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Simon Munnery, Fylm-Makker – Edinburgh Festival review
Another weird and wonderful creation from Simon Munnery ...
Simon Munnery's having a whale of a time. He's sat amidst the audience with a couple of cameras on him, and projector screens around the room and onstage. The entire show is conducted from these co-ordinates, with videos queued up, a musician (Mick Moriarty) beside him to accompany him on the songs, and a few props to hand.
It feels like a show that's been conceived in a shed by Munnery while surrounded by dusty bric-a-brac and half-finished projects. Munnery is not Kriss Akabusi – we all know that – but he's clearly a very happy man at this point. The first 15 minutes of the show are dedicated to his journey of discovery, of all the things you can do as a performer by taking yourself off the stage and broadcasting yourself back on.
Forget Tupac holograms, Munnery on a projector screen is where it's "at".
The show itself is a loose collection of odds and ends. There's an eight-minute video about a wheelie bin (apparently mercifully cut down from 13 minutes) that is extremely pleasing, like an extended Spaced aside. There are stories, a reverse auction (my new favourite thing) and lots of reminders that, for all his experimentation and "alternative" status, Munnery is a gifted one-liner merchant too.
A couple of grumbles – a few of the songs constructed with a loop pedal are just the wrong side of shambolic, and I was disappointed to see some old material trotted out. His Venn diagram routine is still a pearler, yes, but those walls must be able to recite it word-for-word now. There are also elements from last year's Hats Off To the 101ers. Maybe it's to make up for the five minutes he lopped off the wheelie bin video, but it's still a little cheeky.
All the same, Fylm-Makker is a joy, a very odd and very funny joy. Some people find Munnery creepy, and having his face slightly too close to a camera and projected onstage won't persuade them otherwise (comics often refer to a gig as a "hostage situation" – this is as close as a comedy show has got yet), but even they should be charmed and tranquillised by Munnery's calm genius.
Review written by Paul Fleckney