A stalwart in comedy at the Stand Comedy Club, Simon Munnery took to the stage yet again this year with new show Renegade Plumber. Tirelessly silly and usually an annual must-see, I was disappointed in this show, which was not as engaging as those of previous years.
After he introduced us to the concept of “nightminton” – badminton which can be played in the dark, allowing for double cock time – I was already questioning the name of the show and how appropriate it might be for its scheduled hour. This invention and the many others he proceeded to unveil strongly hinted that there something a little unorthodox about the theme to the show this year, and perhaps even about the show itself. A song he sang from John Maclean about Glasgow later in the set also proved an odd fit and didn’t seem to connect with the rest of his show. Indeed, there were on the whole fewer cackles and giggles than I am used to hearing at Munnery’s gigs.
However, the whole joke about first world problems was satisfying, talking about people that use that phrase like they elevate themselves by simply using it. He used third world problems instead to underline its absurdity, awkwardly throwing the audience in the process. Munnery’s best moments were when he was pulling out the puns left, right and centre or when he was singing the anti-chain supermarket song which concluded the hour; glimpses of the top notch comedy that many in the sold out Stand 1 were no doubt anticipating.
His joke connecting arts funding with prisons came off a little strange and made me wonder whether the Renegade Plumber title refers more to the connections (or lack thereof) between his jokes than his make-shift inventions. When finest material amounts to dad puns about the school subject archaeology being on its way out, I have to hope that he can pull it back together for next year, lest he meet the same end.
Simon Munnery’s Renegade Plumber runs until 28th August at The Stand Comedy Club, 15:20.