Molly Stewart

Review: Simon Munnery Sings Søren Kierkegaard

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Simon Munnery sings only the words Søren Kierkegaard – ‘job done’ – in his show of that name (a nod, he tells us, to Arthur Smith Sings Leonard Cohen).

What Munnery does do is fold into his gentle storytelling and anecdotal musings a reasonable wodge of Kierkegaard’s own musings and opinions. And reassure us all early doors that the Tories will all die eventually.

Kierkegaard, Munnery tells us, was a 17th century Danish philosopher, and bizarrely self-important pedant. Munnery delivers various excerpts on wit, society and the universal joy garnered from his wearing of his own trousers.

Kierkegaard’s writings, presented here, are ripe comedic material, and Munnery’s almost cod villainous delivery exaggerates the humour.

Liecester Mercury Comedian of the Year Tom Little earned himself a support spot that was very well-received, and rightly so.

Little’s stationary presence on stage and awkwardly half-shouted delivery set him apart from various acts swimming about in the same comedy generation: Little’s apparent disregard for blatant attempts to befriend or cajole an audience prove the power of his jokes.

He is a genius for dissecting his own jokes and conceits in general; and his dedication to a properly lengthy joke set up paid off not only at the punchline, but during the whole thing too.

There’s laughter even as Munnery introduces himself and his show: it seems such a warm, cerebral humour comes completely naturally to him; and whether he is setting up a routine or casually, almost resignedly dropping in a neatly written little gag, Munnery’s sometimes almost dismissive attitude to his own punchlines allow his writing and comedic ability to speak for itself.

In some ways, so casual is Munnery’s style it seems as though he never quite gets started, or that he follows tangent and tangent after tangent: but it never feels you’re missing something, or that he has lost his way.

Rather the opposite. Simon Munnery is a wonderfully interesting, and interested comedian; this proper investment in his material balances his quiet style, and the result is wonderful.

Without wanting to sound vague or pretentious, it’s as though Simon Munnery treads a line between calm, quiet storytelling and excited buoyance. His delivery is relaxed and methodical, while being fast, constant and almost giddy.

He doesn’t zip confusingly between the two: he is both at all times, delivering a wonderfully interesting show without falling behind and over-taking his audience.

Date of live review: Friday 8 May 2015 @ Gorilla, Manchester