Simon Munnery: 'I assumed everybody went to Edinburgh'

This article is from 2018

Simon Munnery: 'I assumed everybody went to Edinburgh'

Fringe veteran and innovative japester is putting his multifarious talents to the fore with a new funeral-inspired show

It's a show about a joke. It's a show about a painting, or about capitalism and work, or it's a show about Romanians and working in an egg factory. The Wreath is pretty typically Simon Munnery, submerged in surreality and tangents. The following sentence is the foundation of this year's offering from the Fringe veteran: 'I went to a funeral the other day: caught the wreath.'

Munnery is working on a painting based on the joke, one that's visualised to perfection in his head, but – in his own words – he's not a painter. 'I imagine the coffin going down into the ground, the vicar has picked the wreath off the coffin, thrown it backwards over his shoulder and it's spinning in the air. The mourners are standing around looking up at it.' He's currently on the fifth reworking of the sky in the fourth draft of the painting itself.

Munnery isn't in any hurry to say what the show is about, since he hasn't devised it with any statement or point in mind. It's a bubbling cauldron of mish-mashed stories, situations he's found himself in over the past year, and the occasional song. 'It's got a sort of narrative and it's got themes, it's got some props. I've got an opening I'm very happy with. Then I'll talk for approximately 45 minutes, and then there'll be the unveiling of the painting.'

There'll be material about him being the best cleaner in the egg factory, before being let go because he forgot to tell his boss he wouldn't be available in August ('I assumed everybody went to Edinburgh'), and about trying to translate his deadpan humour into foreign languages ('nothing; no laughs'). But more than anything, it's worth going along to see whether or not his funereal painting ambitions are ever fully realised.

Simon Munnery: The Wreath, The Stand, 3–26 Aug (not 13), 3.20pm, £12 (£10).

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