Simon Munnery

JON WELCH Norwich Arts Centre

JON WELCH

> Norwich Arts Centre

Although he's been a fixture on the comedy circuit since the early '90s, Simon Munnery is not a household name.

The fact that he's usually appeared in character as Alan Parker Urban Warrior or The League Against Tedium might help to explain his low profile, but then again his sophisticated, existential brand of humour would hardly endear him to the mainstream.

Munnery is probably too self-effacing to describe himself as unique, but that's exactly what he is. In a sideswipe at other comedians' lazy stock phrases, he even opened his show by asking: “Is anyone from anywhere? Has anyone ever noticed anything?”

His gigs have a reputation for being somewhat hit and miss and last night's was no exception, although he probably scored rather more hits than misses.

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The highlight was his reprise of Alan Parker, the intense but ignorant left-wing revolutionary, a character many must have feared they had seen the last of.

His rudimentary puppet show interpretation of the Crucifixion had some brilliant moments, but rather outstayed its welcome, and the same could be said of his readings from the self-penned True Confessions of Sherlock Holmes. His musings on the tragic death of Rod Hull, however, were inspired.

Throughout, the eccentric Munnery came across as immensely likeable and fiercely intelligent. Definitely smarter than your average comic.

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