Edinburgh Fringe Review: Simon Munnery, Trials And Tribulations, The Stand

Edinburgh Fringe Review: Simon Munnery, Trials And Tribulations, The Stand
Twenty years ago I ran into Simon Munnery as he was coming out of St Leonard’s police station, the morning after he was arrested on Arthur Smith’s traditional 2AM walking tour of the Royal Mile.
Munnery was looking pale and very ill, and according to my memory was dressed in lederhosen. That may not be true, but he was playing the part of a German tourist in the Arthur Smith tour and definitely hadn’t changed his clothes since being locked up.
So finally I find out what happened - as Munnery has decided to tell all about his night in the cells and subsequent trial.
Apparently the judge warned him not to talk about any of this on stage - but it was two decades ago...
There are a couple of trials and a lot of tribulations in this show.
As well as the German Tourist Trial, Munnery also explains how he got involved in a seven year battle over a parking ticket.
He also touches on the tribulation of losing the use of his hand - although, this being Munnery, every ounce of suffering is turned into the opportunity for fun, satire and silliness.  
And it turns out his tribulations are not over. Munnery is once again dosed up on painkillers after suffering terrible cramps and weakness in his other arm.
Much as you wish Munnery might find a soft pile of leaves and lie down for a bit, he is determined, as ever, that the show must go on.
So as well as his trials and tribulations we have a couple of poems, some songs, a spirited attack on capitalism and a very long and bizarrely accurate Michael Caine impression.
There are also some breathtakingly beautiful jokes - which stay with you when a lot of other jokes have left the building.
Munnery at his best is astonishingly good. He ambushes you with his punchlines - bringing helpless uncontrolled laughter.
He’s a precious jewel. A treasure. And a walking embodiment of everything wonderful about the Fringe.

Simon Munnery, Trials And Tribulations, The Stand. Until August 28. Buy tickets here.

Picture: Jon Spaull

four stars




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