly crafted, and genuinely hilarious. A sing-a-long of an old Glaswegian folk song includes no punchlines and no pay-offs, but the sheer perseverance of the singing of it makes it bizarrely funny. There is little more to say about this show that that- you don’t necessarily always understand why you’re laughing, but you certainly will be.
I cannot adequately explain why you should go see this show, other than to say that you certainly should.