Simon Munnery: Alan Parker Urban Warrior Farewell Tour
- Brian Donaldson
- 5 August 2019
Protests, poems and placards from the retiring anarchist
A relic from the mid-90s who even then was anachronistically banging on about Thatcher, it's even funnier today that bedsit rebel Alan Parker is still obsessed with the late Tory dominatrix. Arguably Simon Munnery's finest character creation (though he's been pretty impressive simply being himself for many Fringes), Alan has been resurrected for one final howl at the impending doom that faces us all. Though the reason he's called it his 'farewell tour' might have something more to do with the planet imploding than any career-closing decision on his part.
Alan is here with hastily sketched placards, protest songs (accompanied by two front-row volunteers who are handed drumsticks and a tiny guitar), ill-fitting poetry, a jacket full of curious props, and a stare so intense that would it make the most hardcore Momentum activist wilt under the pressure.
Proving that he's still down with current affairs, he namechecks everyone from climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg to, um, Igor Stravinsky ('his opera started a riot: good!'), but the modern world has not always been kind to Alan. You might still find him cornering blokes ('comrades!') down the pub, but you certainly won't find him ranting on social media given his distaste for technology and distrust of all machines. Wisely reckoning that a solid hour of Alan could potentially get wearing, Munnery inserts a lengthy 'dance break' into proceedings, featuring an ambient track you'd have heard at the sort of chilled 90s house parties Alan would have inevitably ruined due to his 'opinions'.
Can 'art effect change?' he wonders out very loud. Maybe. But change has certainly affected art, with Alan's brand of blokeish anti-capitalism being left far behind by inconvenient obstacles such as strong women. He may not have veered from being a lefty youth into a middle-aged right-winger, but Alan's subtle sexism is neatly exposed by Munnery's script. An enjoyable blast from the past.
The Stand, until 26 Aug (not 12), 3.20pm, £12 (£10).