Story-telling comedian Simon Munnery from the UK is a tricky devil. His show And Nothing But is billed as Munnery being himself for an hour. It’s a slippery act to describe, as it takes in topics such as dancing, his life as a touring comic, and political commentary. For all this, you can count on two key features; being rewarded for using your brain, and getting some good laughs.
Performing for over 20 years, Munnery is a past winner of the Chortle Award and Sony Radio Award, and received nominations for the British Comedy and Edinburgh Fringe Perrier Awards.
I last saw Munnery in his 2012 MICF show Hats Off To The 101ers. That thoroughly enjoyable show employed puppetry, music, props, and variations in delivery, and flirted with iconoclasm and dark humour. While this show employs fewer devices, it continues Munnery’s habit of garnering laughs from unpredictability.
This all kicked off with a series of show openings that Munnery has always wanted to perform. Over the next hour, he lamented the skills of travel now lost to younger generations, prodded at hypocrisy of an activist, or suggested that amateur beggars need a director, so that with a better narrative for their tale they’ll be more commercially successful.
Munnery varied the conclusions of stories from the surprisingly absurd – such as the highlight of his trip to Canada – to laugh out loud zingers on how smokers evade regulation of their habit. Those looking for more meaty topics will hear Munnery’s take on capitalism, explored via dealing with his washing machine’s manufacturer.
The show satisfies through original ideas that make a lot of stand-up look quite unimaginative by comparison. If you’ve had cause to think this, then Munnery, And Nothing But, will likely provide enough novelty to ensure a memorable night out.
Simon Munnery: And Nothing But
Regent Room – Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne
Performance: Thursday 31 March 2016 – 9.45pm
Season continues to 17 April 2016
For more information, visit: www.comedyfestival.com.au for details.
Image: Simon Munnery (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte