Simon Munnery: Hats Off for the 101ers, and Other Material

Article by Renée Rowland | 10 Aug 2011
  • Simon Munnery

What are 101ers? They were rigid British airships of the 1920s, the first of which crashed on its maiden voyage and sealed the fate of the rest of the fleet, which thereafter never took flight. But, in a curious stroke of grace, their legacy was obviously destined to be celebrated by a very intense and funny man at this year’s Fringe.

It’s obscure but brilliant, and totally refreshing, to listen to uncharted comic territory and be more than amused. Of the ‘Other Material’, a smidgen is pitched at the high street crowd but the rest is a manic indulgence, and it's magnetic. Munnery unleashes feats of eccentric engineering, collapsing parabolic prosceniums, polymathematical manic monologues, post modern punk poetry and anecdotes to bring you back to earth when the unhinged Munnery dirigible starts drifting from its audience (which it does simply because he may be a bit too clever).

Munnery is mercurial of mind, fleet of tongue and fantastic to watch. Your mouth will be agape when it's not laughing, but I bet when you Google R101ers at your next opportunity, they’ll never have the same lustre as that which Munnery lends to them from his own internal intensity.

The Stand 1, August 3 – 28 (not 15), 15:40, £10